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Debenhams and Pizza Hut join growing number of retailers on ‘Digital High Street’ app NearMe

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Digital High Street search app NearMe – which we featured in M-Retailing a few weeks ago as a revolutionary new way to search the high street on smartphone and find what you want anywhere in the world – is going from strength to strength following our exclusive story and has this week signed up Debenhams and Pizza Hut to its service.

Both retailers – who join the likes of Everything Everywhere, Asda, Tesco, B&Q, French Connection, Fullers Pubs, Young’s Breweries, ScrewFix and Giraffe Restaurants – are using NearMe to help drive footfall and are offering vouchers and coupons via the app as an incentive to engagement. Both are also encouraging users to download NearMe from their websites, helping to boost the growing number of people using the service.

Simon Forster, Online Trading Director at Debenhams explains the move to sign up to NearMe: “Debenhams has seen unprecedented growth in mobile and tablet visits over the last year. As well as driving direct mobile sales, it is critical that mobile as a multichannel device delivers sales in store. By utilizing location based technology the NearMe app enables shoppers to easily find their nearest Debenhams store as part of The Digital Highstreet.”

Scott Muncaster Marketing Manager, Pizza Hut adds: “Pizza Hut is always looking for new and innovative ways to reach people with our news and offers. Near Me is a great new platform for us to tell people about our new Special Five offer in a way that is both timely and relevant.”

Near me is a mobile guide app – that currently works on iOS only – that lets consumers search for the things they need that are near them, from specific shops, to pubs, hospitals, parking and so on. But what makes this different is that brands can now pay to appear on the home screen of the search service, creating something akin to a digital high street.

While consumers can still search the app for what is near them, the brands that are signing up in droves to the service get to have a preferential presence on the home screen, as well as getting branded space within the app. In addition, they also get to push messages and offers out to the consumers, based on where they are and what they are doing.

“Customers can not only see what is around them and find what they are looking for, but they can also engage and be engaged by brands as well,” says a spokesman for NearMe. “Retailers can target offers at specific countries, cities, towns or even individual stores that can then be seen by users. This can be offers, invites, information or even job ads for those stores.”

For retailers the NearMe service offers the chance to get listed on maps that users use to find what is near them, as well as to engage with consumers. Starting at £35 per venue for a year, listings are already in the hundreds of thousands worldwide.

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