In the run-up to the Independents’ Day weekend that’s taking place on July 3 and 4, the search is on to find 3,600 UK retailers – to include gift indies – interested in becoming champions of their local high streets.
Fanfaring the initiative is the team behind Local Rewards, a new free to access high street guides service that aims to help retailers in towns around the UK recover from the impact of successive lockdowns, supporting them in reaching more customers and increasing sales. Visit www.localrewards.chat
Launched by social media specialists Maybe Tech, the service enables shop owners to communicate with, and reward shoppers, with the intention of ‘levelling the playing field’ between local retailers and giants such as Amazon.
“The High Street Champions programme is about enabling people, whether they’re a business owner, a social media expert or just a person who lives in a town, to be the champion of their local high street,” explains Polly Barnfield OBE, ceo of Maybe Tech.
“All we need them to be is the person who shares their town’s High Street Guide every day on social media, puts up posters locally and tells local businesses how to make use of it. Everybody will have a different way of doing this, but we will provide everything they need to make their high street famous and to ensure people are invited back there on a daily basis.”
Participating retailers are able to cross-promote and support their high street neighbours to create an online network of connected traders, or High Street Guide. It allows shoppers to see businesses near them and view their social media content as they are shopping the city. The aim is to provide every shopper with a prompt after each High Street purchase that reveals somewhere else nearby that they may like to discover. All content is sourced from social media, connected via Google maps, and is connected to payments from Visa, Mastercard and Amex.
“The technology is in place so we now need a network of people to share it across the UK,” continues Polly. “We want to celebrate what’s great about our high streets. We know they’re evolving, we know they’re changing, and that fundamentally, people want a physical experience, but this is something that we have all have to do together.”
Top: Bristol high street.