A technology firm is launching a unique ordering platform to help shops trade more safely and effectively during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Forage Lite, launched today, will enable customers to order, pay for, and pick up orders without having to come into an outlet’s premises. Buyers only need a smart phone to access the new zero-contact click-and-collect way of shopping.
The firm is aiming to gain uptake from restaurants, take-aways, grocers, retailers and other small businesses serving local communities across the UK.
Graticule Personalisation, the firm behind Forage Lite, says the new service has been fast tracked to ease the effect of Coronavirus on retailers and food outlets. Developed in four weeks, it uses technology from Graticule’s Forage product which is being launched later in the year for supermarkets, restaurant’s and retail chains.
Forage Lite works by allowing customers to order via text, Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp. When the order is received and accepted by the shop owner, a link is sent to the customer to make the payment online.
The shop owner is notified when the payment is processed and is given the registration plate of the shopper’s car. When the order is ready the buyer is alerted and can drive to the outlet and text they have arrived. The shopper’s identity is confirmed through the number plate and the goods brought out and placed in the boot without the customer having to leave the car.
Customers who prefer to walk or cycle to an outlet can pick-up orders at a pre-designated point.
The online payments are secure and use Barclaycard or Stripe, a popular payments system used by thousands of small businesses.
Graticule Personalisation is run by Rob Baker and Dave Hall who met when working on an inventory project for Starbucks. The pair, who founded Graticule two years ago, have tech experience with brands such as Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and KFC.
Graticule’s chief technology officer Dave Hall says: ‘There is no need to be a techieor have IT support to set-up Forage Lite. Shop owners and their customers can start using it as soon as they sign-up.’
Graticule’s CEO Rob Baker says: ‘Forage Lite will help the country’s small retailers and food outlets operate more effectively and safely through the pandemic by taking away physical interaction through handling money or goods, while giving customers a more convenient and faster way to collect their orders.
Rob who lives in Langley Village near Macclesfield says: ‘Local shops are essential to keeping communities together and we want to do our bit to help them come through this difficult period.’