One of the big advantages of e-commerce platforms is their scale. With that comes the ability to invest in infrastructure (the cost of which can be defrayed over the wide range of products sold) and a large enough hub to act as a magnet for search results. Apart from mega malls, most disparately-held town centre shopping environments cannot do the same and so smaller retailers are put at a disadvantage. NearSt was set up in response to this problem. Local retailers can plug their legacy point of sale system into the NearSt platform and instantly list their stock online, allowing consumers to purchase items from stores that are within close proximity to them or choose delivery within an hour. Having identified that one third of all mobile searches are related to location, e.g. ‘coffee shops near me’, NearSt and Google have now announced a partnership. ‘Near me’ search results will now inform potential customers of the distance to a store that stocks their desired product and provide a live inventory system to display the price of these products. There is an interesting point here that locational proximity is still in the minds of those searching the web for products. NearSt serves as an example of how web-based technology can also serve to help local, independent retailers, rather than merely act as a threat.