Preston's digital influence and presence is among the top five per cent of towns and cities in the country

Preston's digital influence is among the best in the country, according to a new report.

Tuesday, 14th August 2018, 11:14 am
Updated Tuesday, 14th August 2018, 12:23 pm
Fishergate is one of Preston's busiest commercial streets

The report, published on Sunday, August 5, saw Preston sit at number 60 on a national scale for ‘Digital Influence’ – ahead of destinations such as Southport, Canterbury, and Durham and 1,300 other destinations.

The report - part of a government endorsed campaign called #WDYT - measures towns and cities across the UK with weekly digital scores, with places that grow their digital influence deemed to also increase their attractiveness to shoppers and visitors, with 'digital influence' a measure of how much people are talking about your town or city online, predominantly through social media.

Mark Whittle from Preston BID said: "Online presence and offline transactions have a direct link – a huge proportion of physical sales take place because of an active online relationship with customers.

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"Delivering timely and relevant information to any audience is vital to engage, inspire and create trust.

"The BID is supporting businesses with increasing their online engagement via its own social media channels and its consumer facing websites.

"Whilst online shopping provides convenience, it lacks the personal interaction that shopping in person delivers."

It is estimated that by 2020, 80 per cent of retail purchases will still occur offline; close to 50 per cent of those anticipated sales will be affected by a strong digital influence.