Digital platform comes to the rescue of the high street
A new digital platform which aims to reverse the decline of the high street by enabling customers to find local deals online is being rolled out nationwide after a 12-month trial.
The OFFiGO website and app, backed by IBM and Ordnance Survey, offers local businesses the chance to promote daily deals in their area, giving consumers access to the information at a single source; some 1.4 million pages were viewed during the trial.
OFFiGO aims to do online for the high street what Just Eat, Booking.com and Rightmove have done for takeaways, hotels and property. It wants to harness the power of retail and hospitality brands and independents collectively, promoting offers and events together for the benefit of the customer near their stores.
Since launching its test site in September 2017, OFFiGO has won funding and support from Ordnance Survey's Geovation Hub, and recently was given access to $120,000 in support funding by IBM to help with the development of the national platform.
OFFiGO chief executive Dave Preston said: "The customer is online every day and the high street, as a collective, is nowhere to be seen. By bringing the high street together with digital innovation, businesses such as shops, bars and restaurants can promote their offers and events locally and increase their online visibility. In our trial, OFFiGO outperformed major online advertisers, with its click through rate being 3.9% compared to Google's 3.1% and Facebook's 0.9%."
Chris Parker, founder of the Geovation open innovation network at Ordnance Survey, said: "Your local community is something you cannot buy online, and your high street is a big part of it being a successful one. OFFiGO is an innovative digital solution to help high streets, their customers and their communities."