A Welcome Boost to the High Street
Google will attempt to give the UK High Street a much needed boost. Google has teamed up with a start-up company called NearSt to help customers see what is available in their local shop via the web.
The search results will give consumers information such as distance to shop and the price of any item the customer has interest in. Google are on record saying “as easy to shop locally as it is online”. This could provide a huge boost in consumers maximising their time shopping and not going to the high street and searching for products that are potentially out of stock.
The start-up NearsSt was founded three years ago by Max Kreijin when he had a “lightbulb moment” when one of the bulbs in his flat went, and searched online to buy a replacement. Initially the company focused on stores based in London but since the Google Partnership was announced they intend to roll it out to the entire of the UK.
“Intend to roll it out to the entire of the UK”
“We are champions of the High Street as a whole but the small shops are the businesses that are able to make the fastest decisions,” said Mr Brackenbury a partner in NearSt.
There has been fears that in recent years the high street is suffering because of online sales with big retailers such as Toys R Us and Maplin struggling to keep up. According to the Office of National Statistics, online sales only account for 18% of total retail sales in the UK. Almost a third of all Google searches relate to a location this new app will focus to include more information when reporting back data.
Natalie Walton the global head of local shopping at Google, said of the partnership: “It gives small retailers the ability to compete effectively in the online world, without needing any of the technical and financial firepower of their online competitors.”
This could prove a huge boost to smaller retailers who have seen number of clients plummet over the days because of the rise internet sales and the ease of internet shopping. It could also give search marketing companies an opportunity to further expand their clients exposure by bringing their physical stores online.