A NEW digital programme aims to give Warwickshire’s high streets a boost.
The scheme, called Local Rewards, is a collaboration between Warwickshire County Council and social media specialists, Maybe* Tech. It aims to help businesses recover from the impact of Covid-19 by giving them support to reach more customers and make more sales.
The technology enables shoppers to see businesses near them, view and engage with their social media content and shop with them via Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp.
And for every pound a shopper spends ‘in store’ with a participating business, they earn a point which can be used to claim rewards offered by retailers across the county.
The programme, which went live earlier this week, already features over 7,050 businesses. Data within the technology has found around just a quarter of High Street businesses use social media.
Of those retailers on social media nearly 30 per cent are active, posting most days. Research conducted by Maybe* Tech suggests around 66 per cent of consumers spend three hours a day using social media.
Lara Smith, the founder of Smithery, in Warwick is among those signed up to the scheme.
She said: “We are very excited to get involved in the new Warwickshire Local Rewards programme. It will help us connect with current customers and hopefully also help new customers discover us, as well as the many other independent businesses whose products that we stock.
“Warwickshire’s independent retail scene is thriving despite the challenges we have all faced across the last 18 months, but we still need local consumers and visitors to support our local businesses. There is an incredible amount of variety available on our high streets, it’s constantly changing and evolving, and each day brings something new.”
Every business that signs up to manage their listing on the Local Rewards High Street Guide will also have access to an extensive range of social media tools and training provided by Maybe* Tech.
Maybe* Tech CEO Polly Barnfield said: “Around two thirds of shoppers regularly look online for inspiration and the Local Rewards programme groups all social media content by location to encourage people to browse their local high street and then rewards them for their local spend.
“High streets need infrastructure that until now has only been available for online businesses and this programme will help local businesses level the playing field with giants like Amazon.
“They need to communicate with shoppers in real-time and be able to showcase what’s available. In order to compete, High Street businesses need to up their digital game, promote their physical stores and collaborate.”
Visit www.localrewards.chat/ to sign up to the programme.