It is hard to believe that two years ago today, ShopAppy.com went live. With 4 shops in Otley and 9 shops in Saltaire, a new way to support local businesses was born. The principle was simple – shops all in one place, enabling customers to browse or order what they wanted with one easy check out and a collection point available after hours.
Over the past two years we have grown, we have hundreds of shops and businesses on Shopappy and we now cover over 20 areas! The growth has continued to give us a better understanding of the independent businesses, customers and towns. We have seen significant footfall increase, users increase and more importantly, orders are increasing too as more people discover a new way to shop local online.
Slowly but surely, people are discovering there is an alternative to shopping with the giants and that we need an alternative to home delivery not least to reduce the plastic and packaging that ends up in landfill! These past two years haven’t been without challenges! It is getting harder and harder for these enterprises to survive, increases in rents, rates and fluctuating consumer confidence, and the ever growing strength of the online giants monopolising the marketplace.
We have lobbied, joined the debates and fought hard for a voice and recognition for the social and economic role independent businesses of all kinds play in where we live and word. It has been hard work but all of this aside, Shopappy is quickly becoming the local alternative for customers wanting to spend money in their local area, and is helping more people to think local first. 91% of customers say ShopAppy encourages them to shop local more. The more we do that the stronger and more resilient our local economies and communities become. Our efforts haven’t gone without recognition, we have had great feedback from customers, BIDs, landlords and businesses, and just this month, 2 years on, Shopappy founder, Jackie Mulligan won a 2018 NatWest Great British Entrepreneur Award – read more here. We even got mentioned in the parliamentary committee on the future of our high streets. We are supporting markets where local traders can now offer great produce, gifts and clothing in one place online and have become the pilot for an EU initiative called Go Trade. None of this would have been possible without the fantastic support from the local businesses, associations, chambers, local councils who see why we need to all collaboratively take the lead. There needs to be an alternative to warehouses. Most importantly we thank our Shopappy customers! You can hear what they have to say here…
Next year we have some exciting new places launching and we can’t wait to share the news. To help us celebrate our 2 year birthday and to join us in fighting for a local alternative to the giants, sign up here.