Here’s what towns and cities can learn from 24,000 consumer opinions

For towns and cities, making critical decisions about where to invest their development funds is a complicated process.

From focusing on infrastructure to community events, or even how to engage with local teenagers, the #WDYT campaigns support towns and cities in their decision making by providing evidence from the people these decisions affect most – visitors and locals.

We asked thousands of people what they liked about their high streets, what they would change, how they want their communities to change, and what would inspire them to become more engaged in their towns and cities.

We received 24,072 responses to our questions and the answers were clear.

The #WDYT campaign provides this national summary data, free of charge, every month. If you would like this data provided for your town or city, sign up today.

So, where should towns and cities be investing? According to our results:

64% of people still prefer shopping on high streets over online shopping, so make sure that your high street experience is a pleasant one.

We asked: Do you prefer shopping online or on the high street?

35% of those who responded said that better shops would improve their visits to their high street.

    • 68% of consumers think most of the shops on their high streets are chain shops, offering an opportunity to encourage more independent shops.
    • In fact, when asked what they would spend a windfall of town money on, 45% of people said they would support local shops and 17% would support new businesses.

When asked what would have the biggest impact on their high street, 50% of people answered one of two ways:

    • Reduce business rates (20%)
    • Or offer cheaper or free parking (30%).

We asked: Which of these options do you think would have the biggest impact on your high streets’ success?

Events are at the core of getting people more involved in their communities.

    • 25% said more local events would encourage them to participate in their community.
    • 22% said more family events.

We asked: What would make you want to get more involved in your local community?

How to keep teenagers safe and engaged is a challenge for many towns. When asked what would make their high streets more appealing to youth:

      • 22% said affordable shops
      • 19% said more trendy shops
      • 14% said more youth-focused activities
      • 10% said to focus on nighttime activities for teens
      • And 9% said to offer more creative spaces.

We asked: What would make the high street more appealing to teenagers?

Access the full report

These are just a handful of the insights available. Sign up to the #WDYT campaign to download the full report.

We gathered the above responses using a chatbot launched from a Facebook post. People were asked a series of questions about their local high street, with a focus on gathering evidence for where improvements can be made.

To experience this for yourself, comment on the Facebook post below to fire the Messenger chatbot.

People are talking about your town

Use what they’re saying to make better decisions. Sign up for your 30-day free trial.

By clicking ‘Start free trial’ you are agreeing to our terms of service and privacy policy.