New marketplace from high street app LoyalFree provides a lifeline for independent businesses 

Multi award-winning app LoyalFree, founded by Jason Nesbitt and Sophie Hainsworth of Leicester, was originally created to help high-street businesses increase sales, reward customers and provide local tours and trails. Now working in 18 UK towns and cities the business is quickly adapting to support the high street through recovery. Alongside new trails detailing businesses which are open or delivering, LoyalFree has launched a new online marketplace to support independent businesses.

Partnering with Leicester Business Improvement District (BID Leicester) LoyalFree wanted to increase the support offered to businesses during this critical time. The team worked feverishly to bring forward the launch of their dedicated local marketplace.

Simon Jenner, Director of BID Leicester, said, “I’m delighted that we are able to offer LoyalFree marketplace to BID levy-payers, providing a quick and easy solution for those without their own online store to continue serving their customers. I’d urge other BID Businesses to make the most of this platform – whether selling products or gift vouchers for dinner or drinks to be enjoyed at a future date, LoyalFree marketplace can help support businesses with vital sales income whilst city centre premises remain closed.

The LoyalFree marketplace allows independent businesses to sell products online, without any charge or commission except a small payment processing fee – if they are part of BID Leicester. This provides offline businesses a lifeline during the COVID-19 lockdown period. Businesses can utilise the platform to increase critical cash flow without incurring the expense of creating their own e-commerce site or paying commission through existing ones.

Within the first week of launch, LoyalFree has seen creative solutions with businesses offering future experiences such as Cocktail Masterclasses from Manhattan34 or Beer Tasting at The Exchange Bar. Products are also on sale, with a wide variety available from Healthy Route Leicester.

BID Leicester launched the LoyalFree marketplace at the beginning of May 2020 and has seen great results already. The Beautiful Pubs Collective was an early adopter of the marketplace and received £1,000 worth of orders for a Greek Banquet within the first week.

Sam Hagger from Beautiful Pubs said, ‘We were extremely impressed with LoyalFree’s turnkey solution to allow our traditionally offline business to sell online quickly & efficiently. We registered with LoyalFree, the integrated Stripe merchant service & received our first order in just less than two hours. I would highly recommend any traditionally offline business explores this opportunity to sell, especially if you are BID Leicester levy payer to whom this service is free!

LoyalFree is now rolling out the marketplace to other towns and cities to help businesses continue to thrive once the government begins to lift trading restrictions. Along with the deals and outdoor trails, the new marketplace will play a key role in the recovery strategy of the high street.

Find out more via the BID Leicester website  www.bidleicester.co.uk