Local businesses invited to help design mobile apps for Leith and Broughton

Independent local businesses are invited to a special meeting to help refine the design of a mobile app designed to boost the links between local residents and local traders.

Over the years, Greener Leith has campaigned in support of our local neighbourhood independent stores. 

Our first ever project in 2007 was a smart shopping bag project, and this was subsequently refined into the “We Love Leith” bonus bag scheme which we ran over two years until 2011. This scheme encouraged local traders to give a small discount to people who used the branded shopping bag as a reward for their loyalty to the neighbourhood.

5000 shopping bags, and a lot of direct mail later, and an indepenent evaluation of the We Love Leith project found that 85% of the people who participated in the project said that they were more likely to shop local as a result.  

But despite this, we were never able to find a way of sustainably purchasing more shopping bags to keep the momentum of the project going.

So now we’re going mobile and high-tech – we’re replacing the shopping bag loyalty idea with a suite of mobile apps for the neighbourhood that will work like a loyalty card for independent traders. Without the hassle of having to remember to carry anything extra.

But it will also be more than a loyalty card app and better than a local directory – the apps will also help to build social relationships between local businesses and local residents. As display advertising both on and offline becomes more and more inneffective – all businesses need to find new ways to connect with their customers and we hope that these apps will be a new and interesting way to do this.

Best of all, after a year or so, we’ll be able to provide really detailed feedback to participating businesses about how the apps have been used and where their customers shop (whilst respecting individuals privacy of course!). This information could be really useful to local traders – and normally you’d have to pay a fortune to marketing agences for the same level of insight.

Working with the Broughton Spurtle, we’ve secured funding from NESTA to build the apps, but we want to involve as many local businesses as possible in the process of designing the apps so that it really meets the needs of local traders. We want to know how we can improve our existing plans. 

Local residents and traders will be able to find out more about how the apps will work, quiz the development team and give feedback on the proposals at the meeting.

The meeting will take place at the Duncan Place Resource Centre, on November the 6th at 7.30pm.  Hope to see you there. 

As the project has been fully funded for the first twelve months of operation, there will be no charge to independent Leith businesses for taking part in the project at launch.