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Entrepreneurs set to benefit as O2 extends popular e-coupon service to small business

‘Priority Moments’ will allow small enterprises to boost exposure with exclusive offers

Data carrier O2 announced today that their ‘Priority Moments’ offers service will be extended to independent retailers and small businesses across the UK, offering a boost to small businesses looking to increase exposure.

The service allows businesses to advertise promotional offers such as discounts or 2-for-1 offers to O2 customers as a free way of marketing their product or service – O2 claims that over a million of its 23 million customers have used the service so far, saving around £8 million. From today, it will be available to independent retailers (not part of a chain or franchise) which have a physical location, such as a shop or outlet, and which sell directly to consumers. The move will be seen as a much-needed boost to the struggling high street sector, which last year saw an increase in empty premises from 3% to 14.5% and in which over 12% of new small businesses shut down. O2′s own research pinpointed marketing as a particular problem faced by small businesses, with over a quarter citing it as one of the business tasks that they most struggle with. Matthew Hopkinson, director of retail location research firm The Local Data Company, said: “Through our physical walking of over 2,700 locations the Local Data Company tracks over 280,000 independent businesses. Not only do these independent businesses account for 66% of all retail and leisure units in Great Britain but in 2011 they showed positive growth of 2.4% whilst the multiple retailers shrank. This initiative by O2 gives these businesses the opportunity to harness some exciting technology which will enable them to engage with their customers in a way that many larger businesses already do and thus enable them to compete better in a fiercely competitive market.”

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