Wolt’s merchant partners making their voices heard by EU policymakers
Small shops and restaurants are the beating heart of our cities, attracting foot traffic, employing locals who become familiar faces, showcasing diverse cuisines and locally sourced ingredients and goods. But running a successful local business is not easy in times of ever-increasing global e-commerce competition. To help policymakers see what their every-day looks like and how platforms like Wolt help enable growth for them, we invited merchant partners from across Europe to join us in Brussels for a two-day visit.
Running a local high-street business is not necessarily a walk in the park. From flower shops to grocery stores, the owners face many types of challenges, including navigating complex regulations, matching rising consumer expectations, and countering increased competition from global e-commerce companies.
At the same time, shifting consumer behavior has created a new type of opportunity for those businesses that have an online presence and the ability to deliver orders instantly. This is where local commerce platforms such as Wolt come into play.
Local commerce is a source of growth for small businesses
Platforms like Wolt have quickly become a major growth engine across cities: they enable almost any store or shop to go online in an instant, start selling their products to new and old customers, and have the orders delivered within 30 minutes from the customer placing the order.
Based on our recent survey data from 23 markets:
- 35% of merchants (equivalent to nearly 45,000 businesses overall) would not have an online business at all without local commerce platforms such as Wolt.
- An estimated 16,000 businesses would need to reduce staff or close their business without the incremental sales through Wolt and other local commerce platforms.
- Wolt and other third party delivery providers are responsible for 24% of all merchant sales, and this revenue supports employment for around 250,000 people.
And all this without merchants having to worry about investing large amounts of resources into building the technology and logistics on their own or managing them over time.
“Policymakers should listen more to small businesses” – and other takeaways from the partners’ visit
As imperfect government policies can have a disproportionate impact on small businesses, we at Wolt are committed to giving our merchant partners a voice in policy debates impacting their business across the 25 countries we operate and at EU level.
As part of those efforts, we invited partners from Estonia, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania and Slovakia to talk and exchange ideas directly with policymakers from the European Parliament and the European Commission.
The merchants and policymakers touched on multiple aspects of platforms and small businesses working together, including how policies impacting intra-city logistics, distribution restrictions, or rules limiting how, when, and from where merchants can serve their customers hamper the ability to fully embrace opportunity with local e-commerce.
Especially two topics sparked a lot of interest and excitement among the group:
- Platforms like Wolt driving a fundamental shift in online commerce by helping local stores successfully compete against global e-commerce players;
- Wolt putting a virtual shopping mall in customers’ pockets, enabling on-demand delivery of meals, groceries, and products which supports local jobs, taxes and value chains;
Don’t take our word for it – hear it from the partners themselves.
Summing up: What the partners had to say