There are mobile phone apps for just about everything, so why not one for Grayslake businesses to promote themselves?
This is the thought of the Grayslake Economic Development Commission (EDC), which has recommended it to the village board for consideration.
The concept, discussed at village's Dec. 4 committee-of-the-whole meeting, is to develop a mobile phone app for licensed Grayslake businesses that would be downloadable from the iPhone App Store and the Android Market at no cost to the businesses or consumers.
A one-time development and set-up fee of $5,000, which includes creation of the app and the first year's subscription for the business community access, would be funded from the EDC's budget.
Through the app, licensed Grayslake business could list general information, promote sales and special offers and offer coupons.
The City of Lake Forest already has a mobile phone app for its business community called Live, Work, Play Lake Forest.
EDC commissioners and village trustees Amy Edwards and Shawn Vogel spoke about the usefulness of such an app for Grayslake.
Vogel said one of the EDC's goals is to increase the visibility of the business community and "this is one way to do that."
Through the app, he said, businesses could promote themselves, offer loyalty points and other perks to customers. Vogel said there would also be an analystics function for the village to determine the app's success and training for businesses on how to load information onto the app.
"It really makes sense," said Edwards. "Everything has an app now, and this is another way to help our local businesses. There's a lot of things we can do with it."
The app could also be used to promote events, and would be accessible to Grayslake civic organizations in addition to businesses.
Village officials agreed that in order to use the app for promotion, participating business must be licensed, which could work to increase the number of licensed Grayslake businesses.
"Residents value the Grayslake brand," said trustee Bruce Bassett. "This is just another way to stay in touch with Grayslake."
"I think it's a great idea. Let's do it," said trustee Jeff Werfel.
The village board will take a formal vote on the EDC's proposal at a future meeting.
If approved, the app would be designed specifically for Grayslake and would include features such as:
- Business details page – a unique page per business that lists general information (location on map, phone number, website, available promotions/coupons).
- Push notification messages – allows customers to receive notifications when businesses of their choosing launch a new promotion/coupon.
- Search – allows customers to search for a particular business.
- PIN code to redeem – on the perk redemption page, customers type in a corresponding PIN code to redeem a promotion/coupon.
- Call business – on the business details page, customers can click the listed phone number and their phone will automatically call the business.
- GPS directions to business – on the business details page, customers can use the map to acquire GPS directions to the business.
- Social network sharing through Facebook – allows customers to post a comment to Facebook after they have redeemed a promotion/coupon.
- Perk listings page – a listing of promotions/coupons that are currently being offered by participating businesses.
- Perk redemption page – a screen that allows a customer to redeem promotions/coupons with their phone and allows the business to track promotion/coupon usage.
- Loyalty redemption page – functions similar to a punch card for frequent customer visits.
Would you use a mobile phone app for Grayslake businesses? Tell us your thoughts in the comments.