Re-Imagining the UK High Street with innovative technology and £2m support from the TSB

Ethos Smart has been chosen as one of the winning bids in the Technology Strategy Board’s (TSB’s) recent competition for initiatives that will attract Britain’s shoppers back to the High Street. Our funding will allow us to explore the feasibility of an innovative technology solution that could help high street retailers compete against the rise of online shopping.  This funding will support a six months study before offering the opportunity to share a further £6m of cash for a demonstrator project.

Our Collaborative High Street project will allow shoppers to create online profiles outlining what they want to buy, and where, on a specific day. This will create a inventory of peoples’ purchasing needs along with location and time information that can be searched by high street retailers prior to the shoppers arrival and then used to send very targeted messages to increase sales.

For example, a customer at the point of arrival to the high street may receive 10 offers (the daily limit they have set). One promotion advises of a new barista bar serving a speciality coffee, a second advises of a particular shoe retailer that has a type and size of shoe in stock that the customer indicated interest in. All offers are triggered on the customer’s profile before their planned arrival to the high street.

The data privacy & governance approach will enshrine ownership of data with the consumer, whilst balancing the interests of all relevant stakeholders. Moreover value created by the scheme will be shared with shoppers much like the Co-Ops dividend payments from the last century.

This scheme will give the citizen the incentive to visit the high street & will generate increased footfall & economic activity. It will help make the high street more attractive to investors, the local authority (increased business rates revenue) & ultimately for the citizen (through improved facilities and opportunity). The virtuous circle that results will contribute directly to re-imagining the high street.