ShopAppy has grown from Yorkshire to Norfolk in the last 6 months with towns in Breckland and Great Yarmouth Market joining the scheme. The innovative shop local app and website, that began in Saltaire in West Yorkshire, shows no sign of halting and recently got mentioned at the Parliamentary Inquiry into the future of the High Street.
ShopAppy provides an online shop window and ecommerce site for every town, with easy click and collect as well as booking services. Passionate about her own town, Founder of ShopAppy Dr Jackie Mulligan leapt out of her academic career to set up ShopAppy with a target to change behaviours…
“To help revive our town centres and to create vibrant places we need both businesses and consumers to change. We make it easy to change for customers by combining online convenience with local spending. For businesses, we have made tech easier, enabling businesses to load products and services from smart phones or even excel sheets so people can buy products or book their services easily.”
Jackie believes one of the challenges for our towns, is that people have forgotten that they can buy a wide range of products and services close by. “The default position is Amazon and that has to change. We get feedback from customers that they did not realise how much was available locally. Home delivery means there is no need to go into town centres, but we need to provide an alternative that involves less delivery and packaging and more ‘place’. That’s why we offer click and collect which can boost early evening economies too. And we are not just retail, we enable people to book appointments, events and services. If more people spend money and time locally, our communities and economies thrive.”
ShopAppy has been featured on BBC The One Show as well as on BBC and ITV regional news, Jackie adds “What we love to see, is that beyond the capabilities of the website and app, the initiative is a shop local campaign which not only encourages people to think about spending locally, but makes it even easier to do so. The PR we have gained for locations on its own provides a positive impact for local businesses, reminding people why spending money locally is so important for their own locations.”