ShopAppy was founded by Jackie Mulligan, who loves shopping in her home town of Saltaire. She and many of her friends were worried about seeing many of the great local shops struggling because of the increasing competition from supermarkets and online shopping giants. She even saw some shops closing to become online sellers - leaving vacant shops in the town. Jackie explains "I realised how happy it made me feel to have these lovely shops so close by, and how enjoyable it was to shop locally where you could speak to shopkeepers about the products because they had chosen them and they had bought them. I also noticed that in the local shops, residents talked to each other, shopping local just makes us all feel more connected and happy. I called it feeling 'shopappy' because I am a cockney and always drop my H's"
She also met lots of people who cared a lot about shopping local, but when they got home from work the shops were closed.
Jackie set about creating ShopAppy by cooking spaghetti bolognese and inviting local shopkeepers, friends and family round to her house to tell them her big idea.
It was quite simple really - give local shops the power of a superstore by having all the local products in one place. The site would provide convenience with a local conscience. She met independent shops who were worried about going online, mostly because they loved meeting people and seeing people in their shops. So the solution was to use click and collect, which would bring customers into town. She also believes that when people see what they have on offer nearby, they could well be likely to just pop along to the shops and see the products in real-life
One of Jackie's neighbours ran a digital agency called Marvellous, which sounded just the right name for a site like Shopappy. The Marvellous team worked with Jackie and the shopkeepers in Saltaire to shape the site you see before you. Of course it is only new. And we have big plans to make it even better but we know that it will always have saving our local high streets and local independent shops at its heart.
After many months of work, Jackie launched the ShopAppy site in her Yorkshire town of Saltaire and also nearby Otley, in November 2016.
Since launch, ShopAppy has grown from the two first towns to many towns across Yorkshire and in in 2018, the first towns outside Yorkshire will launch with the vision to help revitalise town centres, market towns, shopping districts by combining clicks and mortar. Already the site has started to make impact. ShopAppy towns are climbing the UK digital influence index, 91% of people are saying ShopAppy encourages them to shop local more and shops are reporting seeing new customers inspired to come into towns by the shop windows online.
Jackie is delighted that it is launched, she says “ShopAppy gives local shops and businesses in every town a 24-hour shop window, doesn’t take commission on sales and encourages shoppers to look at what amazing things are on their doorstep which in turn inspires visits and customers. It is great to have convenience but it is also great when you feel good about where you shop. That's what might make us all shopappy !”