This tool works on top of large marketplaces like Amazon, Target, and others.
This tool pops up similar products at similar prices to users shopping for products online.
New feature #StandWithSmall allows users to discover small businesses while shopping on large marketplaces
Meet the Trestle Founding team - Jennifer, Carl, and Damola
COVID-19 is hurting small businesses we love. Meanwhile, large marketplaces like Amazon cannot even keep up with demand.
If we can redirect even a small percentage of sales currently going to large marketplaces to local small businesses, we might be able to help make a huge impact in helping them survive. That's what this tool does.
Who might want this? This tool is for those who, like most, don’t have the time to fully research every company behind every product we buy online – but understand supporting small businesses is really important – especially during COVID-19. It is the most convenient way to find and buy from small businesses in your local area.
How Does It Work? Anytime you land on a product on Amazon.com, Target.com, and other marketplaces – we’ll pop up similar products at similar prices from small businesses in your local area – like magic!
Now you can #StandWithSmall by doing what you already do - shopping for products you need online.
What it does
Here's an example of how this works. Carla, a Portland mom, needs new games for her kids while they’re home. Like she usually does, she goes to Amazon and types in “best kids games”. The myTrestle Button pops up and shows her small companies from Carla’s local area that sell kids games, like Black Wagon and Grasshopper.
Carla can now easily support her local small businesses during this hard time.
How we built it
We built the Trestle Button using a combination of technologies which include React, google cloud, .net, c#, square SDK. It leverages the Square JS code to form our frontend for the payments gateway and the underlying C# sdk to make the payments call. We would like to have tighter integrations with Locations and or Merchants API's as well.
Challenges we ran into
Submission issues! We recorded our submission video using loom instead of one of the approved options. Of course we were running behind and discovered this issue at the last minute. This caused us to scramble at the last minute.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We rallied and really put together some amazing functionality! And because we've built this, we've already heard multiple stories from users who have chosen to buy from a small local business instead of their bigger competitors. For example, one user shared with us that she was on Sephora.com looking for skin care - our tool popped up local small business Rarity Natural Beauty who is not currently selling in Sephora, and the user chose that product instead. That's a sale for a local small business that would have otherwise gone elsewhere.
To date, having JUST launched this product a couple weeks ago, we've already acquired 35 small businesses and over 1500 weekly users.
We are glad to be able to support small businesses during this crazy and trying time.
What we learned
Square has great integrations and is a potentially great way for companies and people affected by COVID-19 to move their businesses online. In addition, don't use Loom for future Devpost submissions!
What's next for #StandWithSmall
We will continue to iterate on this idea building it and adding additional functionality. We would love to see this browser extension grow in usage so we can better help more small businesses!
The majority of the 35 businesses are in the Portland, OR area. Next we'll onboard small businesses in other markets.
Want to try it for yourself?
Take these steps:
- Download the extension from the Chrome store here: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/mytrestle-button/ilbgeihhbjaehjedemfkdgahgflmladn
- Sign up and create an account on mytrestle.com (After you download from the Chrome store you will be redirected to create an account. Make sure to select Small & Local Business as one of your values.)
- Make sure you are signed in with the same username and password in the Chrome extension
- Finally navigate to this link (Big box store competitor) -> https://www.amazon.com/African-Shea-Butter-Unrefined-Organic/dp/B0711576DH/
- From here you should see the Trestle Button pop up and should be able to click the "Buy" button which takes you to our Square hosted checkout page.
- Make sure to enter a valid test Square Credit Card Number (4111-1111-1111-1111 for example)
- Pat yourself on the back! You just exercised your values and supported a small business!
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