Suffolk independents embrace technology to help people Shop Local
PUBLISHED: 05:30 13 November 2020
Shops in East Suffolk are putting QR codes in their windows so that people can order the items on display without setting foot in the shop.
The concept, called digital window shopping, is being trialled by businesses in Southwold and Woodbridge.
It means that if an item in a shop window catches someone’s eye they can scan a QR code with their smartphone and they will be taken straight to a website where they can buy the item in the window.
Pippa Murphy, part of the team at Happiness at Home in Woodbridge, which opened the day before the second lockdown started, she said: “Like many independent stores this should be our busiest time of the year but we are not prepared to give up just because times are tough. A QR code is essentially a virtual doorway to your website and a brilliant and interactive way for people to window shop.
“Here in Woodbridge we are part of a lovely eclectic group of fabulous independent stores who have set up websites and are doing amazing things like click and collect to get through lockdown.
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“There is a feeling of resilience – we are promoting our own businesses but also each other’s.”
This newspaper recently launched a Shop Local campaign to help promote local independent businesses like Happiness at Home.
Shop Local is a use-it-or-lose-it plea to our readers to spend their hard-earned cash with our beleaguered local indies to help support them through the second lockdown.
Chris Mapey, district councillor for Woodbridge for East Suffolk Council, said: “I hope to help as many shops as possible link their window displays to their websites as another method to get people buying from, and supporting, our amazing local businesses.
“This way, all the customer has to do is hold their mobile phone camera up to the code on the glass and they will be taken straight to a website where they can buy all the items you can see – the clothes on the mannequin, the piles of toys and trinkets, the homeware kitchenware, gifts and Christmas treats.”
Gary Robson, managing director of Max Southwold, said: “We’re grateful to add this additional sales channel to our existing online and in store business. It’s an easy and exciting way to shop while enjoying beautiful window displays on Southwold’s high street.”
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