shop your local highstreet online

Making it easier to use and enjoy local places is the heart of revival

It is great that VISA has launched its ‘KeepItLocalThisChristmas’ campaign, and alongside Small Business Saturday and other shop local and independent business campaigns ( JustACard, Totally Locally and more) the calls to support small businesses and local enterprises are getting louder. There is clear evidence to show shop local campaigns can have a positive impact on small businesses, but however good the PR, the campaigns do not make it easier for customers to find the time to visit their own High Streets. Particularly as business closing times are often the same or earlier than when people leave work.

Shop local campaigns can have a positive impact on small businesses, but however good the PR, the campaigns do not make it easier for customers to find the time to visit their own High Streets

That’s why I founded ShopAppy.com – a website and app which offers customers easy access to local shops and businesses in one place with products and services that customers can browse, book or buy online from their local area. ShopAppy offers free click and collect that effectively extends opening hours and enables customers to pick up all their shopping from one place in the evening. My mission was to help more people enjoy local businesses and to feel happier about where they lived and how they shopped. Initiatives like mine and others could not be more timely as the spotlight turns increasingly towards local small businesses. Small businesses bring a sustainable base for local economies and are important when the uniqueness for high streets, town and city centres becomes increasingly significant on where people choose to live, work and visit. VISA launching a major TV and print media ad urging people to #keepitlocal is welcome awareness raising. But we need to make it easier.

In almost every town and city in the UK small shops are being hit by a perfect storm from an antiquated rates system, rents that are inappropriate for local market conditions and competition on a very uneven playing field with the online giants. It makes it difficult for small shops to survive and many are leaving the High Street as we have heard recently in the media. But many are still there and need support in a whole range of ways – from digital support to rates relief, from training to promotional schemes. It is so important we all do that we can as our local economies and communities depend on services, local buying supports local supply chains and many businesses perform social roles – providing local events, meeting places, clubs and interaction.

Recent research suggests that town decline is not cyclical, so we need to do what we can now to keep our commercial hearts healthy.

We have all likely seen how towns can swiftly change from special places where you feel like you are somewhere…to clones of other places where you feel you could be anywhere … Or simply places with an abundance of empty shop outlets and charity shops. Balance is key to strong local economies, if the balance tips and businesses disappear, recovery becomes very unlikely. Recent research suggests that town decline is not cyclical, so we need to do what we can now to keep commercial hearts healthy.

ShopAppy.com offers customers convenience with a local conscience. It means every individual shop and business is easier to find for local customers and every business becomes a gateway to the area and to other local businesses. It provides people with more choice on how and where they shop, enabling them to #shoplocalonline with easy click and collect. Most importantly it enables people to plan ahead as they can see what businesses sell and what services they offer, so iinfluences visits. It can tie in with other initiatives from loyalty schemes to elf trails to fit in with the festive season too. Find the elves here 😉

I would love to bring ShopAppiness to more places as it is a great way to #KeepItLocal -To find out more just email me jackie@shopappy.com or see how it works here.

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