More than 50 local businesses so far have signed up to ShopAppy, an initiative supported by North East Lincolnshire Council to help provide a free online sales platform for small businesses.
The platform was launched earlier this year to help small businesses recover from the effects of the pandemic, but this week, (4-10 October) will see a mixture of digital activity and events taking place inside two independent retailers in Grimsby and Cleethorpes to celebrate this milestone.
Since June 2021 businesses in North East Lincolnshire have been able to join the online selling platform ShopAppy for free, thanks to North East Lincolnshire Council and the Coastal Communities Fund. Following a period of raising awareness and recruiting local businesses to the platform, ShopAppy is now launching officially across North East Lincolnshire.
Grimsby retailer, It Started with a Stitch, and Cleethorpes retailer Paint Box are hosting fun activities for families to get involved with throughout the week. Families can get involved with designing, colouring, and creating the world’s most magical high street. Designs made during the week will go into a prize draw to win gift vouchers to be used at the hosting retailers. Join in on the activities at It Started with a Stitch from 9:30am to 4pm (from 4-10 October) and Paint Box from 10am to 4pm (5-9 October).
To complement the in-store activity, local business and retail champions Loyal to Local will be spreading the message of how you can support local businesses online. You can follow Loyal to Local on Facebook and Instagram at facebook.com/loyaltolocalnel and Instagram @loyaltolocalnel.
It Started with a Stitch and Paint Box are long time advocates of ShopAppy, having embraced the platform and benefiting from the functionality and benefits it brings to both business and customers. Those visiting the two retailers throughout the week can learn more about the local businesses already trading on ShopAppy and how they can register and begin buying from and supporting local business online.
Rachel Harvey of The Paint Box in Cleethorpes “ShopAppy has been so easy to use, and customers love having a good virtual browse. The site helps people see why they should make a trip in, but ensures they can get the online convenience they get from the giants, if it’s difficult to come into town in person”
To date ShopAppy has recruited more than 50 local independent businesses from North East Lincolnshire trading on its platform. New customers who register to the platform during the official launch week have a chance of winning a £5 voucher to use at any of the participating businesses.
Gemma Winter who runs It Started with a Stitch in Grimsby, said “I’m excited about ShopAppy and that the council is supporting local businesses to be on the platform. It will make it easier for customers to buy from their favourite small businesses in a quick and effortless way. It is fantastic to see what we have to offer all in one place, which I hope makes people think locally before spending with the big multi-national businesses.”
It is not too late for NEL businesses to join ShopAppy. Businesses who join will benefit from free access to ShopAppy until 30 June 2022 where the only fees taken are a 2% card processing fee on transactions. Businesses are being invited to register now on shopappy.com/vendor, selecting the ‘free use’ option.
The ShopAppy.com team are available to answer any questions and support those who need help creating their online store and can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Interested businesses are also invited to join the ShopAppy Facebook group ‘ShopAppy Family’ where they can talk with other business owners and learn from others.
ShopAppy.com is not only for traditional retail businesses, it can also help services, trades, B2B businesses, chefs, pop-ups, entertainers, and market stalls with bookings, click and collect, home delivery and can even host virtual events such as fairs and markets.
The founder of ShopAppy.com, Dr Jackie Mulligan, says: “We’re very excited to be working across the whole of North East Lincolnshire and partnering with the council on the launch of ShopAppy.com here. It could not be a more critical time for businesses to work together and make it easier for locals to spend closer to home. When we spend local, our spend stays local – so whether you use ShopAppy to browse and go in person or to book something or shop online, you can easily help your area – because where you spend matters for local jobs and local businesses and for our national recovery.”