Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) account for 99.9% of the business population (5.9 million businesses) in the UK private sector . SME’s are more vulnerable to the COVID-19 pandemic than the large businesses, by temporarily closing their doors or pausing trading , furlough employees , and suffer from working capital issues , causing adverse economic and social impact. As restrictions continue, consumers continue to swamp the UK supermarkets through online orders to reduce the risk of being exposed to the virus. Big corporations such as Aldi and Morrisons are reacting swiftly by forging new partnerships with on-demand delivery companies such as Deliveroo and Uber Eats to deliver household essentials .Despite such efforts, online delivery slots are not readily available, forcing people to visit physical stores. A hyperlocal delivery business model can be a feasible solution, where consumers can get essentials from the registered shops within their locality delivered to their doorsteps.
Dr. Kuttimani Tamilmani, Lecturer in Marketing, is a Principal Investigator working on University of Bradford funded research project with co-investigators Dr. Charles Vincent and Professor Nripendra Rana. This project would explore the feasibility of a hyperlocal delivery business model. This team will employ experimental survey methodology to explore Consumers’ willingness to buy and Retail sector SMEs’ readiness to sell on hypothetical on-demand delivery platform yorkshirehomedelivery.com. The findings from this research can help in reducing consumers risk exposure to COVID-19 as home delivery becomes readily available. And Retail sector SMEs to stay relevant in serving their consumers, ultimately leading to the revival of the local economy. The findings will be disseminated to local SMEs to help them devise appropriate strategies to implement a hyperlocal delivery business model. The benefits can be maximised by applying learnings from the Yorkshire region to the entire UK.
Dr. Kuttimani Tamilmani
Lecturer in Marketing
School of Management