Place Managers share the benefits of ShopAppy

During our recent panel we asked place partners from around the UK to share why they chose to partner with and what the partnership is delivering for them so far.  On this panel we welcomed Senior Economic Development Officer of Culture, Heritage and Tourism at Derbyshire County Council, Alison Foote, Taunton Town Centre Manager, Craig Stone and Market and Enterprise Officer of Economic Development and Regeneration from Basildon Borough Council, John Micheal. 

View the full session here.

Panelists share their reasons for joining in one word





Panelists explained that joining ShopAppy had enabled them to address multiple challenges in one solution. Creating a digital replication of their physical highstreets to enable local businesses to continue to trade but also to make the high street more accessible to all customers has enabled them to maintain local distinctiveness and resilience. Convenience was identified as one of the most important factors for customers, ShopAppy was a reliable platform to enable their high streets to be accessible and inclusive no matter what the trading conditions. 

Using ShopAppy as a means to enhance collaboration

For Derbyshire Council Council, to achieve a resilient highstreet they sought a partner that they could trust and one that could deliver a suitable solution for all of their districts and one that could produce speedy results. Taunton needed a solution that brought their community of businesses together and alongside their support gave the businesses a sense of ownership over their recovery whilst Basildon aimed to address the decline in footfall and the impact the pandemic has had in terms of feeding the already existing social inequalities within their community. 

Alison Foote believes a collaborative culture and empowering collective working between place managers, ShopAppy and business owners is the best way to address and overcome the challenges our business owners and high streets are facing. Taunton, an area who has seen first hand the benefits of this approach, launched a collaborative marketing campaign that reached 130,000 people with a local PR company that has a shop window on ShopAppy, see the campaign here. This campaign showed leadership and rewarded those who were adapting together. They have also been able to embed ShopAppy into their public health messaging “Stay safe, wear a mask, shop local with” and aim to use this messaging in the safe reopening of their highstreet. 

Basildon Council has adapted a collaborative model with a social focus - addressing the inequalities in their community by enabling their community members to donate to food banks when shopping with  John Micheal stated “It has created a narrative of positive psychological effect that is a direct effect of local customers feeling empowered and feeling they can really directly contribute to the recovery of their local community” By utilising the local ShopAppy delivery partners the council will be able to distribute this food to those in need across their community.

Shaping a collaborative future

ShopAppy encourages creativity and believes the best ways for towns to achieve high street resilience is to adapt their messaging in a way that is relevant to each individual town or community. ShopAppy has created a framework that puts key focuses on the individuality of each town and has highlighted the huge opportunity for growth in terms of how people shop and work within these towns. 

ShopAppy reminds us of the importance of the positive psychological effects we experience when we work together and reminds us that we are in control and we can do something about the challenges we face. 

The panelists plan to embed ShopAppy into future strategies with so many possibilities for collaboration through the platform. Councils are planning on using the site to address green growth and how shopping local can help combat the carbon footprint of the area, others will use ShopAppy to dress empty units and embed shopping local with ShopAppy into their strategy to fill the highstreet with new shops and vibrancy. Alison Foote stated that other departments are beginning to look at how they can embed ShopAppy into their future plans and are eager to utilise shopappy in attracting tourists back to their towns post Covid, using the platform for local events ie as a ticketing service, as a way of encouraging events to source their produce, equipment and services from local suppliers and to showcase their independent shops as part of their distinctiveness.

If you are a town or city centre manager or involved in managing a local area or community and have any questions about how you can join ShopAppy email us on [email protected] and we will be happy to discuss how we can help you!

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