We know from the two years we’ve been around in the UK that independent retail can thrive in an omnichannel environment, but why limit ourselves to this country?

Our mission has always been to work with the best independents in the world’s creative neighbourhoods, and that’s why we’re launching in Berlin today.

By bringing the city’s best independent bricks-and-mortar shopping experiences online we’re continuing on our mission to help smaller players compete with chains and large ecommerce players, regardless of geographical boundaries.

That’s the thinking behind our first step towards global expansion – extend the reach of our tech platform and free up talented shopkeepers from across the world to do what they do best.

Small independent shops have all the ingredients to win in an omnichannel retail world – they’re the masters of beautiful offline shopping experiences, offer personalised customer service and are run by passionate experts who scour the world to find unique products.

We’re launching in Berlin with 20 shops, including the iconic The Amazing Crocodile Design Store, Mitte’s Type Hype, the home of design-led typography products, and sustainable fashion accessories boutique Moeon.

Independent retailers are expert buyers, they search out the best brands consumers are hard-pushed to discover elsewhere. These brands are of exceptional quality and are the one-of-a-kind finds that discerning customers in the UK are actively searching for.

Reaching out

On their own, however, smaller independent shops who stock these inspiring brands too often lack the scale, tech expertise and the delivery capabilities required to reach new customers online, meaning their quality products just don’t get the exposure they deserve.

Joining a community like ours has meant that they can positively thrive online – I remember the first time one of our boutiques told me they had covered their rent and rates with the profit generated by Trouva.

“By utilising offline retail spaces to fulfil online orders, the new revenue stream provided via our platform took away the biggest burden that causes independent retailers to close”

By utilising offline retail spaces to fulfil online orders, the new revenue stream provided via our platform took away the biggest burden that causes independent retailers to close.

Our technology platform, which includes machine learning, real-time logistics that offer worldwide shipping and same-day deliveries in as little as 22 minutes, as well as in-store inventory management software with 96% accuracy, aims to transform business for the best Berlin shops.

The reception we’ve had from the city’s shopkeepers has been overwhelming. Taking on online operations on their behalf – particularly internationally – means they can continue to place their energies into building valuable relationships with customers and new brands; the things that machines can’t do.

We’re a business with an important mission – to enable independent retail to thrive in the world’s creative neighbourhoods. So even in a fiercely competitive marketplace dominated by giants such as Amazon and eBay, remaining united around that fuels our success.

You’d be forgiven for thinking that bricks-and-mortar retail is dying with the incessant doom and gloom headlines in the media, but clearly there are ways of empowering the very best offline retail to thrive and bring it into the digital age.

Our boutique community’s growth is testament to that fact and we’re looking forward to seeing more shoppers united by a passion for unique products, particularly as we continue to extend our reach to the world’s most creative neighbourhoods. Berlin is just the beginning.