We recently came across the Just a Card campaign, pioneered by artist and designer Sarah Hamilton. Supported by Mollie Makes and The Design Trust, the campaign aims to highlight how important every sale is to independent retailers, even if it is 'just a card'.
The campaign calls on the creative and retail communities to raise awareness of the importance of every single sale to independent retailers. In order for the high street to thrive and maintain a diverse offering, consumers need to be aware of the impact of their purchase decisions. Deciding to buy greetings cards or any other product at an independent retailer rather than a chain really does make a difference, both to the shop and to the designer who originally made the product.
Raising awareness is a great first step, but highlights a deeper issue of loyalty to independent retailers. With online shopping so easily accessible, it’s important that consumers feel they can buy unique, exclusive products on the high street and see their local independents as the first - and best - choice.
Schemes such as Independent Liverpool have seen great success in recent years. With 8960 members and counting, this local loyalty card helps consumers unearth hidden gems on their high street and channels foot traffic into local retailers. In return, consumers can save money and enjoy a unique shopping experience tailored to their own tastes. They’re encouraged to explore their city, find their new favourite shops, cafés and bars and get the most out of their town. It’s retail meets lifestyle with both consumers and retailers reaping the benefits.
Only last month a new product launched aimed at increasing loyalty to independents. Loyalty Consulting UK announced their new technology, Local Loyalty. Previously the domain of big retailers like Tesco and Sainsbury’s, this scheme allows consumers to collect points from their local independent retailers and redeem them locally too. It can be tailored to local needs, with retailers setting their own offers and consumers benefiting from personalisation.
These are both great examples of SME’s coming together and supporting each other, offering a high quality, local service that sets them apart from the big retailers. Consumers are encouraged to shop local, and rewarded with a quality of product and high service level that they won’t find anywhere else.
Here at The Great British Exchange we feel that any scheme which supports independent retailers and encourages footfall to the high street needs commending. Shop-keeping is one of the oldest British traditions and the backbone of our economy, and we work hard to support those independent retailers and British producers who embrace new ideas and help sustain the UK high street.
We’d love to hear your thoughts on loyalty schemes, or any campaign aimed at raising awareness of the high street, so if you have an opinion to share please get in touch with us.
If you’d like to find out more about The Great British Exchange and how we work for British retailers, register your details now.
Image by Bongo Vongo on Flicker