A new app which allows shoppers to buy online while supporting independent homewares and furniture retailers has been launched in response to changing consumer shopping habits and the rapid digitalisation of the high street.

MyStreet, which uses artificial intelligence (AI) and Computer Vision (CV) to connect shoppers with specific items they are looking for, has launched to help businesses adapt to changing consumer shopping habits and support their online sales strategy at a time when the physical high street faces unprecedented challenges.

The first-of-its-kind app enables independent stores to create their own virtual shopfront, and matches the preferences of shoppers across the UK to retailers which stock similar products and services, helping business owners reach like-minded consumers beyond their usual catchment area.

Meanwhile, MyStreet enables shoppers to discover some of the best independent retailers across the UK, and build their own personalised virtual high street featuring their favourite stores.

MyStreet launched to the fashion retail sector in January and is now expanding to incorporate homewares, furniture and interiors, in response to an increased focus on ecommerce both within the sector, and the growth in customers purchasing furnishings online.

Richard Johnson, co-founder of MyStreet, says: “We know that during the pandemic online sales of furniture and home decor have soared, and this shift is set to continue – even after shops are able to reopen their doors again this month.

“We’ve been developing MyStreet over the past year as a way of helping address the UK’s high street decline, and we know from our conversations with independents that they need support now to boost their digital presence and bridge the gap between online and offline.”

As well as connecting independent retailers with customers, MyStreet facilitates direct communication and virtual visits with shoppers via in-app messaging and live streams.

"Expertise at the till sets high street retailers apart," says Richard, and the app will allow store owners to provide a personalised service including giving advice, providing reassurance on common themes like fabrics and colours, and discussing unique offers – giving less reasons for returns, and facilitating lasting relationships.

Retailers interested in signing up to the app can find out more here.

A dedicated app for retailers, MyStreet Pro, allows stores to list their products and services free of charge and complements and integrates seamlessly into existing ecommerce platforms. Retailers will receive tech support to create a profile and get their products online quickly and easily, with as little disruption to their day-to-day operations as possible.