The City of San Jose invites you to join the ranks of businesses gearing up to take advantage of the City’s new initiative to encourage San Jose residents and businesses to purchase their goods and services in their own community by accessing the Shop San Jose Website. The Shop San Jose Initiative will educate consumers and companies about the range of great businesses and services available here in San Jose as well as how looking locally creates jobs here, takes less time, maintains the environment and helps support the cost of the public services.
Your company can benefit by capturing some of the increased local spending as the City reaches out to the over 300,000 families and 50,000 businesses in San Jose. With $1.9 billion less being purchased locally than would be expected, your company’s participation in the Shop San Jose Initiative could result in big results as consumers and businesses change their purchasing habits.
In order for San Joseans to find out more about the opportunities available to them when the Shop San Jose Initiative is unveiled in fall 2011, the City needs the help and participation of
- Connect with the City of San Jose regarding the Shop San Jose Initiative. You can sign up at the bottom of this page and we’ll notify you as the project matures from this early development phase.
- Make sure that your company website is current and represents you well. If you don’t have a website, consider the fact that many people now use the Internet to identify businesses and you may be missing valuable opportunities.
- Look at establishing a presence in the social media sphere. More and more people are making their purchasing decisions using the advice they get from their friends and colleagues and based on offers made on “daily deal sites” to which they subscribe.
- Check out www.BusinessOwnerSpace.com; the site offers a range of business information and can also connect with a host of business service partners who can help further your efforts.
- Maintain your relationship with local Chambers of Commerce or Business Associations. The City will be working with these organizations to find additional creative ways to connect San Jose residents and companies with San Jose businesses like yours.
- Follow the Getting Started with Social Media guide.
The main method that the City will be using to encourage consumers to find more about the Shop San Jose Initiative will be Social Media. The City has recruited several multi-national and local social media companies. Through the participation of these companies and others like them, the City will connect businesses interested in letting the public know about their offerings with consumers and companies interested in making a difference in their own communities through their purchasing choices.
The following are social media companies and organizations with which the City of San Jose is collaborating to help San Jose companies connect with San Jose consumers. A quick on-line search can provide you with other alternatives if you would prefer to identify other resources.
As with any business transaction, you should carefully evaluate if a company’s offerings work well for your business before entering into any relationship. The City makes no warrantee about these groups or their products and will not be able to undertake any action to resolve complaints.
The ability of consumers to easily view the location of businesses on a map is one of the strengths of the Internet. With the addition of review sites, consumers can quickly see the reputation of businesses in their local area and other reviewer provided information. Business owners who register their companies for free with the review site can provide additional specifics and communicate with reviewers to resolve issues publicly or privately. Most sites offer pay options to provide greater visibility (coupons, photos, advertisement placement…).Shop San Jose
ShopSanJose.com is a new but growing newcomer in the San Jose area. They focus on providing shoppers with a fast, fun and easy way to find the products and services they need from San Jose businesses. The company offers a “freemium” model which allows companies claiming their profiles to receive most services at a limited level for free. At no cost, businesses can claim their profile and provide additional details about their offerings, provide photos, sell as many as five products online, sell online gift certificates, and be listed in two categories. Among the services that require that companies upgrade with a monthly charge are adding videos, having a larger newsletter subscription level, issuing press releases to local media, and connecting their profiles with social media.
Shop San Jose Participation – ShopSanJose.com is helping the City of San Jose by:
- Promoting the shop local message.
- Additional participation by the company will occur as part of a rollout of their services.
ShopSanJose.com helps companies increase their visibility at no cost. Businesses can expand on their basic profile and service level with upgrades.
Yelp was one of the first review sites which incorporated geographic location. They have a strong and active community of over 325,000 regional “yelpers” who share their experiences at a wide range of businesses. Businesses that unlock their accounts can communicate with their customers (both privately and publicly); track business page views; and add photos, a detailed business description, up-to-date information, history, and specialties all for free. For a charge companies can also advertise with Yelp, offer special coupons, and post videos and slide shows.
Shop San Jose Participation - Yelp is helping the City of San Jose by:
- Letting their 325,000 readers and tastemakers all over Silicon Valley know about Shop San Jose.
- Participating in Social Media forums (e.g.: see Small Business Social Media Conference – Link)
Yelp will help San Jose businesses increase their visibility by offering free access to the businesses’ review pages through which businesses can provide additional pictures and information and communicate with reviewers. Yelp also offers on-line blogs and other support to help businesses effectively use the site.
In general daily deals sites offer consumers, who opt-in, a regular e-mail highlighting discount offers from merchants. Companies are able to leverage the strong following of the daily deals site to receive a significant bump in paying customers. The daily deals business typically makes a profit by taking a percentage of the consumer’s payment and forwards the remainder to the company on a schedule. Since the payments are made for actual customers, there are no up-front costs borne by the merchant.
Through its daily deal e-mails and alerts, LivingSocial introduces members to handpicked local businesses, products or services each day at savings of 50 percent or more. LivingSocial works with each merchant partner to create customized marketing solutions that attract and retain loyal, long-term customers. They offer businesses a range of products such as Families, Adventures, Escapes (“vacations in a box”), and Living Social Instant which allows for distribution of real-time discounts to nearby consumers. LivingSocial now has more than 45 million members in 25 countries
Shop San Jose Participation:
LivingSocial is working with local tourism, arts and entertainment groups to develop special offers grouping various activities into experiences. The company will also broadcast information about the Shop San Jose Initiative to its San Jose members. Living Social is also helping inform other media about the Shop San Jose Initiative.
Merchants can greatly extend their marketing reach by using LivingSocial to reach new customers who are interested in trying new stores and venues. Each LivingSocial member prepays for their vouchers for services and experiences and the merchant receives a negotiated percentage of each transaction from LivingSocial.
Dishcrawl is a “foodies” dream. Their main product, City Dishcrawl, is a night of social dining at four restaurants during which food lovers get a chance to taste samples of each restaurant’s offerings and to meeting the chefs and owners. Restaurants can also host a dinner for Dishcrawlers to expand their marketing reach. Registration for each event is handled by Dishcrawl and the restaurant receives payment following the event. Since attendees are there for the experience rather than for discounted pricing, restaurants can maintain their brand.
Shop San Jose Participation:
As they will for their restaurant partners, Dishcrawl is helping the Shop San Jose Initiative by getting the word out about the program to their consumers. They’ve also helped restaurants leverage Festiv’ALL 2011 event and will be working to get the word out to the local press.
Dishcrawl allows restaurant partners to establish a personal connection to self-identified food lovers interested in trying a new experience. Satisfied Dishcrawlers frequently become return customers since they’re drawn to the food value rather than a discount.
To find out how you can make a difference, visit www.shopsanjose.biz.