Like it or not, we are living in a constantly connected world. Smartphones and tablet devices have given consumers constant connectivity to the Internet and apps through the mobile web. This technology has opened the doors for individual companies to be seen on mobile websites and apps, and has also given consumers a central meeting place to learn about local businesses and receive up-to-the-minute reviews and tips.
Apps like Foursquare, Yelp, SCVNGR and recently Explore Canada Like a Local (ECLAL) have paved the way for consumers to find local businesses and attractions through the power of social media.
The Canadian Tourism Commission launched ECLAL and, like the other apps, it is available on iOS and Android-powered devices. These apps allow consumers to explore a city or region through specific themes like accommodations, adventure and sports, culture and attractions, restaurants, scenic tours, shopping spas and outdoors.
All these apps include GPS devices to give consumers location-based suggestions for activities and businesses nearby. Live maps identify the app user’s exact position and the shops around him or her, providing the address, directions and contact information to the business. Consumers are also able to write and read reviews about the business.
These apps aren’t just for tech geeks; they are becoming more popular and easier to use every day. Local businesses need to understand how apps work and the power they hold over consumers who base their travel plans around the suggestions and user advice or comments found in each app’s unique platform.
A business with a higher social media presence and employees that keep track of what is being said on these apps will be able to better respond to consumer demand. Not only does this show initiative to please the customer, but with the influx of smartphones and tablets across the country, it is a growing necessity to have a mobile presence to attract current and potential consumers.