WHAT IS IT?
CoGo – short for “connecting good” – is a free mobile app which connects shoppers with retailers or dining businesses that match with their ethical views.
The globally-conscious consumer app was first launched in New Zealand in 2015 and aims to make ethical and sustainable living simpler. It is perhaps the first tech innovation of its kind to aim at changing the way consumers spend their money, and encourage them to connect with businesses that share the same values about the planet.
Since its launch, hundreds of businesses have embraced new principles in a bid to increase consumer spending. Due to high demand, the app announced its debut in London, as well as Europe.
CoGo is available to download on all smartphones.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Viewers can simply download CoGo and they will have to choose what suits them most from a list of principles. The list details the way in which businesses tackle a particular matter and whether that’s important to the consumers.
Consumers will then have to create an account which will personalise the homepage for them as well as send them emails on the latest business movements.
Then the option of adding a payment card is provided, so they can send an anonymous signal to businesses every time they shop. This will show the retailers that consumers nearby are searching for companies with the same values as them.
The app doesn’t take payments from the card as all details on the app remain anonymous.
Just in case users feel apprehensive about sharing their payment details on an app, CoGo provides further information on why it wants their card details, as well as confirmation on the anonymity of the user.
The choice to add card details on the app is entirely optional. Once the consumer decides on that, they can enter further details such as age, gender and postcode to personalise their page.
Once users have logged in, they can choose whether they would like to be notified when a shop that they’re purchasing from is “doing good for people and the planet”.
When directed to the homepage, consumers can view all the retailers, restaurants, and cafes that share the same ethical values as them. There’s a logo on each company which shows what cause they’re supporting to make it simpler for views to understand.
The app’s list of businesses also depends on the user’s location – it will only list those nearby so users are within walking distance of them. We tried using the app from our office in Oxford Cirus, London, so the businesses that appeared in our trial were all food and beverage centric.
HOW WELL DOES IT WORK?
The app is simple to use and informative. Users can easily navigate through the homepage to see what businesses have the same values, as well as the recent actions the businesses have taken. For example, Mexican restaurant Wahaca has donated £50,000 to help communities and the environment.
When consumers scroll down they can view the exact number of good deeds the company has undertaken since being a part of CoGo, as well as information on the app’s founder in case users are curious to know who it was all started by.
SHOULD I TRY IT?
The CoGo app provides a simple way of finding out what businesses share similar values to you.
However, the app isn’t for everyone because of its environmentalist qualities, such as its aim to promote organic, vegan, and cruelty-free products, as well as being an advocate for reducing waste and gas emissions.
It’s still worth having a try to see what businesses actually undertake certain actions, and the organised and and informative presentation of the app is a bonus.