COLERAINE Business Improvement District is asking the town’s retailers to join a collaborative online marketplace in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
With footfall declining in the town as a side effect of self isolation and coronavirus concerns, the BID team announced, on Friday, an initiative.
Coleraine’s ‘Shopappy’ scheme, which is the first of its kind in Northern Ireland, supports shopping locally from the comfort of your own home where you can order from a range of registered outlets.
There’s no cost for local delivery and the BID team has pledged to cover the subscription cost for businesses for the next year.
BID Manager Jamie Hamill explains: “We recognise that this pandemic represents a very worrying time for everyone, including the business community and we wanted to set up something positive in response.
“People might not visit the town centre as often as they would have, but they will still need to purchase goods and Shopappy aims to streamline this and make it as easy as possible.
“Coleraine BID was established to support its members and in these challenging times this is more crucial than ever.
“If our members do not have an E-Commerce business already, this is an opportunity for you to make that step with added support.
“If you already sell online we would encourage you to get on board with this new platform. By working together with us you can help to market the whole of Coleraine in one place.”
To get involved BID members should follow these steps:
Go to shopappy.com/vendor
Click on the green button at the bottom to register as a vendor.
Fill in your details and select the pay later button (as the BID will be covering the cost).
You will receive information and some videos to help get you started and if you have any problems you can email firstname.lastname@example.org contact Coleraine BID directly.
The BID team is encouraging retailers to initially offer bundles or packs, ranging in value from £5 to £30.
Potential ideas include a grocery offering like seasonal veg boxes, meat parcels and deli hampers to ‘dinner date’ ingredients or afternoon tea.
For children, what about a toy box, games package or craft pack? Other ideas include newspapers, magazines and novels, skin and hair care or cleaning products.
Whatever your offering, Shopappy says they can help you continue to reach new and existing customers over the weeks and months ahead.