M-Retailing

Gloucester visitors benefit from temporary mobile access to promotions and money-saving offers

Gloucester has taken its next step in ‘digital high street’ innovation by offering visitors and tourists the same offers and promotions available to residents on its GL Card, when visiting the historic city.

Currently the GL Card, which launched in early April, gives Gloucester’s residents the ability to obtain exclusive offers from over 100 of the city’s businesses, when using their cards at eight voucher-printing ‘Touchpoint’ kiosks. More than 3,500 vouchers have been created at the Touchpoints since the card’s launch, with redemption rates for vouchers being printed at between 60 and 70%.

Now, thanks to Marketing Gloucester and technology partner, Rewarding Visits, the Text-a-Card innovation will make it possible for visitors and tourists to access the same offers and promotions.

The digital card and code, on a mobile phone, will give visitors temporary access to discounts at some of the city’s most popular retailers, cafes, restaurants, leisure attractions and even bus and taxi travel.

Text-a-Card is a trial feature for the summer, as Gloucester establishes itself as one of the UK’s smartest cities by embracing the government-backed digital high street project. Rewarding Visits won investment from Innovate UK, the government’s innovation agency, to develop a simple way to engage visitors with a town or city’s businesses.

Gloucester has seen day visitors increase more than double from 2 million 2013 to 3.1 million in 2015 – and has recently become the fastest growing tourism destination in the county, bucking national trends as more and more people explore and enjoy the city’s many historic attractions, dockside leisure locations and exciting festivals.

Guy Chatburn of Rewarding Visits, says: “The idea of texting a temporary card came to us after Eurovision, when we realised how easy it was to use text auto responders to attract people to get a card quickly on to their mobile. By also asking for a postcode, Marketing Gloucester can see where their visitors are coming from. We think Gloucester has become the first tourist destination in the UK to engage with visitors in this way.”

Jason Smith, Chief Executive Officer of Marketing Gloucester, adds: “Text-a-Card is a great addition to the visitor experience in Gloucester. I am delighted that tourists from near and far will be able to sample the excellent range of attractions, shops and eateries, whilst supporting local businesses who are actively engaging with new and existing customers. It is a step in the right direction as we develop the GL Card into a comprehensive city pass.”

Visitors to Gloucester just need to text GLCard followed by their postcode, to ‘88802’ to get a free 7 Day GL Card on their mobile phone and see all the offers available to them.

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