Emerging Project

Town Centre Website / App

Idea: Town Centre e-Commerce Platform – a website/app that allows you to browse the local high street offer online & shop

The Town Team has recently set up an online directory of local shops, places to eat & drink and things to do, with listings of events and news alongside articles by High Living. It also indicates those businesses that can provide deliveries – see www.lovebarnet.co.uk

There is an opportunity for these groups to collaborate to create a ‘one-stop’ integrated platform to support businesses to sell products and services on-line. Example businesses could include grocers, wine merchants, present-shops, flower-shops and bakeries etc. Vouchers and special offers could be included for businesses that sell services, experiences or goods that cannot be sold online, such as restaurants, pubs, theatres, hair salons, tailors and plumbers etc. There could also be listings of rentable community facilities, allowing you to book online.

Why it is useful:

  • Drive sales, footfall and publicise the local offer
  • Connect to a local delivery service (see separate project)
  • Could also connect to a Town Centre Community Fund, indicating the funding gathered and what it has been used to deliver (see separate project)
  • Support businesses to develop their online presence
  • Connect to local day trips, guided tours, and historic buildings open days

Who needs to be involved:

  • Town Team/Love Barnet/High Living: Lead/Content Producers (features / guides etc)
  • Council: Support
  • Local Business: Sell Goods / Advertise
  • Cultural institutions: Feature / Advertise
  • Website/App Operator: Aim to consolidate online platform and delivery service
  • Website developer and Graphic Designers (could be the operator)

How to get started:

  • Develop brief & procure developers / designers
  • Engage with local businesses
  • Launch pilot

Viability considerations:

  • Funding opportunities: Crowdfund and Chipping Barnet Area Committee Budget for seed funding, with an ongoing membership fee for selling goods, advertising space with a small percentage taken from each sale to go toward a Town Centre Community Fund
  • Resource: Ongoing costs come out of membership fee and then all profits go into a community fund

Example: Original Shrewsbury

The Original Shrewsbury website is run by Shrewsbury Business Improvement District to promote the town centre as a place to live, work, visit and invest. The website includes listings of places to shop, eat & drink, and stay, as well as events, attractions and services for both visitors and locals. It is easy to navigate either via categories or an interactive map. Alongside listings, the website is kept up to date with features and guides, offering news and promotions of the town centre. Following the Covid crisis, they have also created a virtual marketplace to support local businesses called Support Shrewsbury that allows you to purchases vouchers and experiences.

Example: Click It Local

Click It Local’s ethos is to enable local independent shops and retailers to be able to compete with the likes of Amazon on convenience and choice. Shoppers can use the site to buy from multiple local retailers online with one website, one payment and get one same-day delivery