Search

Suffolk independents embrace technology to help people Shop Local

PUBLISHED: 05:30 13 November 2020

Businesses in Woodbridge are among those trialling using QR codes in their windows to allow 'digital window shopping'   Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Businesses in Woodbridge are among those trialling using QR codes in their windows to allow 'digital window shopping' Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Charlotte Bond

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.

MORE: Shop Local: Initiative rewards stores for supporting community

“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.

You may also want to watch:

“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.”

MORE: Shop Local: Expanding fashion retailer predicts ‘massive growth’ in independents

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.”


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the East Anglian Daily Times. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the East Anglian Daily Times