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Digital Communities – a brighter way to shop

You may well remember that in October we launched our Digital Communities project in St Helens.

We are sharing our digital expertise to make local businesses more tech savvy and social media friendly. As part of this, O2 Business decided to give Tyrers, a boutique fashion retailer dating back to 1888, a digital makeover. So, with the festive season in full swing we popped in to install different kind of Christmas light.

Why Tyrers?

Dubbed the ‘Harrods of the North’, Tyrers is a family owned business and has been a stalwart of the St Helens community for over 100 years. How did we plan to help? Well, research finds social media is becoming the main influence to how we shop, with 76% of Brits buying products by people they follow. And over one in five (36%) agree that being on trend is a major factor when purchasing clothes.

With this in mind, and to demonstrate the benefits of digital technology to businesses, no matter the size, O2 Business decided to install the UK’s first ‘live-feed’ digital clothing rail.

What is a live-feed clothing rail?

Simply, it’s a custom made clothing rack that lights up according to the corresponding outfit’s popularity on social media. For a limited time in the run up to the festive period, customers in store will be able to see which outfits are trending online through illuminated lights on the ‘live-feed’ digital clothing rail. Powered by O2 4G, the rail calculates the likes, comments and shares of a particular outfit on Facebook and Instagram. It then lights up accordingly so customers can see what’s trending in real time.

How else are we helping?

We have also equipped Tyrers with cloud-based Microsoft Office 365 software, Microsoft Surface tablets and 4G ‘pop up’ offices so staff can work faster, smarter and more efficiently. Employees can now check stock levels, reply to customer queries and communicate with suppliers no matter where they are.

What are people saying?

Ali Tyrer from Tyrers said:

“O2 Business has really given us the confidence to think about using technology even further, providing hardware and software to make things happen and push the boundaries to become a digitally leading retailer.”

Ben Dowd Business Director at O2 said:

“We want to help more small businesses grow and thrive in an increasingly digital Britain and our work with Tyrers demonstrates exactly the kinds of benefits our customers can have.”

What’s next?

We will be checking in with Tyrers to see how their new tech is helping business as well as keeping you updated on the rest of our digital activity in St Helens. Remember, St Helens is for life not just for Christmas.

How healthy is your business’s tech setup?

Find out and get some handy tips with the O2 Digital Health Check.

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