Social media shopping strategy created by Shropshire tech firm

Three more local authorities have signed up for a scheme that develops retailers social media.

Shropshire-based tech SME Maybe* has secured contracts with Sheffield City Council, West Lindsey District Council in Lincolnshire and St Helens Borough Council for its Local Rewards programme which features more than 30,000 businesses.

This allows businesses to communicate with and reward shoppers on the high street as shoppers can see businesses near them and engage with its social media content. They then have the opportunity to win back what they have spent with weekly competitions.

With the intention of ‘levelling the playing field’ between local stores and big chains, the scheme is to ensure local retailers can reach more customers and make more sales.

Businesses can also cross-promote and support their high street to create an online network of connected traders.

Polly Barnfield the CEO of Maybe* explained: “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 Street businesses need to up their digital game, promote their physical stores and collaborate.”

Councillor Paul Turpin, executive member for inclusive economy, jobs and skills at Sheffield City Council, said: “The potential for more businesses to get discovered by local shoppers and visitors alike is huge.

“The Local Rewards Guide is available nationally and we’ll be using it to encourage locals and visitors alike to use Sheffield’s shops and businesses in the festive period.”

Leader of West Lindsey District Council, Councillor Owen Bierley said: “The impact of Covid 19 changed the way businesses operate and following discussions with local businesses we recognised that we needed to offer additional support. Maybe has proved to be successful in other areas and we want our businesses to benefit too.”

Councillor Kate Groucutt, the St Helen’s Borough Council’s cabinet member for education, skills and business, said: “The Covid-19 pandemic and a shift in consumer behaviour has changed the way we shop.

“This programme with Maybe* looks to support our high street businesses to adapt to a new way of shopping.”