Ipswich: Using the internet to bring visitors to our town

Paul Clement, chief executive, Ipswich Central Paul Clement, chief executive, Ipswich Central

Friday, April 4, 2014
2:36 PM

Town Topics with Ipswich Central

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We are all getting smarter – it’s official

I never cease to be amazed at how rapidly we, as customers, are changing our habits.

Increasingly, more of our buying decisions are made through the internet, particularly using mobile devices.

Let me run some statistics past you that amazed me when I heard them last week. Ipswich town centre’s own website, allaboutipswich.com, was launched in March 2013 and started by receiving 9,000 unique visitors a month, the vast majority of whom were using fixed computers in their office or home and were locally based.

Today, only 12 months later, that number has risen to more than 30,000 new visitors in peak months with over half using mobile devices and a majority from out of the immediate area. In addition, 15 new customers a day are downloading our town centre app and our social media messages last December were viewed just under one million times.

With something like a third of internet purchases failing to be delivered first time round, no wonder we are viewing more content remotely yet still preferring to consume locally. The exception remains our daily newspaper that still, happily, fits through our letterbox and is a staple part of our morning breakfast routine.

The overall trend means that, after successful trials last year, we will soon be launching and promoting ‘select and collect’ to Ipswich’s new on-line, mobile audience. View a product, agree to buy it, and come into town knowing that it is waiting to be picked up or consumed by you. That’s what more and more customers are deciding they want.

Today, consumers demand instant access to meaningful, accurate and up-to-date information. But, having been provided with that, they then want the certainty of knowing that what they have decided to consume will be available to them when they want it, not when someone wants to deliver it to them.

We are all incredibly selfish aren’t we? Yet, in so being, we are rapidly giving town centres a whole new meaning as they embrace the mobile age and entice in customers who, otherwise, may never have thought to visit.

Paul Clement,

chief executive, Ipswich Central

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