Corporate News

55% of shoppers want to support local retailers

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7th June 2021

As 55% of shoppers say they want to ‘support local’, NFU Mutual offers retail insurance customers free social media tools to help them connect with their communities

  • Commercial insurer NFU Mutual partners with Maybe* to provide retail insurance policyholders with free access to social media expertise.1
  • New research from the insurer reveals that 37% of shoppers named social media as one of the mostly likely ways they would discover a new local retailer, a figure which climbs to 55% for18-34-year-olds.2
  • Wanting to support the local high street is the most common reason for shoppers to choose to do business with a local retailer, with 55% saying this factors into their decision.
  • Internet users are spending an average of two hours and twenty-two minutes a day on social media, with 43% increasing use during the pandemic.3

Today (7th June), NFU Mutual launches a partnership offering retail insurance policyholders 12 months free access to social media expertise and management tools to help them connect with their communities.

The free service is part of NFU Mutual’s wider package of support for customers and communities during the pandemic, and follows research from the insurer showing that 55% of shoppers want to support their local high street.  Thirty-seven percent named social media as one of the most likely ways they would discover a new local retailer, a figure which climbs to 55% for18-34-year-olds.

Providing partner Maybe* is part of the Government’s High Streets Task Force, set up to provide expertise, knowledge and support to help regenerate high streets across the country.

The year-long membership, worth £1,140, will provide NFU Mutual’s new and existing retail insurance customers with tools and training to help them maximise cut through and return on investment from their social media activity.

With research from DataReportal also revealing that internet users now spend an average of two hours and twenty-two minutes a day scrolling through their social media feeds - with 43% increasing use during the pandemic - local businesses are being encouraged to consider how they can engage with customers across online channels.

Zoe Knight, Commercial Insurance Expert at NFU Mutual, said: “Social media has changed the way we communicate and shop, and has become an increasingly important way for businesses to connect with customers.

“Over a quarter of shoppers increased the amount of business they do with local retailers during the pandemic, and we want to help our retail policyholders use social media to maintain those relationships, as well as attracting new business.  

“By maximising the benefits they see from their social media channels, local retailers can have meaningful interactions with customers, develop business resilience and potentially drive sales, helping them to bounce back after the pandemic.

“Maybe* offers a range of tools that will help businesses to manage their social media activity, connect with new customers, learn from other local businesses and analyse their social media data to see what is and isn’t working.

“NFU Mutual has over 300 agency offices across the UK, so is itself part of local communities nationwide, and is committed to supporting fellow local businesses.”

Polly Barnfield, CEO of Maybe*, said: “Maybe* uses artificial intelligence to provide actionable insights and easy to use tools that enable organisations to connect with their audience, improve their return on investment and to understand how to stay ahead of their competition.

“We’re excited to provide NFU Mutual retail customers with tools and training to help them build customer relationships using social media. As part of the service, they’ll be included in online High Street Guides which promote all local businesses and share local rewards with customers, delivered via their mobile phones. Maybe* provides this all in one place supported by a friendly team.”

Small hospitality businesses, offices, surgeries and farm shops insured with NFU Mutual are also being offered the free social media support. Eligible NFU Mutual customers wanting to register for 12 free months of Maybe* membership should contact their local NFU Mutual Agent.

Notes to editor: 
Pictured –Sophie Girardin of Breadalbane Bakery, Aberfeldy – Maybe* service user
Spokespeople available for interview

1 Offer terms and conditions
12 months free subscription to the Maybe* ‘Engage Lite’ package from date of sign up, available until 30th April 2022. Available to new and existing NFU Mutual small business insurance customers, Commercial Select customers with a premium of up to £2,500 and Farm Essentials and Farm Select customers with a farm shop diversification. After that period if you wish to continue using the services of Maybe* a monthly charge will apply.

2 NFU Mutual research
NFU Mutual commissioned Yonder (formerly Populus) to survey 2,000 people about local retailers from 26-28th May 2021. The respondents are designed to be a fair representation of the UK population.

3 Social media usage according to DataReportal – July 2020

  • 43% of internet users aged 16-64 reported spending more time on social media as a result of Covid-19
  • The average daily time that internet users aged 16-64 spend on social media is 2 hours and 22 minutes. 

For further information on NFU Mutual’s partnership with Maybe*, visit NFU Mutual’s website here.

For more information about support from Maybe*, visit:

For further information, please contact: 
Kay Henderson, Press Officer
07980 793354

About NFU Mutual:

NFU Mutual offers a wide range of products, including general insurance, life, pensions, and investments. These products and services are delivered through our network of NFU Mutual Agent offices, as well as through our direct sales and service centres. With over 300 local businesses located in rural towns and villages throughout the UK, NFU Mutual has become part of the fabric of rural life and remains committed to serving the needs of our members nationwide.

NFU Mutual is proud to deliver more than simply insurance. Making farming safer, supporting rural initiatives across the UK and helping to look after the environment are just some of the ways we do that. To find out more about everything we do to support our communities, visit