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CA start-up picks Tucson for e-commerce marketplace

By Karly Tinsley | July 21, 2020 at 10:38 PM MST - Updated July 22 at 6:26 AM

A new digital marketplace launching soon hopes to help Tucson’s local business stay afloat during COVID-19 and beyond. Many businesses in Southern Arizona have kept their doors closed willingly but have struggled with online sales.

TruLocal, a start up based in San Francisco, is developing an e-commerce site to hopefully bridge that gap. The company states TruLocal enables easy and convenient online transactions between locally-owned, brick and mortar retailers and local consumers.

It is free for businesses to sign up and after, TruLocal does take a small percent of each transaction on the website.

Tucson is one of three cities nationwide chosen for the company’s launch.

PopCycle, on 4th Avenue, is already one of two businesses that have signed on. Co-Owner Shannon Riggs said they have been closed since March 17th and operating solely online. It wasn't a super easy transition since they hardly used the online storefront.

"We hardly ever used it. It was just something we had up for free advertising, and someone happened to order something—cool," said Riggs.

But with COVID still keeping consumers at home, many businesses are facing the reality that they don’t have the tools to keep up.

“Because they are small and they don’t have the scale to develop fancy websites,” said TruLocal CEO Susan Hollingshead. “We provide the technology infrastructure, operational expertise and marketing support that bridges local retailers and consumers so they can conduct e-commerce locally, versus seeing those valuable dollars leave their communities.”

It will be a one-stop-shop type web page, according to Hollingshead.

“You can look at all the places in Tucson that might offer that product at the same time you don’t have to figure out what their websites are or where their websites are or go website by website.”

Even though PopCycle already had a website, Riggs said it’ll give them more exposure.

“Ours is very one of a kind and handmade stuff and in a way that’s very cool if we could have that kind of reach with what we have.”

That way there will still be a physical store around when they welcome customers back in.

The online store will offer same day delivery or curbside pickup from the store.

It’s set to launch in September and business who want to sign up can visit: https://www.trulocal.com/

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