DestinationCore | Will an app boost my BID?

Will an app boost my BID?

A common marketing starter kit for BIDs tends to look like this; strong brand, tick; consumer website, tick; consumer app, tick.

But, just because that’s what everyone else is doing, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s right for your location. The brand and website are two assets that you 100% can’t be without and you may feel like your destination would benefit from an app, but before you take a leap into what can be an expensive endeavour, let me ask you some questions.

Why do you feel you need an app?

It's easy to fall into the trap of having what's new or fashionable, and apps for locations and travel are becoming ever more utilised tools for those users visiting your location, but this doesn't mean that your destination necessarily needs one of its own.

You may be wondering why, as a member of the DestinationCore team, I would be warning you off having an app developed. Well in truth I'm not - I simply asking you to ask yourself these key questions before making an expensive decision...

You need to give your users a reason to use an App, where's the incentive?

What function will the app serve that the website doesn't?

Your app should have a purpose all of its own; it shouldn't simply replicate what your website is providing. For example, we have built the Offers & Events app - this provides exclusive content to your users, drives footfall when those users redeem those offers or attend those events and most importantly, it's a tool, giving users exclusive content that the website doesn't provide.

Remember, you need to give your users a reason to use an app, if you just replicate what they are already getting – where’s the incentive? You may end up spending a lot of your budget on something that is never used.

Our Offers and Events app can be extended further so that it is only made available for employees of levy payers within the BID. This again is an extra layer of uniqueness that the website won't necessarily already serve.

So, is an app for you?

Hopefully you get what I’m trying to say by now - look for the USP, the reason that users would use the app over the website, think outside the box - apps can be a lot more targeted in their purpose than a website. I've listed a few ideas below that could form the perfect app for your destination and we want to be actively developing apps for our DestinationCore customers that allow us to harness more valuable data about how people interact with your destination and, ultimately, drive more visitors to you.

- Trail app
- AR app
- User generated photos app
- Levy Payer Stats app

App article content image Apps should have their own purpose, not replicate website functionality.

You've got your idea - what now?

Now that you have your snazzy app idea, what's next (apart from getting in touch with us)?

The first thing to decide is how the app is going to be built, you may hear two options thrown around - Native App or Progressive Web App (PWA). We always favour a PWA. Let's go through what the two are and their pros and cons.

Pros:

  • Can be more secure than a PWA (if the PWA is not developed correctly)
  • Can run faster than a PWA as they don't need the browser
  • Can be discovered by new customers in the App store

Cons:

  • Approval has to be given before it appears on an app store, this can be a quick or slow process
  • Expensive to develop (Less Objective-C and Swift specialists out there)
  • Slower to develop than a PWA
  • Slower to update, approval must happen every time an update is made
  • Cannot be indexed by Google

Progressive Web App (PWA)

A PWA is written using web languages such as HTML, CSS and Javascript. This means that any web developer can develop a PWA and the code for a PWA can exist within your current website.

Pros:

  • Faster development time
  • Cheaper development costs
  • Faster to deploy
  • Faster to update
  • Easy Installation (no app store account needed by user)
  • Can be indexed by Google
  • Can utilise many features of a Native app such as Push Notifications, Home Screen icon etc.

Cons:

  • Cannot be submitted to an app store
  • Still need a browser to run
  • Can suffer from web-based security vulnerabilities if not developed properly

Making your mind up

Hopefully this article has at least given you some food for thought around whether your destination is ready for an app.

We are more than happy to discuss your app needs with you, simply get in touch.

View some case studies

Visit Southampton

Visit Southampton

Southampton BID had just gone through a brand refresh and were looking to help bring that brand to life with a powerful online experience. They wanted visitsouthampton.co.uk to be the go-to website for users to find out about what to do and what's on in Southampton. They chose the Advanced core package and The List Events Feed module to power their website.

VISIT WEBSITE

All About Ipswich

All About Ipswich

All About Ipswich is a DMO for Ipswich and the surrounding area. The website showcases events and offers, and also includes a business directory. It provides easy access to a huge range of content, with the Journey Planner and Itinerary Builder modules enriching the user experience. The Campaign Section module provides a hub for the client's numerous marketing initiatives.

VISIT WEBSITE

Visit Clapham Junction

Visit Clapham Junction

As a BID in their first term The Junction BID needed to make an impact. Attracting visitors to Clapham Junction by showcasing what’s on offer and demonstrating value to the businesses they represent was essential. They chose the Offers and Events progressive web app alongside the Advanced core package to encourage people who work within the BID area to spend more time at The Junction.

VISIT WEBSITE

In Colchester

In Colchester

In Colchester is the consumer website for the Colchester BID. We helped them create a new consumer facing brand, and then applied that brand to the DestinationCore platform to create a stunning looking website. Launched in August 2019 the feedback for this site has been superb. The client is looking to refine and improve the website in the coming months and years by adding modules in the future.

VISIT WEBSITE
DestinationCore exmaples on Mobile

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Tel: 020 7729 0934

Email: info@destinationcore.com

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