July 05--First there were coupons. Then there was Groupon. Now the Lodi Chamber of Commerce is stepping into the digital marketing game with a new smartphone app, Save Local Now.
"It's no secret that more and more people are shopping via desktop, tablet, phone and through social media. We wanted to provide a real benefit for businesses that may not be social media savvy," said Chamber president and CEO Pat Patrick. "A person on their cellphone can create a deal in just 60 seconds and reach thousands of people."
The chamber has partnered with the creators of Save Local Now to provide a platform where member businesses can post special deals, coupons, events and promotions.
Unlike Groupon and other daily deal apps, which take a percentage of the revenue from each coupon deal and can require minimum purchases or a certain number of participants, Save Local Now is free for both consumers and business owners.
Shoppers can download the app on both iPhone and Android operating systems, and scroll through a list of local deals and advertisements. Deals vary, from 10 percent off a product to buy one, get one free deals. Not all local businesses are participating.
Kat Williams, retail manager of Taste of Heaven at 115 S. School St. in Lodi, said her store has been using the app for a couple of weeks. She uses it to post events and advertisements for their different basket products. One of their biggest deals is a $12 refill of Calivirgin olive oil for people who bring in empty olive oil containers. She estimates about 10 people have already come in mentioning deals on the app.
In promoting this new app, the chamber hopes to generate more spending at local shops and businesses, and keep the cash flowing within the community.
"Since studies show that for every $100 spent at locally owned businesses, $45 goes back into the community, we felt it was important to find the perfect program to help promote the exceptional businesses we have in Lodi," Patrick said.
He pointed out that locally collected tax dollars stay in Lodi and help pay for projects such as fixing roadways and paying for firefighters and other public safety services. It can also help friends and neighbors who are local business owners, he said.
"It's up to us to keep a strong local economy by spending money locally," Patrick said.
Contact reporter Christina Cornejo at email@example.com.
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