Sault born shop local initiative expands into Southern Ontario

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Mercata, a Sault Ste. Marie based company founded through a joint partnership between Kapptive Studios and Superior Media is expanding its operations into Southern Ontario with the launch of the new Windsor Marketplace. Conceived from a desire to help local businesses embrace e-commerce opportunities during the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, Mercata first launched the Algoma Marketplace this past April with a focus on supporting the local economy in Sault Ste. Marie through a Shop Local initiative.

Initially, the Mercata platform enabled retail merchants to establish online storefronts on the Algoma Marketplace to sell locally sourced products and services but quickly saw an overwhelming demand to include restaurants who were struggling with extremely high commission rates charged by large international companies like Skip the Dishes, Uber Eats and others. The Algoma Marketplace entered the Sault Ste. Marie market as a multi-vendor platform providing similar services at a fraction of the cost to both merchants and customers, offering curbside pick-up and delivery. Within a short span of a few months, it has more than 56 vendors registered and has been growing at a rate of over 20% month over month.

With the expansion of the Mercata platform into Southern Ontario, the Windsor Marketplace will provide local merchants and restaurants in Windsor with a similar low-barrier, low-cost of entry to e-commerce all-in-one easy to use website. Born in Windsor, the site owner, Jodi Westenberg has worked in hospitality for most of her life and is no stranger to customer service and developing strategies to help build brand awareness. She said “Consumers have become increasingly dependent on technology. The Windsor Marketplace will help level the playing field against e-commerce giants and keep the money in our community. We want to celebrate the vibrant food and retail business our city has to offer.”

During an interview Tony Cavaliere, CEO, Kapptive Studios stated, “We launched the digital marketplace as a response to the COVID-19 lockdown in order to enable merchants to offer local digital curbside pick-up and delivery orders with a low barrier to entry to e-commerce. After the success of our first launch in Northern Ontario – the Algoma Marketplace, we are now expanding to Southern Ontario by kick-starting the Windsor Marketplace.” Bruce Clement, CEO, Superior Media went on to say, “The Mercata platform conveniently provides everyone with the opportunity to support their local businesses, their friends, family and neighbours, by providing the ability to source and purchase online within the community. Other than a small fee charged by the payment processor, every dollar remains in the local economy and supports multiple businesses such as the merchant, marketplace and delivery companies.”

Regarding further expansion plans Cavaliere and Clement added that they will soon be launching the next Marketplace in Michigan, with discussions currently underway for several other areas both in Canada and the United States.

To inquire about a customized Mercata Marketplace for your community, feel free to reach out to Tony Cavaliere, [email protected] or Bruce Clement, [email protected].

 

About Kapptive Studios:

North Ontario based Kapptive Studios began as a passion project between three friends – Tony Cavaliere, David Piccolo and Andrew Lucarelli who spent two years developing a platform to automate actions on websites. Later on, Kapptive transitioned into other projects that designed various video games and custom e-commerce integrations before finally incorporating in February of 2020. Kapptive’s primary focus is to provide businesses with custom development digital solutions for its clients. Kapptive aims to offer a one-stop solution to all web and app development needs.

About Superior Media:

Based in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Superior Media operates SaultOnline.com, myAlgoma.ca as well as one of the first local television stations in Canada, providing a traditional linear broadcast streamed through the internet (OTT). The Superior Media team is proud to provide the communities they serve with a well-balanced mix of content from local and national news to feel-good stories, events, sports and weather.

About Mercata:

Mercata is a world-class platform enabling any city to have its own digital marketplace that empowers local businesses and fosters economic growth within the community. Kapptive Studios and Superior Media launched the first version of Mercata – the Algoma Marketplace in April 2020.

1 COMMENT

  1. I don’t use it because the full menu isn’t on there. My favs at Giovanni’s I have to call in to get such as Prime Rib and Seafood pasta. Other than that it’s a great platform and if it included all menu items would be outstanding.

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