Local community based online forum Nextdoor and Barclays have formed a new partnership to connect people with local businesses.
The ‘Get Local’ partnership will enable UK businesses on Nextdoor to directly connect and communicate with new and existing customers.
The new features will allow businesses to opt-in to a dedicated ‘Coronavirus Open for Business Directory’ so that residents can easily see which local businesses are trading.
Businesses will be able to publish two posts for free, per month, allowing them to share vital information such as new opening hours, delivery options and special offers. Compared to other social media platforms that require businesses to build up followers or likes in order to reach anyone, Nextdoor offers instant and direct connection to thousands of neighbours.
These new features will help businesses connect with their local community, which is critical as many local businesses have had to temporarily close or have been significantly affected by social distancing guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Barclays business customers who sign up to Nextdoor will also be able to take advantage of a free ‘Local Deal’, a targeted commercial ad to the local area, worth up to hundreds of pounds in marketing spend.
During this challenging time, communities are turning to social networks to connect with neighbours. Nextdoor has seen a spike of 91% in engagement on the UK platform from Feb to April and conversations about supporting local businesses have increased by 10x.
Social distancing and lockdown measures across the UK have resulted in an increase in neighbours discussing the importance of local businesses and services on Nextdoor. Neighbours are talking more about delivery and takeaway options, with ‘delivery’ being used 13x more and ‘takeaway’ 5x more, whilst the term ‘greengrocer’ has seen a 30x increase.
Nick Lisher, Head of EMEA at Nextdoor said, “At Nextdoor, we believe when local businesses thrive, communities thrive and so we are proud to be partnering with Barclays to launch ‘Get Local’ to support local businesses during this difficult and challenging time.
“We know that shopping local is important to neighbours on Nextdoor and our members are eager to help support small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. In a recent survey, nearly 70% of Nextdoor members told us that they would prefer to shop at a local independent business over a high-street chain.
“Through Nextdoor, local businesses will be able to boost their marketing efforts, grow their customer base and spread awareness of their business or service with those customers that matter most to them: their local community.”
Hannah Bernard, Managing Director for Barclays Business Banking, said, “We understand that small businesses up and down the country are struggling with the impacts of coronavirus right now, and we will do everything we possibly can to support them. At the same time, we recognise that people want and need to purchase key items locally whilst abiding by social distancing measures.
“This partnership builds on the other schemes we’ve launched for small businesses to access help, and lets business owners promote their services to their local community in a safe way. We want to do everything possible to support local communities and businesses through this difficult time. We’re happy to partner with Nextdoor to help firms continue trading even if their physical premises have had to close and help prepare local communities as we start to emerge from the lockdown.”
William Benson, who owns Applegarth Farm in Hampshire, has been using Nextdoor for nearly three years. He’s experienced first-hand the positive impact the platform can have for communities and local businesses, in times of regular business, but even more so during the COVID-19 pandemic. William said, “As soon as the Government ordered pubs and restaurants to close down, our business had to change overnight. We had to make changes quick and fast in order to survive and be able to continue to employ our team. We ripped out the restaurant and turned it into a delivery production room to offer delivery of essential local produce such as bread, milk, eggs and meat and repurposed our kitchen to produce fresh and homemade meals.
“Nextdoor was the only platform that allowed me to get the word out effectively and locally. It has allowed us to successfully let the community know we’re still open for business and what we can source for our customers. Thanks to Nextdoor, we’ve reached locals from all walks of life which has enabled us to offer discounted or free food to those who are vulnerable. The support from the local community on Nextdoor has been overwhelming, we wouldn’t have been able to do it without them!”
The full list of new product features to connect and support local businesses and communities:
1. Coronavirus Open for Business Directory Many local businesses are offering takeaway or delivery options. Whether it’s a restaurant or a retail shop transitioning to a delivery-only business, businesses can now add their available options to their Nextdoor Business Page so neighbours know exactly how to order and offer support during this time.
2. Business Posting Businesses with a Nextdoor Business Page can begin sharing posts in the Nextdoor newsfeed for free – updating neighbours about new hours of operation or ways of doing business, new takeaway or delivery options, gift cards and more. These businesses will be able to post twice per month and their posts will be clearly marked with a top-hat message
3. Local Deals Local Deals allows local businesses to promote an offer, discount, or another incentive to new and existing customers in exactly the neighbourhoods they want to target. This makes Nextdoor the only platform where businesses big and small and with any kind of budget can reach real neighbours with verified addresses.
Through the new ‘Get Local’ Partnership and Coronavirus Open for Business Directory, William will now be able to easily share with thousands of households his new opening hours, delivery service and special offers, helping to strengthen his business during this challenging time.
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