Businesses encouraged to register now for a free opportunity to join a virtual high street: Chichester District Council

ShopAppy is an online shopping platform that shoppers can use to book, buy, collect or get a convenient home delivery from small, local businesses with one simple checkout.

Specially tailored websites have been created for Chichester, East Wittering, Petworth, Midhurst and Selsey, through funding from Chichester District Council.

Jonathan and Sarah Farnell, owners of Active Bike Co, are one of the first businesses to sign up.

“I would like to focus on growing my business this year. It is the right time to give a greater breadth and awareness to the business,” says Jonathan. “Support for small, local businesses is really important and ShopAppy is just what I was looking for. It is very helpful.”

Customers can use ShopAppy to book a service or browse what’s on offer at Active Bike Co, then pop into the workshop in Bosham, proving it’s not just high street shops that can take advantage of ShopAppy.

Councillor Tony Dignum, Cabinet Member for Growth, Place and Regeneration, comments: “I would urge businesses to make the most of this free platform, which is being paid for by the council using Government Additional Restrictions Grant funding.

“Many people shop online so we need to consider how we use this method of purchasing to drive people back to the businesses on our high streets.

“The partnership with ShopAppy gives us an opportunity to encourage people to spend with our high street retailers, while also helping local businesses to get online.

“If shoppers are going to make a purchase online, ShopAppy gives them the option to make that purchase from an independent business within our district and know that the money they have spent will go back into the local economy.”

Data from ShopAppy has shown that subscribers have seen a big uptick in additional sales with the click and collect service it offers. This online opportunity is offering businesses a chance for an additional revenue stream.

Tony adds: “By ordering through the ShopAppy platform, and collecting from the shops, we hope buyers will make the most of the wonderful selection of other high street businesses and eateries while they’re there.”

Chichester Business Improvement District (BID) is supporting the project. “We believe ShopAppy is a simple way for our independent businesses to increase their customer reach,” says Vice Chair Helen Marshall.

“It is an additional route to market for these entrepreneurial businesses that will help deliver a truly multi-channel opportunity at minimum risk and outlay to them. Being able to showcase the creativity and uniqueness of our city centre independent businesses on a user friendly and accessible website is a very commercial addition to the post-pandemic tool kit for the city centre as well as the individual businesses.

“This will certainly help drive awareness of our unique retail offering and drive footfall into the city. We are thrilled to be able to support Chichester District Council in the roll out of this initiative.”

Full training will be given to all those who wish to join the ShopAppy platform. 

It is free to join until the end of March 2022 and ShopAppy will then offer a further 12 months free on the platform. 

Once registered, businesses can quickly populate their own mini-site with goods and services on their town’s page at no cost.

Businesses can find out more by visiting 


 or they can talk to one of the ShopAppy team by emailing:

Reference: 4090

Date: 02 February 2022

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