Winchester High Street is filled with successful boutiques and independent businesses.

As the internet and social media have grown in popularity, people have begun to utilise them more and more to both assist in the running of their businesses or to be their sole source of income.

The businesses in Winchester are no stranger to this method of marketing. By promoting themselves on a variety of platforms, a wider audience can be reached and therefore a loyal customer base created.

Often, small towns and cities struggle to keep large businesses as people are easily able to order their products online.

However, boutiques tend to thrive in pretty, touristy towns such as Winchester. When people visit these types of locations, they want to buy unique products that they cannot find elsewhere. However, to continue their success these types of independent businesses still need to maintain a presence online. It is truly a no brainer with the amount of extra exposure they can receive.

The Consortium in Winchester is just one of these businesses. They sell retro furniture, jewellery, clothing and other homeware.

During the pandemic they wanted to start selling more online. Due to the success of this, they have continued to do so, even now.

They owner believes “The internet and social media have transformed small independent businesses like ours, providing significant visibility beyond the physical footfall, regular connection with our customer base through our social media channels, and as such, growth in sales through a rise in online purchasing. It has completely revolutionised the way we operate as a business and has enabled bricks and mortar shops like ours to thrive and succeed.”

Another establishment in Winchester is Mint Tea Boutique, which often hosts lives and posting on its Instagram about its products.

Yet again, the pandemic is what prompted social media to become a more key addition to the business.

Many people go into their shop saying they saw a specific product on Instagram and want to purchase it.

They feel their social media is a reminder for locally situated people that they are there, selling boutique clothes at high street prices.

The owners understand that with social media it is imperative to be consistent and they feel it is “a great way to connect with followers, as well as showcasing products.”

This is especially evident as they are always showing their faces and wearing the clothes they sell.

  • This article was written by Elsie Allwright, from Peter Symonds College, as part of Newsquest's Young Reporter Scheme.