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7 key take-aways for your business to make the most of

During our recent panel session featuring some of the businesses currently using ShopAppy who have made thousands of pounds worth of sales over the last few months, we asked them to share their insights on how to make the most of ShopAppy.  Read on to find out some of their top tips summarised below or view the full session here.

If you need help implementing any of the ideas and tips shared below, join one of our weekly drop in sessions or get in touch with the ShopAppy community team.


Update stock regularly 

Businesses who are selling online often overlook the importance of updating stock so that the page always looks a bit different when consumers return to it.  Having an up-to-date inventory of stock also allows customers to browse for the items they wish to purchase before visiting the store in person. 

Barry, owner of The Artery in Banbury said that he spent most of the first Lockdown trying to upload as many items as possible to his page and continues to add a few items every week. The value of doing this has been huge to his business.  Barry explains “ We find that people look on (ShopAppy) and if they don’t buy from ShopAppy that time, they’ll check what we have in the shop and then when they come in they’ll know what they want and use their knowledge from ShopAppy to enhance their shopping experience in store.”

ShopAppy also provides an ideal testing ground of new product ideas – you can bring products together in new ways and not have the costs of creating that product in store – you could create a craft kit with a lesson, a pair of GHDs and a free hair styling, a recipe box – digital is a great way to inspire customers and test new ideas.


Incorporate into your website

Even the most basic websites benefit from referring visitors to this could be via a link on the home page, a “browse our shelves” type option or something similar.  The potential gains could be huge as research shows that referrals from social media or a company’s website often result in a higher conversion rate from browsing to purchasing.


Let ShopAppy be your shop window 

One of the biggest benefits of ShopAppy is that it can act as your shop window.  Research shows that two thirds of consumers browse online before going into a store and the lockdown has meant a lot of ShopAppy customers use the platform to do their pre-trip browsing, before going into the store to purchase. 

Kevin, owner of The Little Refill Shop explains “We have an elderly customer that hasn’t been out to the shops since March but she rings us up and places her order and she’s looking on ShopAppy to see what we’ve got.  She’s not happy giving card details out over the internet but she happily rings up and tells us what she wants.” 


Share Share Share (your ShopAppy link)

A key practise that should be used to drive business is to keep sharing your ShopAppy shop link. There are various ways that this can be done such as using it when responding to enquiries or providing it within a auto response message and adding a ‘shop now’ button on your facebook pages.  

Rachel from The Paint Box in Cleethorpes told us “If someone says “can I buy this” don’t even contemplate doing it in any other way than via ShopAppy.  Keep sending people back to ShopAppy so they keep using it.”

Barry from The Artery in Banbury runs free monthly art demonstrations on Facebook and has taken to sharing the links for each item he uses to make it easier for consumers to make purchases and this often results in a noticeable increase in sales after his events. 

With most independent businesses using social media, displaying the ShopAppy link is an easy win and another way to direct users to the page.  Our panel said social media was most effective when customers shared posts featuring their products as there was usually a direct correlation between the posts and increased sales. 

Another effective use of social media is to set up an automated Facebook messenger response, sending people to if they wish to make a purchase.  By checking messages periodically throughout the day, it’s often easy to spot the customers that have converted and follow up on those that haven’t. 


Let your customers sell your products

User generated content is as authentic as it gets.  A great way of utilising it to its full potential is using it to showcase your products, for example one of our business’s – a Pizza Café – was selling pizza ingredients for DIY pizzas and was receiving photos of his customer’s finished products.  He started sharing the photos onto social media and then decided to make the photos work harder by using customer photos on ShopAppy to sell the product. 


Personality Sells 

When consumers buy from an independent retailer, they are buying into the person selling the brand.  Capitalising on the personality behind your business can work wonders.  For some this may be as simple as sharing photos and stories relating to you and your family on social media or alternatively you could personalise your product offer. 

Barry from The Artery in Banbury for example created a bundle of 3 paintbrushes – “Barry’s Trio of Brushes” which he uses in his monthly art demonstrations.  To personalise the offer he made a plasticine version of himself and used this in the product listing on ShopAppy.  Sales of the bundle sky-rocketed after his demonstrations, with those purchasing likely hoping that Barry’s artistic talent would rub off! 


The world is your oyster

Whilst ShopAppy may have started as a very local platform, the pandemic has seen consumers think more about how and what they purchase with many favouring independent retailers over mass market retail and Amazon.  As an outcome of the initial lockdown, many businesses have had to innovate in order to continue supplying their customers and one element that has been hugely successful is the offer of delivery. 

On a local level some companies have taken this on inhouse as a way to keep the personal contact with their customers whilst others have used the ShopAppy delivery options directly.  However over Christmas selling on a national level increased with a number of our businesses having reported an increase in orders from other parts of the country for various reasons since adding the option of postage. 

Making use of the flexibility in the platform has allowed businesses to implement delivery in numerous ways, some have chosen to add it as an individual product that can be added to the basket value which has worked well, others have chosen to simply absorb the delivery cost or have added postage to individual products.  One of the best examples of delivery working well was when someone from Romania wanted to buy a gift for a family member in the UK and wanted it to be from a shop local to their family, so they used ShopAppy to make the purchase – using it like an Amazon for independents! 

For further help implementing any of these tips or sharing some of your tips, join our weekly drop in sessions on Tuesdays at 3.30pm where a member of the team will answer any questions or provide any additional guidance required. Click on the link below to join or contact your community lead via [email protected]