Award-winning Roam app extends rollout across Northern Ireland

  • An award-winning smartphone app developed to drive high street footfall and endorsed by leading industry groups Hospitality Ulster and Retail NI has marked the start of a full rollout across Northern Ireland with a new launch in Belfast.

    The Roam Local app, which has already been the recipient of a number of major awards including Best Local Travel App 2022 at the UK Enterprise Awards, celebrated its official launch at Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter with a variety of city and industry stakeholders.

    It will now be rolled out across Belfast and Northern Ireland following a successful pilot in Bangor earlier this year.

    The digital technology, which uses GPS coordinates to directly link consumers to local bars, restaurants, hotels, shops, offers and more, was established in Durham by former professional jump jockey Andrew Bartlett.

    Helping users to access information on entertainment options, find new places to go and receive personalised offers and rewards, the app is designed to boost footfall and revenues by up to 30% in areas where it operates. It has been backed by Bangor Chamber of Commerce, Retail NI, Hospitality Ulster, Cathedral Quarter BID and Ards and North Down Borough Council among others.

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    Speaking about the rollout, Roam Local app founder Andrew Bartlett said: “The majority of small and independent retail and hospitality businesses still emerging from the pandemic and facing a cost-of-living crisis are in a fresh fight for footfall.  Most simply don’t have the big marketing budgets which national or multinational chains enjoy to promote themselves to consumers, which is where the Roam app can really make a difference.”

    The free-to-download digital solution enables businesses to showcase themselves and their destination, keeping visitors regularly engaged.

    Andrew Bartlett, from Darlington, launched Roam app in 2017, and it is now used by more than half a million people across the UK, and many more worldwide.

    Andrew added: “I established Roam Local to help support and empower businesses to market themselves using a low, cost-effective solution that promotes their offer, attracts customers and delivers a real investment return. As SMEs continue to emerge from the effects of the pandemic, and are faced by rising costs, its need has never been greater.”

    Bricks-and-mortar businesses, such as shops, cafes, bars and cultural venues, can tailor their listings with images and other information to show themselves off in the most effective way using the app. Through push notifications, it allows businesses to communicate directly to their customers any news, offers, events or loyalty rewards that they have available.

    Four push notifications a month are included for free. However, businesses can purchase affordable bundles of extra notifications if they wish to communicate with their customers more frequently.

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    Welcoming Roam Local’s rollout across Northern Ireland, Colin Neill, chief executive of Hospitality Ulster, said: “Businesses are facing a series of new crises. Rising energy bills and weakening consumer confidence means we need every tool in the box to help stimulate consumer demand and footfall on high streets, to support jobs and livelihoods and safeguard future investment. This new digital solution has proven to be a great local success to date and I hope that its growth in Northern Ireland will provide even more valuable support over the weeks and months ahead.”

    Roam Local is hosting a launch party event in Haymarket Belfast on Thursday 15 September. 

    Those who download the app will receive free entry and exclusive deals on food and beverages. 

    For more information, click here.

    Source: Written from press release.

    About the author

    Aoife is a Sync NI writer with a previous background working in print, online and broadcast media. She has a keen interest in all things tech related. To connect with Aoife feel free to send her an email or connect on LinkedIn.

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