Boscombe’s Little Pickle Deli Café has said a new app designed to promote local businesses has failed to help them attract customers.
Bournemouth Coastal BID has launched an interactive dog hunt on their new app, aiming to get locals exploring the town’s coastal areas.
The app, ‘Go Bournemouth Coast’, is celebrating Chinese New Year and the Year of the Dog by encouraging users to visit dog-friendly retailers where they can scan the poster needed to unlock virtual characters.
They can then take a photograph with a virtual dog and share it on social media for the chance to win a prize, acting as an incentive for the public to visit the participating businesses.
Director of Little Pickle Deli Café, Andrew Spong, told BUzz News that this latest technology has not enhanced business at the café.
He said: “At this point in time I don’t see how it’s doing anything for us. I’m trying to think if I’ve ever seen anyone do it, and I have told a few people about it.
It’s a fairly uninteractive app. I think people thought it might be something more like the Pokémon Go sort of concept.”
Despite Bournemouth’s presence as an advanced technology hub, Mr Spong questioned how the app could help businesses, suggesting that alternative promotional efforts could be more effective.
“There could be a vote for your top five favourite cafés for ‘café of the month’ or something like that.”
However, Nikki Parker, Operations Executive at Coastal BID, believes the app does support local businesses, and is “a really interactive way to get the public out and about exploring Bournemouth and the surrounding areas.”
She added: “We wanted to launch a product that would get people actually inside businesses, and it’s a bit Pokémon Go style.
We’re giving them [businesses] great content to then put on their social media or website. So we’re delivering a product for them which they can then take on board and use in their own marketing.”
The dog hunt is running from mid-January to mid-February, with different features planned for the rest of the year.