How can we support Lewes and local businesses?

A monthly open meeting is being organised by the Lewes Pound On Thursday 17th April at 7pm at The John Harvey Tavern around the theme  ‘How can we support Lewes and local businesses?’.

To kick things off, we kick off with a couple of  ideas   of our own. At this point, these are just suggestions to get the juices flowing and you may well have other ideas to bring to the table so please do share – and come to the meeting!

#1 Sign up to Google Places for Business

With the expanding use of smartphones and tablets, people are ditching yellow pages to find local businesses and turning to their smartphones instead – yet some 60% of small businesses still don’t have an online presence and even when they do, their websites are not optimised for local search. Out of date addresses, old telephone numbers, no reference in web content to the fact that a baker or café is actually in Lewes,  Sussex. Ensuring that web content gives a strong local signal means search engines such as Google will include them in local search results.

Article by Sitepro news: local seo pays to get local

Article by Bruce Clay: Google Places Help: Optimize your Local Business Listing with this Guide

#2 Set up a digital kiosk in your local store.

This is far from the expensive option that might first seem the case but  probably applies more to clothing and accessories than perishable goods such as food.

In an article ‘Pinterest inspires Staples to change strategy’  published   earlier this year by Warc – an on online publisher for marketing professionals, it revealed that Staples, inspired by Pinterest, are re-writing their marketing strategy  to reduce their range of goods:

“Don’t show them 800 choices; allow them to find it, but don’t make it hard; allow them to focus and transact quickly”.

A judicious selection of goods that have most relevance for  “ the features and price-points that our customers look at” is backed up by digital kiosks that give them access to the huge portfolio of items sold on its website.

Small independent high street retailers have always had to make a ‘judicious selection of goods’ -given limited space-  and worked hard to listen to their customers to find the right balance in terms of choice and  availabity. What they could  do is copy Staples (and Argos) to include their own digital touch screen kiosk showing pages from their website with an expanded range of goods. The goods  could be ordered on a click-and-collect basis with  next day delivery.

A touch screen kiosk need be no more than a HP Pavilion flatscreen computer  at £600 from PC World propped  up against the wall.

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