A HIGHWORTH web firm made a tool that links bookshops with customers to help small businesses stay afloat in the battle against online retailers.

Reuben Digital is encouraging bookworms to get in touch with their local bookstore through a web portal called Caboodle which has been adopted by shops in the area including Highworth's Lighthouse Bookshop.

Managing director Ray Stephens said: "The electronic customer relationship manager allows relatively small marketing teams to keep in touch with their customers because communications are automated and local content is generated by members.

"Book sellers and record shops face fierce competition from online retailers so we are very proud to be helping local businesses to engage with all of their customers.

"This strategy is ideal for businesses, organisations and charities that want to automate their electronic marketing to reach a broad customer base and build customer loyalty through regular engagement."

Launched by National Book Tokens, book enthusiasts can sign up to Caboodle to win loyalty points, enter competitions, and find out about events near them like coffee mornings, special offers, and author book signings.

Reuben Digital has also built the National Book Tokens personalised gift card store which members of the public can use to design and buy gift cards for their friends and family.

The National Book Token gift cards can be personalised with words and pictures, and this aims to encourage customers back into physical shops to browse and buy with their gift cards.

Thousands of members are already signed up to receive mass broadcast emails from Caboodle.

More than 1,300 individual bookstore brands – from chains like WH Smith and Waterstones to independent bookshops – can keep Caboodl users in their area up-to-date with news and event alerts.

The scheme has also attracted interest from the Record Tokens brand and the Society of London Theatre, the organisation behind Theatre Tokens, is also keen to get in on the act.

For more details, visit www.reubendigital.co.uk or caboodle.nationalbooktokens.com