Released this month, The Digital High Street 2020 Report published by The Digital High Street Advisory Board, sets out a 5 year strategy to reinvigorate the UK’s traditional high street with a focus on the impact of digital technology and the digital future.

The report makes 4 primary recommendations which they say, and we also believe, are crucial to the revitalisation and continued success of the high street in a digitally dominated world.

Whilst the foundation of success for the High Street hasn’t changed (economically strong, convenient, engaging. Relevant, adaptive, authentic and diverse, and experiential- see full report for more information) the tools available have and will continue to change.

Although, the high street has already weathered many changes including the impact of digital technologies, the challenges are not over. Digital technologies will continue to shape the high street.

The recommendations are:

  1. Sufficient access through infrastructure- This sets out the aspiration for providing a digital infrastructure over the next five year, to be in line with the UK’s digital goals, so that all of our high streets can fully participate in the digital economy.
  2. Basic Digital Skills- As technologies develop, in order to fully participate, so do need the skills. Digital exclusion can hold back the individual and organisation from fully achieving their potential and competing in a technologically driven market.
  3. High Street Digital Lab- The creation of a centralised  aggregation of the general available technologies, digital applications, tools, methods and training programmes, in order to provide a platform for digital consumer services for each community across the UK on behalf of its local government, high street businesses and charities.
  4. High Street Digital Health Index- To make progress, these goals must be translated from qualitative aspirations into measurable indications of fitness. The adoption of the High Street Digital Health Index concepts will be a resource for both national and local governments.

The report recognises that many high streets in the UK may be well underway in addressing these areas, however, for those who have yet to adapt and adjust to the digital age will quickly find they fall further behind.

The report stresses that these solutions are interdependent and that the success of the high street relies on a complete solution rather than trying to treat a series of symptoms.

We believe that this is a very important development in providing practical steps for the digital development of the High Streets and is a cause very close to our hearts.

We think of Local SEO as a digital ‘bridge’ between the physical premises on the high street and its online presence.  For this reason, we are seeing a strong growth in the need for Local Listing Optimisation services as part of a local SEO strategy.

You can read more on the full report and The Great British High Street here

thegreatbritishhighstreet.co.uk