As consumers turn to the internet to shop, Toy World spoke to co-founder and CEO of Down Your High Street, Daniel Whytock.
With the UK on lockdown, the high street has had to close most of its doors to the public. We caught up with Daniel Whytock of Down Your High Street to discuss how independent retailers can utilise this online platform to sell their products.
What is the main concept behind Downyourhighstreet.com and how did the idea come about?
Downyourhighstreet.com is an online marketplace. We are a website that has over 675 different independent retailers all on one platform. This is a unique proposition as all of our sellers are independent stores, so they all have a physical presence but not necessarily an online one. Currently, it is a testing time for retailers, so our platform has seen huge growth in retailers joining, as well as increased numbers of customers who no longer have access to the physical high street. Footfall on the high street had declined anyway in recent months, but the outbreak of the coronavirus has had an even bigger impact, so offering an online retail opportunity for customers is more important than ever. Our ethics and excellent team of individuals has allowed us to really push the business into the next level of growth, which has led to a new website and more retailers benefiting from sales on our platform. Our ultimate goal is to help drive sales for bricks and mortar – that’s why we exist.
How have toys performed since launch and has this changed since the outbreak of Covid-19?
Toys is one of the best-selling categories on the website. It is currently second behind the computer games category; unsurprisingly, both categories are enjoying high demand as people find ways to occupy their time while staying at home. Consistent best-sellers include L.O.L. Surprise! dolls and Lego. Since the outbreak of Covid-19, we have started seeing an increase in sales of educational and creative toys. The website features many great educational toys that follow the guidelines of the school and early years curriculum, making them ideal for home-schooling whilst offering fun and creative play value.
How can independent retailers seeking an online presence get involved with Downyourhighstreet.com?
Any readers interested in setting up a profile with us can go to www.downyourhighstreet.co.uk. On the top banner on the website there is a link titled ‘become a seller’. When visitors click through, they are presented with two options. The free option has no joining fee and involves 15% commission on sales. There is also an integration option where, for £10 a month, a retailer can use multiple different integration methods such as order fulfilment warehouses, plus more. Sellers need only fill in one simple form with personal and shop details, which takes just two minutes. Our team will then receive the notification and issue approval, before getting in touch to help them get started.
When a retailer joins the platform, product listings are imported and matched into the right categories before going live. That can all happen within one or two hours. There are opportunities out there for high street retailers to utilise the online sector if they know where to look, and we only hope we can help a few more, particularly through this difficult time.
To read the full interview in the May edition of Toy World, click here.