A new food and retail ordering network, Oxford Orders, launched in Oxford today. Oxford Orders is powered by Preoday – an e-commerce platform, and run by ForPOS – an EPOS equipment and peripherals company. The online and mobile-based platform is the first in a series of local marketplace solutions intended to promote regional industry.
Oxford Orders says it is unlike food order and delivery businesses such as Deliveroo, UberEats, or Just Eat, in that it will provide a platform for all businesses that can benefit from pre-ordering – for example, local florists, bakeries or even, butchers.
The platform forms part of a wider campaign, based on the ‘locavore’ movement, which aims to give power back to local companies and help them forge closer relationships with their customers. Charging £2 per month after a nominal set-up fee, the team behind the system believe it will actively encourage the fostering of relationships by giving businesses a direct way to reach local consumers.
As it stands today, businesses signed up include The Old Tom, The Bell at Hampton Poyle, The Duke of Cambridge, The House, The Dil Raj in Abingdon, The Vine and Spice in Abingdon, 1855, Elham’s Lebanese Deli and Cockadoo in Nuneham Courtney, with no retailers currently on board.
Andrew White, CEO of Preoday, comments: “We want to provide a genuine alternative for local businesses to aggregators such as Just Eat. These national aggregators charge huge commission rates to the companies they partner with.” Mr White goes on to say “Oxford Orders will help local businesses take their first independent step with digital orders and, as they gain confidence, Preoday will be there to help them go even further.”
Would you use it?
So, what do you think – would you use it to pre-order drinks at the bar or a loaf of bread at the bakery? Or will you stick with online delivery orders or the tried and trusted method of visiting businesses to order in person?
Personally, I’m getting a bit bored of all the variations of the same thing – apps that I have to order or book through. I’ve tried Gourmet Society, Just Eat, Deliveroo, The Dealer App, etc. But more and more I’m enjoying interacting directly with businesses and reducing the number of ‘systems’. What if you want to ask a question, get a recommendation or order off menu?
I have a feeling these services sometimes distance us from local business owners, rather than connecting them. I won’t moan about my usual Taberu deliveries from Just Eat though – I need my occasional sushi fix even if it is through a middle-man. Plus, I’d be intrigued to see what local indie retailers I could browse from the comfort of my own home that I might not make it into otherwise.
The platform can be accessed via oxfordorders.co.uk and an accompanying mobile app is available from the Apple App store or Google Play.