An Australian start-up is helping consumers find nearby retail products from local small businesses online.

Founded in 2013 in Perth, Western Australia, Tuggl is a local discovery engine which allows consumers to scroll through and discover products recommended to them based on their location.

Inspired by the likes of Foodora and Uber Eats, the founders of Tuggl decided that consumers should be able to search for local retailers and buy local products online just as they can search and order for food nearby.

The discovery engine gathers products and store location data from the web and compiles it to make it easy for consumers to explore products.

Since launching in 2015, the engine has been used by more than 800,000 people in Australia and the US and has had 1.3 million unique product listings.

Tuggl is helping shoppers find local product online

Users can search for a product, category or brand and adjust their location to generate results. Products can then be purchased and delivered, but with a much shorter wait time than online giants like Amazon, Ankur Sharda, founder and CEO of Tuggl told Retailbiz.

“I realised that it’s very hard for a local store to compete with Amazon or other big online players with fast delivery but most stores shop at are pretty close and in the same way Uber Eats does delivery there’s no reason why stores can’t do delivery,” he said.

“And even better you’re paying $4 or $5 for local delivery so suddenly a local store is better than Amazon. This platform gives local retailers a fighting chance to start surviving.”

The platform also connects automatically to retail point of sale and inventory software to bring consumers live inventory information, Mr Sharda says.

Although shoppers can currently search the products and have them delivered within the same day, or even within a few hours by using local delivery services, Mr Sharda says delivery may soon be integrated into the platform.

“We hope to use a great search engine to build traffic and get traction and the next step is to deliver stuff,” he said.

With the technology location agnostic, Mr Sharda says he also has aspirations to scale it globally.