HubHop - New shopping app for independent shops in North Devon

App creator and former Pilton Community College student Owen with Hub Hop QR cards

App creator and former Pilton Community College student Owen with Hub Hop QR cards - Credit: Seth Conway Media

A new nationwide app which encourages people to shop local and support independent businesses is being piloted in North Devon and Torridge from this month.

HubHop - an umbrella app for all independent businesses has been created by former Pilton Community College student Owen Kewley as a way of attracting consumers back to the High Street and also to help people discover hidden gems they may not otherwise know about.

“The lockdowns and shop closures over the past 14 months have been really hard for everyone but especially for independent businesses who had to close, now the challenge for local businesses is to encourage people back to shop with them and that’s where I believe HubHop can really help,” said Owen.

Many local businesses in North Devon have already been added to the platform but other businesses can also add themselves by downloading the app and filling in the ‘Add your business’ form integrated into the app.

The app is free to download and join for both business owners and members of the public as the 27-year-old explained: “The last thing that independent traders need right now is to have to pay to be listed on HubHop.

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“It’s free for them to sign up and includes a unique profile page, a picture of the business, a small description, directions straight to the business which is perfect for tourists and locals alike and their contact details.

“What makes this app different and something that also benefits both app users and businesses is the ability to send and receive push notifications - for app users this gives them the opportunity to keep up to date with the latest news, updates and deals such as ‘Two for one’ or a ‘flash sale’ that businesses in the local area are offering. For businesses it gives them a direct digital link to local consumers in a completely new way to traditional advertising… No one else is offering this!  

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“I also wanted to thank and reward app users for shopping locally, that’s why I designed Hubcard, a loyalty card system within the app that’s free to join and every month gives users the chance to be entered into a monthly giveaway.”

Owen added: “It’s simple - just scan our QR code located at participating retailers when making a purchase, once you’ve made 10 separate purchases and gained 10 points on your Hubcard you are automatically entered into the monthly draw to win prizes.”

Ellie Burrt-Jones from The Brew House coffee shop in Barnstaple High Street is already a supporter of HubHop and can see its potential in attracting customers to get involved:  

“This is a great idea from Owen. It would be just too expensive for us to create our own app and customers could end up with loads of apps on their phone if every shop had its own. So, to be included on a free shop local app which will direct customers to our door is fantastic news and I’d encourage all local businesses to sign up and shoppers to download it.”  

The app is available to download for free now from the Apple App Store for iOS users as well as The Google Play Store for Android phones.

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