Q&A with Ian Jones, Founder of LoLo

Tell us more about LoLo and the concept behind the company?

LoLo  (Loving Local ) is a new app that rewards shoppers for buying and eating from their local retailers and restaurants. The app has three functions: LoLo Local, LoLo Eats and LoLo Mall, all of them designed to get buyers to fall in love with local again. Users can gain loyalty token that access discounts when they shop or dine out locally. LoLo also enables businesses owners to create direct relationships with new and existing customers so they can build their business and support their local community.

Together the outcome is the creation of vibrant local communities. LoLo specifically supports businesses who employ local people and pay local taxes. The future of our local communities is dependent on local people supporting local businesses.

How do you see the high street evolving over the next five years?

The high street is undergoing rapid change already. High streets will eventually adapt to the digital world. Online and high street shopping will work in synergy rather than competing against each other. To give you an example, retailers will be have to have their own website, social media, options to click and collect in order to appeal to millennial shoppers and retain them as loyal customers. The high street will also have to play to its strengths which are its convenience and offering a more personalised way of shopping than its online counterpart.

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing bricks and mortar retailers?

The ability to adapt. Many retailers will thrive if they establish an online presence, however, many shopkeepers see the online space as a foreign concept or as a competing channel rather than seeing the advantages of how it would benefit their business. There are some really good examples of independent retailers who’ve gone online, established their presence and massively gained from it.

How has LoLo helped retailers meet this challenge?

LoLo provides an incentive for high street shoppers by enabling them to earn tokens as they buy products and services locally. The more they shop, the more they earn, which means the more they can spend locally too. By incentivising shopping locally, LoLo is aiming to support local businesses, local economies and local jobs.

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