A new council sponsored virtual ‘High Street Guide’ programme that showcases content from local businesses is now live in ten towns and villages across the Cotswolds.
The technology enables shoppers to see businesses near them and view their social media content, engage and shop with them through their desktop and mobile phone.
Run in collaboration between Cotswold District Council and Maybe* Tech , the initiative both improves businesses use of social media and once High Streets reopen will allow businesses to communicate  with and reward shoppers when they are shopping on the High Street.
The towns and villages that will benefit from the virtual High Street Guides include: Bourton on the Water, Cirencester, Chipping Campden, Fairford, Lechlade, Moreton in Marsh, Northleach, South Cerney and Stow on the Wold. 257 businesses have already signed up for the platform.\
Every business that signs up to manage their listing on the virtual High Street Guide also have access to an extensive range of social media tools and training provided by Maybe* Tech.
Law & Co, a clothing boutique in Stow on the Wold have used the tools and training provided to by Maybe* Tech to improve sales through her popular Instagram profile. The business has seen its total online sales across one month in lockdown increase by 772 per cent.
Denise Law, the shop’s owner says, “I’m feeling over the moon! It’s a game changer. It’s like discovering something that just changes everything. It’s enabling me to sell more and get to more people. The results have absolutely blown me away.
“We are in this amazing situation where my business is growing in front of my eyes each week. It’s brilliant. Sign up!”
Discussing the new initiative, Councillor Tony Dale, Cabinet Member for Economy, Skills and Young People comments: “COVID-19 and lockdowns have affected the way we shop and how consumers use social media to engage with our local economy using e-commerce.
“The Council are committed to helping rebuild the local economy, that’s why I’m pleased to announce we’re partnering with Maybe* to provide businesses in the Cotswolds with the tools and skills they need to succeed as more and more people do their shopping online.”
The High Street Guides have been created by Maybe* Tech, a social media management platform that helps businesses use social media to sell. For businesses that need help to increase their digital activity, the Maybe* platform provides all the tools and training they need, from those just starting out or for those that are already good at social media, it helps them all improve their results. Anyone can find the High Street Guides at www.localrewards.chat . We plan for them to be available for 3,600 high streets across the UK.
“Our research revealed that 66% of shoppers look online for inspiration. The High Street Guide groups all social media content by location to encourage people to browse their local high street, and when they reopen they will be rewarded for their local spend. “
“Our aim is to enable shoppers to have a better shopping experience, discover businesses that may not have known before and provide businesses with the tools to reward their customers for their high street spend,” says Polly Barnfield OBE, CEO of Maybe*, the tech company that has developed the High Street Guides.
“High Streets need infrastructure that until now has only been available for online businesses,” adds Barnfield. “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. Our platforms help them collectively to do that and we are delighted to be working with Cotswold District Council.”
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About Maybe*
The Maybe* platform collates the data from 3.4 million businesses from Twitter, Facebook and Instagram on a daily basis and provides engagement, insight and reporting tools that enable clients to increase their sales via social media.
Maybe* is a partner on the UK Governments High Street Task Force which is a 5-year project that supports High Street regeneration. Maybe* supplies the social media data for all UK Local Authority dashboards.
To help High Streets recover from COVID, the Maybe* team has created Guides for over 3600 UK High Streets. Local Rewards. This is a nationwide program that provides free tools that connect shoppers, local businesses and places.
View High Street Guides: www.localrewards.chat