“Think of us like the dating app of local shopping.”
That’s how the founder of POP Canberra, the lively retail playground on Lonsdale Street in Braddon, describes the store’s new online shopping smartphone app.
Only a few weeks in from launch, the ‘POP-Shop’ app broke the Top 100 list of Shopping apps on Apple’s App store on Monday, 25 September, to sit at 81.
“It’s really taken off,” Gabe Trew says.
“Since we went live three weeks ago, we’ve had over 5000 downloads and, more importantly, over 1000 sales already.”
POP provides a virtual shopfront for more than 250 producers from across the Canberra region to sell their handmade and artisan wares. These include 2500 types of locally made earrings, the work of 160 artists and illustrators, and product from 45 wineries, for a total range of more than 10,000 products.
The app, developed by Joe Tsindos, simply takes many of these online.
“It’s yet another way we can support local creators,” Gabe says.
“We always wanted to reduce the barriers to shopping locally for as many Australians as possible. We’ve done that in Canberra with our Braddon store, and our new social shopping marketplace app will make finding and accessing local creators, makers and their wares even easier for shoppers all over Australia.”
With fun and colourful branding to match the facelifted brick-and-mortar store, the app includes a live video feed and inbox messaging. But where POP might be a Canberra thing, the app is open to makers who may not have physical produce in the store and will show users all of the items they can purchase nearest to them. Think of it like Facebook Marketplace, but purely for local produce.
Or, as Gabe says: “We’re connecting the buyers directly with local creators and vice versa. Plus, it’s actually pretty fun to use.”
Creators walk away with 85 per cent from every sale, with no extra hidden fees or costs.
“The app is everything that customers have come to know and love most about POP – our sense of fun and vibrancy, supporting local makers, creators and artists, connecting with real people and their stories – and beyond that, helping to provide local creators with a livelihood beyond their regular nine-to-five jobs,” Gabe says.
It’s encouraging news for a store that was facing a very uncertain future earlier this year.
POP entered voluntary administration in April after “legacy problems” from COVID-19 caught up with them. Documents revealed they owed about $1 million to 13 creditors. Last month, however, the creditors voted to keep POP alive and instead accept a percentage payment of the debt.
Gabe says it was a move that showed all parties are “really confident the business can move forward in a really positive way”.
The new POP-shop local app is available now and can be downloaded for free via the App Store, Google Play or here.
POP Canberra is located at 27 Lonsdale St, Braddon. It’s open from 10 am to 6 pm from Monday to Wednesday, 10 am to 9 pm from Thursday to Friday, 9 am to 9 pm on Saturday, and 9 am to 5 pm on Sunday.
Visit POP Canberra for more information.
Original Article published by James Coleman on Riotact.