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Navigating the new normal
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June 2020

 

4 - 5 Minutes

ShopAppy: The virtual marketplace supporting small businesses with their recovery online

For consumers across Europe, online purchases are no longer just about convenience – they have become a necessity.

This trend has accelerated throughout the Covid-19 crisis, with 14 countries across Europe seeing a 25% or higher increase in e-commerce transactions in April compared with the same time last year.1

Early indications also show that e-commerce will play a critical role in the economic recovery.

However, for those small businesses that relied on customers physically coming into their stores before Covid-19 hit, things have been especially hard.

This is where ShopAppy has come into its own. A virtual marketplace for small local retailers in the UK, it quickly gives everyone from florists to butchers and from bakers to antique dealers an online presence and a way to reconnect with customers. The website allows shoppers to fill a virtual basket with local products, which is then delivered or stored at a designated site (with late opening hours) for them to collect at their convenience.

Last year, 600 businesses in 29 towns were featured on the site. Within three weeks of lockdown in the UK, that number increased to 103 towns with an average of 50 new businesses signing up each week.

Hear more from founder Dr. Jackie Mulligan about what she has learned from the Covid-19 crisis and how it has galvanised communities to support their local retailers.

Formerly a Principal Lecturer and Director of Enterprise in Leeds, England, Dr. Jackie Mulligan left her academic career to found ShopAppy

She has taken inspiration from her doctoral research into the importance of place on mental health and wellbeing, and how shopping locally can impact consumer happiness. Jackie’s other roles include being a communications director and consultant in the Caribbean. She also worked for a lottery body managing funding decisions and programmes for towns and cities across the UK.

 

Visa has partnered with ShopAppy, providing investment and expertise to help the platform roll-out on a national scale in the UK, with an aim to support more small businesses to sell and deliver to their local community.

1 Visa data. E-commerce or online refers to Card Not Present (CNP) transactions

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