Thanks to the Yorkshire Coast Business Improvement District (BID), ShopAppy.com comes free for 12 months to the two coastal towns.
Since full lockdown, most UK shops are now open for business. However, three in five (61%) of us feel less comfortable shopping in store than before lockdown and 18% of people are not keen to return to small High Street businesses until a vaccine is developed.
ShopAppy is an award-winning initiative and platform created to give small independent businesses an easy, effective way to operate and compete with online retail giants.
It provides a collective online shop window for every member town and village, encouraging customers to shop locally, browse and visit, book, or buy with easy click and collect after hours and home delivery.
The platform is not just about shops. ShopAppy can help services, trades, B2B businesses, chefs, pop-ups, entertainers, and market stalls with bookings, click and collect, home delivery and can host virtual events to support local artists and producers to secure wider engagement.
ShopAppy is already established in 150 UK towns and growing rapidly with reports of sales increases of 82% in some member businesses.
Although many people have turned to large online companies for shopping during the pandemic, it seems many UK consumers are now also keen to support their local businesses through the crisis too. ShopAppy is now trying to make this much easier for local businesses and for shoppers.
Dr Jackie Mulligan, a long-time independent business champion who founded the app, said: “We are delighted to be working in Scarborough and Whitby and partnering with Yorkshire Coast BID on the launch of ShopAppy.com platforms here.”
Carol Eaves from Material Moves in Scarborough says: “My business is all about community. People come to my shop, not only for fabrics and sewing accessories, but also for classes and workshops. They make friends here, so my shop has become a real community hub.
"Since lockdown people haven’t been able to visit stores so have shopped online much more.
"While that has been vital for many, it has also meant a real decline in community spirit as people couldn't meet up and talk.
"ShopAppy is an ideal mix of local business and community support with the ability to shop in one place online, but also in future will help revive the community feel in Scarborough by bringing people back to the personal service and expertise of local businesses.”
Sue McLaughlin from Whitby Music Shop added: “Small towns like Whitby thrive on its independent traders and anything that can support independent shops at present is really helpful, which ShopAppy has done.
"We appreciate the opportunity to further promote our shop window to a wider market and look forward to developing our presence through ShopAppy.”
Chair of the Yorkshire Coast BID, Clive Rowe-Evans, says: “Our decision to fund ShopAppy enabled our BID business community to maximise online sales and paved the way for ShopAppy to generously extend that offer to include all businesses across the Yorkshire Coast.
"We are delighted that this partnership will benefit so many businesses and residents during this time of change.
Click here for more information and to sign up.