The scheme is helping local retailers around the UK develop and optimise their social media presence as a way of boosting sales.
Maybe* Tech has secured contracts with Sheffield City Council, West Lindsey District Council in Lincolnshire and St Helens Borough Council for the rollout of its Local Rewards programme.
The programme, which allows businesses to communicate with, and reward, shoppers when they hit their local high streets, is already in use in areas including Warwickshire, Kent, Bristol, and the Cotswolds.
Currently more than 30,000 businesses feature in the combined Local Rewards programmes in the UK.
The programme has been created with the intention of ‘levelling the playing field’ between local retailers and bigger organisations. The scheme aims to help retailers around the country recover from the impact of Covid-19 and give them a route to reach more customers and make more sales. Businesses can also cross-promote and support their high street neighbours to create an online network of connected traders.
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. The platform also rewards shoppers for their spend with local businesses and gives them the opportunity to win back their spend with weekly competitions. Any business that has a Google My Business listing and is active on social media will be visible on Local Rewards. The social media posts that are performing best at any one time will be boosted to prime positions in the guide.
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 – and that’s exactly what Business Sheffield has set out to achieve in collaboration with Maybe*. 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.”
Polly Barnfield OBE, CEO of Maybe*, 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.
"These local authorities recognise the importance of their local retailers communicating with shoppers in real-time and showcasing what they have available in the town. To compete, high street businesses need to up their digital game, promote their physical stores and collaborate. Local Rewards helps them to do that, and we are excited to be partnering with these authorities to deliver a positive impact for their towns."