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How The Towns Fund Could Support High Street Shopping

September 21st, 2020 | Retail News

High street full of shoppers

Local customer loyalty marketing through ‘shop local’ customer reward programmes is a proven and visible method of supporting high street retail, thereby boosting the local economy.

It is no longer a case of just showing support for classic small local businesses; today, all high street retail outlets are struggling, since fear of COVID-19 has slashed footfall in town centres since March. Reward-It has a ‘shop local’ loyalty marketing and customer reward programme for local authorities eligible for the Towns Fund. It will benefit:

●  All local retailers and transport/logistics services, by increasing footfall
●  Local employment, by supporting the local business community
●  The city or town centre atmosphere, by nurturing local urban community loyalty
●  Local business development, by providing members in and around your shopping centre with retail promotion ideas and resources

There’s something in a collaborative city or town ‘shop local’ loyalty card system for everyone, and it’s proving to be a popular topic among local leaders, businesses and communities.

YouniQue Clothing gift card in fashion shop

Would local customer loyalty marketing have to be restricted to one town or city?

The list of 100 places that have been identified as qualifying for the Towns Fund grant are all very different in size and nature. Although a ‘buying local’ loyalty reward system is known to support high street shopping, local customer loyalty programmes can scale up. They are completely flexible so they can incorporate city or town centre market days or seasonal markets, such as at Christmas.

Efficient support for the local business community and the local economy

You can roll out regional or even national local business loyalty marketing programmes from just one centralised loyalty card system.

Customer loyalty reward cards can be implemented purely to entice local communities to shop in their physical local high street, regardless of what town or city they are based in.

Our scheme can boost any local retail economy. The same local customer loyalty cards and the accompanying online customer loyalty card system can cover multiple locations. It’s designed to support ‘shop local’ consumer behaviour, regardless of the high street they are shopping on.

Various locations marked on a map

Our scheme is designed to support ‘shop local’ consumer behaviour, regardless of the high street they are shopping on.

How can the new Towns Fund support high street digitalisation and the local economy?

Although customer loyalty cards are physical, our loyalty system is fully digitalised. Customer reward card holders can log into a rewards section of your website to see the points they’ve accumulated, special offers, local shopping information, public announcements and other relevant information.

Local loyalty reward programmes can be tailored to fit multiple local authority and business community environments from one system. For example, our loyalty reward programmes frequently incorporate points systems, discounts and incentives from retailers within each scheme. Schemes are cashless, which enables city and town councils to creatively design rewards that would incentivise each unique community. For example, the council could promote its own involvement in a loyalty reward programme by providing leisure centre gift cards or perhaps parking permits.

In addition, just one e-money licence can be used collaboratively to support your local high street retail outlets, as seen by our partners at Norfolk Passport.

Alternatives to customer loyalty cards

Although most opt for a card-based loyalty system, there are plenty of other solutions. Loyalty wristbands or even tags small enough to attach to jewellery are available. Whatever loyalty marketing items you choose for the localities under your care, features ranging from simple QR codes to encrypted contactless technologies can be incorporated for a streamlined ‘tap and go’ customer experience.

Contactless loyalty card in use

A complete loyalty marketing system for diverse local communities

Our specialists help business communities and local authorities to work through the combinations of options that suit immediate needs as well as provide long-term support for local economies and the retailers within them. It’s a cost-effective, scalable way to keep cash in the local economy by incentivising people to visit their local shops.

The New Towns Fund

When the Towns Fund was announced on 6 September 2019, it was met with optimism from local government representatives. Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government,  Rt Hon. Robert Jenrick MP, said: 

“I will now work with local people from the 100 communities announced today to agree proposals to invest up to £25 million in each place. I hope these deals will provide the investment and the impetus for long-term renewal, ensuring each town can look to the future with a new optimism.”

Minister for the Northern Powerhouse and Local Growth, Rt Hon. Jake Berry MP, said: 

“The best answers for local people will come from local people; that’s why we have listened to people living in these towns and will support them with a mega £3.6 billion fund to drive jobs and economic growth.”

If you’d like to speak to one of our customer loyalty reward system experts, please give us a call on 020 8266 1600 or fill out the form on our Contact Us page.

See How Norfolk Passport Used Their Town Gift Cards

Norfolk Passport is a free-to-join membership programme designed to give subscribers exclusive perks across Norfolk’s top tourist attractions and experiences. 

Written by Lucy Wenham

Lucy is a customer loyalty expert, with experience in loyalty schemes for small independent stores, right through to our town and city-wide loyalty schemes.

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