Google takes challenge of digitising high street into its own hands

Google has offered up a digital taskforce to give training to high street retailers as part of a wider Government-backed initiative.

One hundred shops, bars and restaurants will be given training and tailor-made tips from Google’s taskforce, which has been dubbed the Digital Garage on Tour.

They will be given pointers on how to make the most of digital through a series of workshops which includes sessions on topics such as finding customers online.

Retailers will also be given one-to-one consultations with Google specialists to chat specifically about their businesses.

Eileen Naughton, Google’s managing director for the UK and Ireland said: "Small businesses with a strong web presence grow more than twice as quickly as those without, but while many retailers and businesses know the importance of being online, getting beyond a basic website can seem tricky.”

It comes as part of the Government’s British High Street Competition 2015 which gives towns the opportunity to win a share of £80,000.

“That’s why we’re sharing our knowledge and expertise by bringing The Digital Garage on Tour to Great British High Street winners, ensuring everyone gets the digital skills they need so that being online is a real growth engine for businesses.”

High Streets Minister Marcus Jones said the offer of help “from some of the best in the business” was amazing and “crucial in helping our high streets to thrive”.

Earlier this year, Argos boss John Walden urged the government to create a ‘High Street Laboratory’ which would offer small businesses advice alongside skills training to help them navigate the latest digital technology.

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