Hyperlocal Business Models at a Glance

The last time Pune based Satish Kumar ordered groceries, he was in for a pleasant surprise. He ordered online using an App, which did a great job of picking convenience goods from different local shops and delivering it to his doorstep. The cherry on the cake – the delivery was on time and within the MRP of the products. This is a classic example of hyperlocal businesses.

What is a hyperlocal business model ?


As more and more people get online, there emerges a growing need to bridge the gap between the local retailers and the consumers. Hyperlocal business is what bridges this gap, and does so beautifully. Add to this the immense trustworthiness the online platform has crafted for itself as a secure transaction channel, what you get is a burst of innovation in how hyperlocal businesses are carried out across the globe.

Let’s look at some of the most prevalent models of hyper-local businesses

Popular hyperlocal business models

1. Franchising

The popular business model of using a brand’s name and business expertise and practices too has gone hyperlocal. Currently Local People from UK is looking for franchising deals for its local business portfolio. The deal will be followed by total training and support, and will demarcate a particular area for one franchisee.

2. Ad only models

Using social media and smartphone’s geo location feature, hyperlocal businesses are delivering targeted local business information. One such example is Flixster that lists down movies playing near you along with the addresses of the theaters and movie reviews.

3. Parallel providers

Investigative journalism from Ireland’s The Detail is an instance of how hyper-local media can exist successfully with mainstream media, newspapers and television channels. As per the company, they do not wish to dilute the effect of the existing newspaper segment, but rather work parallel and provide investigative news reporting with help of newsrooms.

4. Business partnerships

AskMeBazaar is a prime example of how partnering with local sellers will help the buyers get goods delivered more conveniently. Its ecosystem now generates an awe-inspiring $1 million USD worth of transactions on a day-to-day basis. It currently has a business partnership with more than 14 million small businesses across India.

5. Training

Utilizing a skill set to improve the lives of others through training is a viable hyperlocal model. A Masters’ Degree from Harvard in public health prompted Mumbai resident Mrs. Namrata Bagaria to open an NGO named Public Health Justice. It provides hyperlocal training to women to teach little children the importance of health, sanitation and hygiene.

6. Content Paywalls

Take the case of Postmedia’s local paywalls. It prompted readers of Montreal Gazette and Victoria Times Colonist to access a few free reads before paying up to read content as part of its metered model experiment.

7. Hybrid models

Businesses may also employ a mix of different hyperlocal business models. The London SE1 website generates income streams from three different sources

  • An affiliate section that connects small businesses with readers.
  • A monthly guide “What’s On” that allows readers to discover trending businesses.
  • Using Google AdWords to route to its ‘Classifieds’ section.

8. Daily Deals and Vouchers

The first name that comes to mind when you think of deals or coupons will be most likely Groupon, which will be re-branded to NearBuy, only for its hyperlocal business arm. This business is taking hyper-local marketing to new heights of success with its deals discovery channel reaching out to millions of users online.

9. Real Estate

Scores of names such as MagicBricks and Housing.com join hands with local property dealers, brokers and builders, to expand their reach to millions of online users. This not only helps buyers to get a much wider choice in property, but also helps sellers to augment their coverage to help their business grow.

10. Crowd-funding

The classic essence of hyper-local targeting was never captured as beautifully into operations as with crowd-funding. With Kickstarter and Indiegogo, product developers can connect with general public to seek funding. They get free subscriptions or free product post development if the campaign funding requirement is met.
As is evident, a lot of innovation and creative sparks have gone into making hyperlocal business the success that it is today. Write in to us and let us know which one is your favorite hyperlocal business model, from among these ten.

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