This article was originally posted on Retail Technology Innovation Hub.
Brits want vibrant, diverse High Streets with lower business rates, better parking, more options for independent shops and more specific High Street brands, according to research by conversational commerce platform Maybe*.
The venture surveyed 300,000 members of the public in its #WDYT (What do you think?) community, using its technology through a series of Facebook posts and chatbots. The campaign was undertaken in response to the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee’s (HCLG) call for evidence to its High Streets inquiry.
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Key findings as follows: 78% worry about their High Street, 70% about shops closing and 34% about the variety of shops; 68% want new clothes stores; 41% want more and better shops; 29% called for improved/free parking; 24% want lower business rates; 16% would like a return to smaller, local shops; 11% want less plastic usage/more recycling stations; 11% feel there should be more youth activities and community/cultural events. Furthermore, 45% of respondents shop on their High Street at least once a week and more than 40% of people never shop online.
“There have been plenty of people giving their individual opinions but this consultation provides the only well rounded view of the desired future of our High Streets, supported by the opinions of members of the public; the people that actually determine High Streets’ success or failure,” says Polly Barnfield, Founder and CEO of Maybe* and the #WDYT campaign.