Cityhome is an online marketplace with a mission — to empower small businesses and their surrounding communities.
Launched in the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, Cityhome brings the scale of an online marketplace to each small business it partners with, allowing these businesses to reach new customers and sell more products all while maintaining their small business identity and what makes them unique! The platform enables customers to shop small while simultaneously being able to discover a growing curation of over 500 coveted brands and 75,000 products across fashion, beauty and lifestyle all in one place.
Cityhome also matches consumers with the product that they're looking for from a small business as close to their home as possible to save in shipping time, money and carbon footprint.
As small businesses thrive, so do their surrounding communities. It's a ripple effect. Small businesses hire in their neighborhoods, which means job creation in local communities. Small businesses focus on solving problems and supporting charities that largely impact local communities. And when small businesses succeed, it creates economic opportunities for generations to come.
Did you know..
An average of two-thirds of every dollar ($0.67) spent at small businesses in the U.S. stays in the local community. Every dollar spent at small businesses creates an additional 50 cents in local business activity as a result of employee spending and businesses purchasing local goods and services. (Small Business Economic Impact Study)
45 miles is the average distance a Cityhome package travels. In 2018, the average distance an Amazon package traveled was between 600-800 miles. Cityhome's goal is to decrease the carbon emissions seen in traditional ecommerce by matching consumers with the product that they're looking for as close to their home as possible. Cityhome also partners with Cloverly in order to offset the shipping distance of all orders by calculating and purchasing carbon offsets to neutralize the environmental impact of these last mile deliveries.
HOW IT ALL BEGAN
Before launching in 2020, Cityhome founder Rachel Romanowsky had been working with small businesses who were fighting to keep their brick and mortar stores open as consumers seeking convenience and delivery speed flocked off high streets to online big box retailers. She launched Cityhome to support these small businesses by creating an online platform to help scale their business, increasing the visibility of smaller stores and boosting their sales. The platform allows retail’s shift to e-commerce to work in favor of small stores rather than against them by alleviating a bulk of the work, time and money it takes for a small business to be successful online. The platform also automatically matches consumers with the product that they're looking for from a business as close to their home as possible to save in shipping time, money and carbon footprint.
We knew that in order to convince small businesses to join Cityhome, we would need to make the onboarding process as simple as possible. While developing the technology that would allow Cityhome to integrate with any shop's existing inventory management system (regardless of whether they had an ecommerce presence), we saw an opportunity to test and validate this technology with products that were desperately needed due to Covid – Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)!
The Covid backstory... Many of the small businesses that we had originally signed up to launch with were forced to close because of the pandemic, and, at the same time, there was an extreme shortage in face shields for medical workers. To test Cityhome's functionality, we partnered with small businesses with manufacturing capability and who were otherwise closed to make face shields using an open patent. We then had them add those face shields to their inventory. We knew our technology was working when we were able to purchase over 10k face shields from these small businesses, one at a time. When Cityhome first launched, consumers were able to purchase a face shield to be donated to a medical worker right from the Cityhome marketplace. This trial run of our technology helped us work out the kinks of our integration and onboarding, allowing Cityhome to officially launch as a consumer goods marketplace in July 2020. The original product listing for shoppers to "Donate a Face Shield" still exists in our backend as a reminder of how we started.
Cityhome creates a unique e-commerce shopping environment that highlights what's missing from traditional online shopping - the journey of discovery, the enjoyment of product curation, and the value of supporting a small business and their community. By uniting unique small businesses with the Cityhome technology, we are able to offer customers a high quality selection of hard to find products which are handpicked for them by exceptional curators... boutique owners.