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Tappit was initially conceived as a mobile App

Tappit was a smartphone app and associated web services that provided up-to-the-minute updates about “what’s happening” depending upon where the user was. Not just special offers in retail, leisure and entertainment – but also art galleries, museums, local history, amateur sports, theatres, cultural events and special interest clubs . . . and so much more!

It provided the App user with the ability to discover the best places to shop, eat out, and meet friends in their own town or city – and re-discover old favourites which they might have forgotten about. Tappit also enabled the App user to search any other UK town or city and quickly find out what was available.

Simple for Retailers

To publish an update to Tappit was a very simple 6-stage, guided process.

This meant that retailers and merchants could be up-to-date using weather, trends and incentives but minimum effort on their part.

Don’t confuse Tappit Media Ltd (trading as Tappit) with Tappit Technologies Ltd – the cashless payment system company based in Leeds. Tappit Technologies Ltd went into administration in January 2023, with Begbies Traynor being appointed as Administrator.

It’s amazing that they lasted so long really. Why try to reinvent the wheel for mobile payment – who doesn’t use RFID credit/debit cards or mobile phone card wallets? Still, with an estimated total funds deficiency of nearly £20 Million hopefully, some lessons were learned.

The unfortunate thing is that it looks like a few well-known sporting legends were taken for a ride along the way, including Gavin Patterson, Austin Healey and Michael Vaughan.

It’s a shame that the Executive Directors (i.e. Jason Thomas, et al)  probably did OK out of it and have skipped off into the sunset with the assets at a knock-down price, by phoenixing the business.

No doubt the excuse will be COVID-related! But surely, it doesn’t take a rocket fuel scientist to realise that if all sporting events are cancelled for the foreseeable future, as they were when the first lockdown was imposed, the best strategy was to furlough all staff and turn off the expenditure. In reality, the writing was on the wall as far back as 2019, their expenditure far exceeded their income. Caveat Emptor indeed.

The Essentials for a Social / Local App

The Tappit App included a number of essential features for Social Local Mobile (SoLoMo)

Content Management

As a self-service platform, it had to be easy and quick for publishers (retailers, merchants, etc) to add new content.

Data Analytics

Built-in analytics and reporting for user engagement, monetisation and sharing – in order measure KPIs effectively.

Community Management

The option for the App users to select favourites and receive push notifications – essential in helping amplification!

Planning / Scheduling

The Tappit dashboard allowed retailers and merchants to plan promotions 90-days in advance, but change daily too.

Business Analytics

The management dashboard was important to measure the reach of the Tappit App and could it be scaled?

Help and Support

Ease of use is a paramount design consideration – a built-in WYSIWYG editor helped retailers go live quickly. 

The Pilot . . . and the future

A number of great lessons were learned and the viability of the Tappit App proved inconclusive as an App aimed purely at  independent retailers and merchants – for a number of reasons. However, loyalty Apps with the ability to be finely tuned to provide personalised content based on geolocation as well as a visitor’s previous purchases and current behaviour have definitely proved commercially successful. Technology has now moved on! The benefits of creating and managing both an iPhone and Android App have been largely replaced by the introduction of Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) and Progressive Web Apps (PWAs). To that end, all of our current (and future) projects use PWA technology where there is a need for App-like features.  

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