In The Media: InsideRetail says “…heydoor is making shopping more accessible to people with restrictions”
Posted By: Mel Ioannou Date Posted: August 20, 2021
Read This Article On Inside Retail Website here: https://insideretail.com.au/business/heydoor-shoppers-with-restrictions-202108
Friday 20th August 2021 – With the growth of online shopping and heightened safety concerns due to the Covid pandemic, click-and-collect has become a prerequisite for shoppers, allowing them access to goods without entering a store. And while the big guys are well equipped to cater to this demand, some smaller independent retailers that don’t have a click-and-collect service in place could be missing out on sales.
A new app called Heydoor is similar to click-and-collect but aims to connect retailers with shoppers on the street that may be restricted from entering a store for a variety of reasons such as access issues as a result of a physical disability, fears over crowded spaces or Covid safety concerns, or being unable to take a dog instore.
Melinda Ioannou, founder and creator of Heydoor, realised that the latter was a barrier to entering retail when she got her own dog in 2015, and she began thinking more broadly about the restrictions on some members of the public.
“It’s a constant, everyday restriction that I have. I reflected and observed people in the community not being able to go into a cafe or restaurant or even a shop because of a step, or the doors closed, or they’re on their own. And I started to really understand what people who have restrictions go through on a daily basis,” Ioannou told Inside Retail.
“I see families that have two parents and three young kids and one of the parents has to stay with the kids while the other parent goes to order food, drinks, whatever they need. This also helps them in the sense that one person doesn’t need to remember the entire order; they don’t have to separate themselves; they don’t have to fiddle with bikes or prams. People like me can’t be bothered dealing with that situation or don’t want to, they’ll say ‘just forget it’ and not buy from that retailer. So, they miss out on my business all the time.”
Heydoor is designed for people that are already out and about in the community and want to pick up something on the way. Users download the app to view the participating cafes, restaurants and retailers nearby; they place their order and follow the prompts on the map to reach their destination. A member of staff then meets the shopper at the door to deliver goods.
“It’s like a click-and-collect but you’re not waiting an hour, two hours or the next day for pickup, it’s instant,” she said.
Ioannou’s background as a clinical myotherapist has helped her better understand the needs of people with disability but she had no tech experience whatsoever.
“I had absolutely no [experience]. I presented my concept to a friend of mine who is a software developer and luckily he understood and loved it. So I brought him in as a business partner.”
They have since formed partnerships and alliances with Disability Service Providers, Community Support and Essential Service Organisations to help evolve the application.
The Heydoor app is still in the beta testing phase and is rolling out in several markets across Melbourne as part of a national expansion plan.
Ioannou is hopeful that the service will appeal to essential service providers and businesses such as restaurants, cafes, health and wellness stores and supermarkets.
“I would love to have a little independent supermarket onboard, to support them with their accessibility to customers. It would be great to bring more business to the little guys. Most of them are privately owned, so that would be a nice starting point,” she said.
“We’re also thinking about how we’re going to make this work at big shopping complexes too.”
As part of its efforts to support small businesses, Heydoor is commission free and instead takes a service fee of the total order amount charged to customers.
heydoor™ takes the hassle out of going inside. Everything you need is now in arms reach because when you reach your destination, your order will meet you out the door. heydoor™ supports local businesses with zero commission taken from orders, promotes inclusivity and accessibility supporting people with physical and mental health restrictions, encouraging a supportive network connected with their community.
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