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New smartphone app. aims to bring in more customers for central-Norwich businesses.

New smartphone app. aims to bring in more customers for central-Norwich businesses. Shops and other consumer-oriented businesses and services in the centre of Norwich will now be able to promote themselves with the aid of a brand new smartphone app. specially designed to boost traditional retailing and activities in the City.

Norwich Central gives businesses the ability to send ‘push-messages’ about instant offers and news directly to the smartphones of potential customers who have flagged-up an interest in their type of goods, services and events. Message recipients can then take immediate advantage of the promotions and activities, enjoying instant access to them as part of the whole experience of living and working in and around the region’s capital city.

The app. will be equally usable for a wide variety of businesses – shops, estate and lettings agents, restaurants, bars, hotels, mini-cab companies etc. – any kind of business in central Norwich that needs to generate more sales and extra profitability from consumers. It will also be available for entertainment venues and those wanting to promote live music and events, including any last-minute price reductions for same-day activities.

Norwich Central has been developed by local marketing business Deep Blue Communications and spokesperson, Phil Doig, is optimistic that businesses will use the new application, adding it to existing methods of marketing themselves. He commented: “Norwich has previously fared much better than many other retail centres around the UK, perhaps due to its wide variety of independently-owned shops and centrally-located shopping malls that keep people in the City centre. But online shopping isn’t going to go away and it’s forecast to grow to 30% of UK retail sales by 2020. That’s bound to have a greater impact on traditional high-street businesses, even in places like Norwich which isn’t immune from all of this, having recently slipped from ninth to thirteenth place in a respected survey of the UK’s best shopping venues. The situation on the high-street is changing rapidly and businesses can’t afford to sit back and watch.

“The app. can help businesses of all sizes – from the big stores to the market stall- holders. With 52% of today’s shoppers carrying smartphones, people are ready for retailers to take the initiative and keep up with their exact needs – not just spam them with anything that’s going. Businesses can still sell online as well, if it’s viable for their business model, but the vast majority of sales are still made by consumers happily walking into business premises – that’s how around a hundred billion pounds changes hands in the UK each year. Norwich Central can help with this process.”

Local businesses can register to promote themselves via the Norwich Central app. by visiting the NorwichCentral.co.uk website. Business listings and messaging services are initially being provided free of charge to let users try-out the system. From 1st March onwards, local smartphone-users will be able to download the app. from the same website or by going to the Apple App. Store, for iPhones, or the Google Play Store, for Android devices. Messages will be sent from mid-February.

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