Tag Archive : apps

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If you ask Keith Latore, CEO and Co-Founder of Save Local Now, how he came up with his latest entrepreneurial endeavor, he’ll tell you it originated as a simple idea scribbled on a cocktail napkin. 

As the former president of Your HomeTown Chagrin Falls, Latore already was focused on preserving and enhancing the quality of life in Chagrin Falls. The organization’s goal was to assist businesses and bring people in to shop in the village’s stores. 

“A light bulb went off,” Latore said. “The traditional stuff had been done — they exist and are successful. Connecting in digital space is where businesses need the most help, and they need it to be easy, fast and free.” 

And so, Save Local Now was born. 

Read the full article on Crain’s Cleveland Business by clicking here.

Keri Senderak, Director of Marketing and Communications at Save Local Now, was interviewed on the importance of supporting local. See her full interview  here.

Why is buying local so important to businesses and the economy as a whole?

At the most basic level, buying local ensures that more money stays in the community. In fact, for every $100 spent at a locally-owned store, $45 remains in the local economy. By shopping at the local “mom and pop” style store instead of these “big box” corporations, consumers can rest assured knowing that they’re doing their part at keeping their communities unique and thriving.

How does buying local save money?

Buying local saves people money in several ways. These small businesses are close to home, meaning that many people don’t need to travel far to get to them. Products (like fruit and produce) are made or grown at local locations, so they don’t have to travel far to get where they’re going. This means that, in many cases, there is no middle man. This translates to lower prices for the business owner and, of course, the consumer.

What are the current trends you’re seeing in local communities?

Saving money by buying local. I’ve noticed that many chambers of commerce (more specifically those that have partnered with Save Local Now) are encouraging “buy local” initiatives. Now more than ever chambers and their small businesses recognize that when consumers buy local, they are also assisting in the creation and retention of jobs.

Where do you see local businesses in the next few years? Few decades?

I only see communities and their local businesses growing stronger. Many of us concern ourselves with “what’s trending.” These “buy local” promotions are most definitely trending, but I also believe they’re here to stay. People genuinely care about their communities; they want a booming downtown area, safe streets to walk on, job opportunities and friendly atmospheres. Honestly though, who doesn’t? I don’t see small business going anywhere any time soon.

You partner closely with chambers of commerce. What are some things you do together?

We partner exclusively with chambers of commerce to help their member businesses. We discovered that many of these small business owners didn’t have the tools they need to ensure a successful business. We void that gap by partnering with the chamber. The chamber pays for SLN services, and their members get SLN as an added benefit for being a member of the chamber. Currently, Save Local Now is in 27 states, and more than 80,000 member businesses have received SLN as a NO-COST member benefit. Here at Save Local Now, we are all about the small business owner, and will do whatever we can to guarantee the success of that business, the community they’re in, and the chamber of commerce that supports them.

You can follow Keri and Save Local Now on Facebook and Twitter.

AND, ACCORDING TO A SALSEFORCE.COM VP, IF YOUR COMPANY DOESN’T HAVE ONE, YOU RISK BEING IRRELEVANT.

By: Peter Coffee

Ever since companies started buying computers, programmers have been tasked with automating familiar business processes, and applications have been programs that do familiar paper-based things, merely using a computer to do them more quickly. Accounting, engineering calculations, looking up information in archives: That’s been what computers were made to do. But today, apps are the new front door of the business, and that means application development is both a more strategic activity and a more creative endeavor.

Businesses can no longer rely on corporate websites to be their primary means of engagement. Statistics show that traffic to company websites is declining already, not just as a share of customer interactions–but in absolute number of visits.

When people want to discover and interact with a brand, they download an app. No amount of search engine optimization will offset the new customer behavior ofsearching an app store, rather than searching the Web.

If you don’t have an app, you risk being effectively invisible to the fastest-growing audience of customers: More than a billion app users already exist, and that market is growing at nearly 30% every year. If your app merely assists your current customers but does nothing to attract and engage new ones, you risk having a customer base that shrinks whenever a current customer dies–neglecting a crucial source of new ones. That’s an undated suicide note; you’re on your way out of business and only the speed of your extinction is to be determined.

How can you tell if you’re writing and offering apps, and not merely putting applications into a handheld form factor and distributing them through an app store? A few characteristics separate the old guard from the new guard of apps:

Old applications:

  • Have data captured as a by-product of business activity.
  • Are a function driven by familiar business tasks; are automated but otherwise not innovative.
  • Hold user experience as an afterthought, since applications are used by a captive audience.
  • Are built by programmers and operated by an IT staff; judged on metrics of cost and efficiency.

New apps:

  • Have data captured through algorithms of discovery from activities of customers and the Internet of Things.
  • Are a function driven by observing and imagining opportunities for value-adding services and customer delight.
  • Hold user experience as a top priority for ease of discovery, ease of use, and suitability to big- and small-screen devices.
  • Are built by designers, marketers, and front-line business units, supported by IT teams–but judged on metrics of ROI.

In this world of apps, your app is your brand. Your app is the tool that fights off commoditization. Consider the unavoidable elements of your business that make it identical to any other in the same general domain; consider the ways that an app can elevate your company above the pack.

Modern apps don’t win by programmers’ traditional figures of merit; it’s not mainly about being faster or more efficient in the use of computer hardware. Apps today win by being more intuitive, engaging, and thoughtful of what the user is most likely to want next.

Already in progress is the next stage, where apps become the fabric of ecosystems.Not only can your app engage the customer with your brand, it can also make you the partner of choice for sellers of related products and services.

For example, a website that sells concert tickets (a rather Web 1.0 sort of idea) becomes, in the new world of apps, a potential gateway to dining and transportation options for the rest of an evening out. Your customer sees the increased convenience, and you monetize the resulting network of referral agreements, and enjoy source-of-first-resort advantage in pricing your own offerings.

What you think you make or do is irrelevant. Your customers’ spending determines what your product truly is. Today, the company with no app is merely a supply-chain partner to the company whose app engages the customer. Every company needs to become an app company.

Peter Coffee is vice president and head of platform research of Salesforce.com, Inc., an enterprise cloud computing company based in San Francisco. Follow him on Twitter at @petercoffee

View the original article here.