A local ex racehorse jockey has created an innovative award-winning new smartphone app to empower local businesses to compete against multinationals by attracting more customers and communicating directly with consumers.
The free to download app, called ‘Roam Local’, promoting over 20,000 local businesses across the North East, supporting the #Shoplocal focus and allows businesses to increase exposure both within the local community and on a nation-wide directory to attract both visitors and local customers.
Andrew Bartlett, Founder and Managing Director of Roam Local, explains: “Multinationals can afford to spend £thousands on their websites and apps, which small companies can’t, so I developed this free to download app to help promote local businesses, helping them to compete, increase footfall and bounce back from lockdown, which has already proven a success by businesses which have started using it.
The app has attracted the backing of many North East MPs, Combined Authorities, Business Improvement Districts and Area Action Partnerships, one of which has funded a ‘#ShopLocal’ trial of the Roam Local app in Chester-le-Street – with over 200 businesses – providing marketing support to shops and advertising banners lining the front street to spread awareness and rejuvenate the community and local economy.
The campaign is already enjoying great success, with 40% of local households having downloaded the free app and local shops receiving over 150,000 impressions (businesses who have been clicked on by locals).
As local Chester-le-Street businesswoman, Deborah Price, from the Craft Fair company said, “We love being on Roam, we’re finding it really useful and encouraging our customers to download and interact with us. We like how we can showcase our business information and services to attract both locals and visitors to shop with us.
Mr Bartlett added: “Our App is not only designed to attract new customers, but to build loyalty and repeat business, providing a dramatic increase of profits.
“A great example of Roam’s success is Babul’s, an exciting fusion Indian restaurant in County Durham, that specialises in curry, coffee and cocktails who signed up over 300 followers and achieved unprecedented results after adopting Roam as their go-to marketing platform.
As Zak Ahmed, owner of Babul’s Indian Restaurant, explains: “We joined Roam Local in October 2020 during the Covid-19 pandemic with, to be honest, little idea if it could save us… However, by using Roam we were able to directly engage with new and existing customers, providing them with our menus and all kinds of loyalty rewards, news, and offers.
“We were astonished at the results, increasing our profits by 30% in just four weeks, during a pandemic compared to October 2019 across both dine-in and takeaway services. Roam was invaluable, and we wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them.”
Babuls went on to win the most innovative Indian Restaurant award across the UK.
For further information or to sign up for the free App, visit: Roam-Local.co.uk/for-business