Yorkshire-based online business ShopAppy launched in 2016, aiming to provide a virtual shop window for local shops. However, it quickly found users were dropping off the website. The company had a tendency to rush into development changes based on one or two opinions, rather than prioritising based on user business data.
The first step was to analyse how customers were using the site. The data showed users were dropping off when it came to inputting their location. Customers would type in their postcode and the site would automatically display the nearest town. They then listened to customer feedback and discovered that while the tool was functional, it wasn’t matching user needs.
Led by founder Jackie Mulligan, ShopAppy developed its location tool. It allowed customers to choose a location from a list rather than automatically displaying a home town. It gave customers more flexibility in choosing the town they wanted to visit and enabled them to change location quickly while travelling across the country.
ShopAppy also focused on planning out development and saying “no” to new opportunities.
“I’m impatient and I always want to develop more,” Mulligan said. “When we talk to retailers they’ll want to add new components as well. But now we can stop and ask: will this benefit the customer experience? Can we save that until later?”
In the last year, ShopAppy has grown from featuring ten towns to 25. Using data about online activity and taking regular customer feedback has been “game-changing” for the company.
The company’s planning on expanding to 55 towns next, without any additional sales or marketing activity. “The appetite’s just there,” Mulligan said. “We’re growing to meet demand.”
“It’s all about taking our customers with us,” Mulligan said. “You have to look at how people are using the site. It might be easy enough to use, but is it inspiring them? How can they engage more?”