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Ipswich: Using the internet to bring visitors to our town

14:36 04 April 2014

Paul Clement, chief executive, Ipswich Central

Paul Clement, chief executive, Ipswich Central


Town Topics with Ipswich Central

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,, 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


  • Hate to be rude - but your website AND app is not good. The app is the most basic information. The allaboutipswich colours are terrible... might be in it with 1 in 3 young uni students but to the rest of people it looks very unprofessional, childish and downright terrible.

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    Ipswich Entrepreneur

    Friday, April 4, 2014

  • Hardly a great innovation to attract visitors, I live out of town and many times over the years if I've needed or wanted to buy something specific I've phoned a shop to have an in stock item put away for me ready to collect. I'll be interested to see how this idea will work these days in ipswich when there are so few shops selling anything worth buying let alone reserving. I shop online a lot, not through choice but through necessity as ipswich sadly has so little to offer now which when added to the ridiculous parking charges makes waiting for items to be delivered (often at no extra charge) a much better option for me and no doubt many others.

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    Sunday, April 6, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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