A Blackpool-based businessman’s online high street promotion is set to go national after his award winning pilot in the Blackpool area.
Dave Preston’s digital platform OFFiGO seeks to increase spend and footfall in the retail and hospitality sector by bringing the high street online and enabling customers to find local deals.
He launched its test site in September 2017, and since then OFFiGO has won funding and support from Ordnance Survey’s Geovation, and recently was given access to $120,000 in support funding by tech giants IBM to help with the development of the national platform.
Dave said: “By bringing the high street together with digital innovation, businesses such as shops, bars and restaurants can promote their offers and events locally through OFFiGO and increase their online visibility.
“In our trial OFFiGO outperformed major online advertisers, with its click through rate being 3.9 per cent compared to Google’s 3.1 per cent and Facebook’s 0.9 per cent.”
He said the idea was to do online for the High Street what Just Eat, Booking.com and Rightmove have done for takeaways, hotels and property.
It aims to “harness the power of retail and hospitality brands and independents collectively, promoting offers and events together for the benefit of the customer near their stores”.
In its trial, Cate McNeil used OFFiGO to promote Christmas markets in Blackpool, she said: “OFFiGO brought us far more visitors than the other local and national websites and directories.
“My event was a huge success with more than 70 adults and over 300 children through the doors.”
Chris Parker of Geovation and Ordnance Survey, said: “Your local community is something you cannot buy online, and your high street is a big part of it being a successful one. OFFiGO is an innovative digital solution to help High Streets, their customers and communities.”
The platform won a Challenge 2017: Greener Smarter Communities award.