Social media boost for Cumbrian high streets

the Lanes Shopping Centre in Carlisle
the Lanes Shopping Centre in Carlisle
Wednesday, June 28, 2017 at 4:03PM

Social media savvy shoppers are being urged to boost sales in stores across Cumbria.

A new survey has discovered the county has one of the lowest rates of digital activity among local retailers and shoppers in England.

According to The UK Digital Influence Index, which calculates the digital output of a 1303 towns and cities based on the social media activity of its retailers and consumers, Cumbria has an average ranking of 866.

‘Digital influence’ is the ability of retail centres to drive measurable outcomes from online channels to their high street.

Cumbria’s highest ranked location was Carlisle at 128, while Kirkby Stephen was the lowest at 1303.

Nationally shoppers and retailers are joining #WDYT (What Do You Think), which aims to connect retailers and shoppers digitally.

Pilot projects have been running since February prior to a nationwide roll-out later this year.

In Carlisle The Lanes Shopping Centre already has an initiative to encourage people into its stores using a ditigal footprint.

Its new loyalty scheme, Lanes Xtra, invites people to use a card to get exclusive discounts at any participating stores

Holly Woodhead, The Lanes marketing manager, explained the scheme allowed them to analyse customers' shopping behaviour.

"I suppose we have our own system going. We act on behalf of the retailer with the aim of increasing footfall," she said.

"We can analyse customers through this scheme which enables us to find our their age, gender, email and where they live together with their shopping habits.

"We can then get in touch with specific offers and information from our member shops allowing us to target people using their profile."

Under the #WYDT scheme shoppers are asked to share a photo each day of their favourite item of stock across their social media channels, using for example #Carlisle and #WDYT.

Polly Barnfield OBE, CEO and Founder of Maybe which runs #WDYT, said: “The pilot campaign was a huge success, engaging with over 200 retailers and over 50,000 consumers all using #WDYT - we are here to help all retailers across the UK drive local footfall through digital channels.”

To get involved with #WDYT both business owners and their customers can post pictures to Twitter or Instagram using #Town eg Carlisle, Penrith or Workington and #WDYT

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