Down Your High Street

#SupportLocal

The British have loved shopping for as long as people have had things to sell. Napoleon famously referred to England as a “nation of shopkeepers” over 200 years ago, and until recently the high street was still the hub of the average city, town and village. But the financial crash of 2008 had a devastating effect on the high street, with footfall falling by 22% in the past ten years.

 

The rise of online shopping has been the final nail in the coffin, with a whopping fifteen shops closing their doors every single day. The number of people working in front line retail roles dropped by 2.4% in just the first quarter of 2017. In turn, this has affected the local and national economy and seen what were once thriving communities become disparate, desolate and bleak. 

 

There’s also the problem that without having to pay for premises and shop floor staff, online sellers are able to offer big price reductions that customers can’t resist. Add to that astronomical property prices and living costs, National Living Wage, zero hours contract and post-Brexit chaos and it doesn’t take much to see why so many shoppers are choosing the cheapest possible option.

 

According to the UK Cards Association, Brits spend more online than any other nation- a huge £4,611 per person per year. That number is getting higher and higher too; the organisation also declared that non-store sales are increasing by 15% year on year. And as more consumers go online, the more choice there is. Now customers can get everything from furniture, to books, to car parts, to glasses and everything in between delivered to their door within 24 hours, it’s no wonder traditional independent retailers are struggling.

 

That’s where we come in.


Downyourhighstreet.com was launched in 2014 to bridge the gap between independent bricks and mortar retailers and internet shopping. Our aim was to create a platform which enabled shop owners to sell their products online without having to close their physical stores; giving shoppers the choice and flexibility they crave at the same time as keeping the high street alive.

 

The site has gone from strength to strength and hundreds of independent retailers are now using the platform to sell their products, advertise their bricks and mortar stores and engage with a whole new customer base. But we also know that there’s a lot more work to be done.


In our time working with independent retailers we’ve noticed a clear trend. An increase in footfall is one of the key business objectives that shop owners struggle to achieve, so in 2018 we’ll be heavily promoting our location finder. This clever feature allows consumers to browse local shops and gives retailers the opportunity to offer incentives to encourage click and collect.

      

We’ve also made the decision to make the platform completely subscription free to make it even more appealing to retailers. Although the subscription model has worked, we’ve been aware that having to pay a set fee every month is not going to appeal to an already struggling small shop, and since we’re here to make life easier it made sense to look at another model.

 

We have ambitious targets in place for the next couple of years, and aim to have 9,000 retailers using DYHS by 2020. With an average product count of 100 per retailer, this means we’ll be able to offer consumers the choice of at least 900,000 products. 

 

We’ll be launching a new marketing campaign which will give our partners shared media coverage, and we’ll be continuing to do everything we can to help independent retailers to not just survive, but to thrive. 


Join us today and let’s get the Great British High Street back on the map. Open your shop for free