The rise of the internet and the domination of online shopping is often looked to as a leading cause of a decline in High Street spending.
But now, the very thing that has been blamed for many bricks and mortar stores closing down is attempting to reinvigorate the High Street.
Google has teamed up with NearSt, a start-up that helps consumers see what is available in their local shops via the web.
The aim is to make shopping locally just as easy as online shopping with a live inventory system that tells people the price of products and the distance to the shop.
NearSt was founded three years ago by digital brand experts Nick Brackenbury and Max Kreijn. At the beginning, focus was placed on shops in London but now the partnership with Google has been announced, they intend to expand the technology to high streets around the UK over the next 12 months, particularly for retailers of small, independent stores.
Alara Health Store in Bloomsbury has been one of the first retailers to partner with NearSt and has reported more people visiting the store since.
A focus on local Google searches
Despite the doom and gloom about the state of the High Street, according to the Office of National Statistics, online sales only account for 18% of total retail sales in the UK. And with nearly a third of all Google searches relating to location, it means, as a business, even if you’re not selling online, you need to have some sort of local seo presence to stay ahead of the competition.
That’s because people are using their mobile devices to search for the products they want whilst they’re out and about, then going to the physical shop to buy them. If you don’t appear in those local searches, your business is going to suffer.
Local seo is a very targeted online marketing approach and is all about increasing your business’ search visibility, face-to-face with your community when they need to find you the most. Businesses should never underestimate the value of local search engine optimisation, and with the continued rise of mobile search, local seo has never been more prevalent.