For many DIYers, the neighbourhood hardware store is like a second home. Local shops, with shelves full of handy tools and hard-to-find materials, often have everything that a weekend handyman needs to get the job done.
Professional builders, on the other hand, typically avoid small merchants. Many independently-run stores don’t maintain updated inventories online, and when time is money, tradespeople are instinctively drawn to bigger, often pricier alternatives, assuming larger retailers are more likely to stock what they are looking for.
But what if there was a solution that could connect a builder’s shopping list with a merchant’s product availability? There is: it’s called Buildiro. And later this summer, Buildiro is poised to become the neighbourhood hardware store’s best friend.
In mid-July, we’ll be rolling out version 2.0 of our app, and the latest iteration will make it even easier for tradespeople and small merchants to find each other. We’ve still got a few weeks of development work to do before Buildiro 2.0 is ready for primetime, but we’re so excited about what’s coming that we thought now was a good time to offer a preview.
For builders, the biggest updates cover what happens after supplies are ordered through the app. Contractors will be able to share shopping lists with team members, alert merchants to preferred pick-up times, and make cashless payments. Buyers will also have access to a new e-invoicing service, meaning no more lost paper receipts between the checkout aisle and the job site.
The digital invoice feature will also be a boon to merchants, especially in the UK, where a new government initiative – Making Tax Digital – requires companies to digitise their invoicing by 2020. Buildiro 2.0 makes this possible with a simple click. When a sale is processed, the app will automatically send an invoice to the customer, and a copy can be exported to the store’s accounting system for easy uploading.
But the biggest merchant features in 2.0 include better inventory integration, new marketing data, and customer loyalty programs (like digital discount cards). With cleaner feeds for importing product names, descriptions, prices, photos, bar codes, and stock availability, Buildiro is set to become a digital display case for any store’s shelves. And when a store’s stock is placed in the hand of every pro builder, even the smallest supply store can become an efficient place to shop.
Buildiro is making life easier for tradespeople and merchants, but the innovations go far beyond the job-site. An e-invoicing feature set to launch next month will save industry accountants time – and could even earn them a little extra cash.
It’s no secret that tradesmen are creatures of habit. Let’s face it – from the tools we use to the methods we employ, when we find something that works, we stick with it. But while that might engender customer loyalty, these days, being obstinate can be costly.
Coupons aren’t the most rugged tool in a pro builder’s toolbox, but for anyone with jobs south of London, they might be the smartest. Earlier this month, Buildiro teamed up with JMD Building & DIY Supplies, a family-run supplier in Hailsham, England, to offer all Buildiro customers 5% off their bill. It’s our first discount deal with a UK-based merchant; it will not be our last.