Following a successful pilot in the north west of England, where 1.4 million pages of local high street offers and events were viewed, a national version Offigo has now gone live. The digital platform seeks to increase spend and footfall in the retail and hospitality sector by bringing the ‘high street’ online and enabling customers to find local deals.
“The customer is online every day and the high street, as a collective, is nowhere to be seen,” says Offigo CEO Dave Preston. “By bringing the high street together with digital innovation, businesses such as shops, bars and restaurants can promote their offers and events locally through Offigo 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%.”
Offigo also gives people the chance to become a ‘high street hero’ and receive exclusive discounts for creating profile pages of their favourite local businesses. The hero can get up to £10 for purchases or a gift from businesses while Offigo will give these businesses free advertising worth £25.
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.
Offigo makes it easy for businesses to share daily “promotional” messages, exclusive offers, upcoming events, new menus, new products or entertainment. This approach allows customers to see what is available each day in their local area.
In its trial, Cate McNeil used Offigo to promote Christmas markets in Blackpool, she says: “Offigo brought us far more visitors than the other local and national websites and directories. My event was a huge success with over 700 adults and over 300 children through the doors, I would recommend businesses to sign up.”
Businesses can refer a business neighbour to join in also and both get extra free advertising, collectively they promote double the reasons to visit their high street and increase the footfall.
By bringing the marketing strength of all the brands together online, per location, combined with the uniqueness of the independents on each high street it would collectively create a powerful alliance. Customers will be able to find information in one place with the option of them also visiting the shop’s website and ordering online if they haven’t the time to go into the store.
Since launching its test site in September 2017, Offigo has won funding and support from Ordnance Survey’s Geovation, and recently was given access to $120,000 in support funding by tech giants IBM to help with the development of the national platform.
Chris Parker of Ordnance Survey’s Geovation, says: “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.”