One electrical retailer has created an “unbiased, shared platform” that he hopes will bring the industry together.
The online resource could be used by retailers to find CI installation partners for smart-home projects, or by consumers searching for their nearest retailer.
Phil Millington, who runs The Satellite Shop in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, got the idea of how he would improve his offering after attending the ERT Turning Point Summit at the techUK offices in London. There he listened to discussions on the decline in independent sector sales and figures showing that their market share had more than halved in the past six years to nine per cent.
Mr Millington decided to improve on the original platform he had designed, making it easier for manufacturers, retailers and installers find the services that they need.
“We sell products via our website that need installing, so we built a database of installers across the UK with the skills required that we could recommend to our mail order customers,” Mr Millington explained. “We also sell to the trade, so it made sense to add the details of dealers who might want to buy from us, too. INDi evolved from this.
“The general consensus [from ERT’s Turning Point Summit] was that independents needed an unbiased shared platform to help consolidate the industry. I knew that INDi could be fit for purpose.”
The platform has recently undergone a number of improvements, which now enables INDi store and dealer locators to be embedded on any website by copying and pasting a line of code.
Dealers and installers simply log in and edit their own profiles – address, opening hours, offers, etc, can be edited with changes reflected across all embedded searches.
The page is also mobile-friendly and includes a premium option with lots of extra features.
Manufacturers can then log in and tick or untick tagged dealers they want to show in their locators.
“I can visualise INDi members participating in national promotions, product launches and collaborating with other members,” he concluded. “I urge manufacturers, distributors and industry affiliates to embed the INDi dealer locator.”
Mr Millington said he was planning to add other industries to the platform in the future.