The technology is here — if not packaged yet — and ultimately the costs to manufacture will likely fall enough to allow SMBs to participate. But until that day arrives I guess we’ll have to hold up our smartphones or don bulky headsets to experience the future.
New loyalty entrants are looking to make life simpler for the thrifty with suites of services that stretch from the marketer all the way to a consumer’s wallet. And some of those, like Klosebuy, are focusing local — targeting the SMB by giving them the power over loyalty programs once reserved for the big guys.
The startup is seeking to reinvent service businesses for both customers and proprietors by bringing a different experience to the table with cloud-based “self-service checkout made easy.” The company’s beta launched at the beginning of the year.
The new service is a video discovery app and broadcasting platform that enable users to browse, view and interact with video that’s being shared around them. “It’s like being handed a new map to your neighborhood that has all sorts of stuff you didn’t know existed before,” said CEO Vincent Gibson.
What would you do if you wanted to game Google into thinking you’ve got a vast network of local shops servicing area customers based on their search queries? According to a recent New York Times article, some lead gen companies are creating thousands of ghost listings to achieve just this. Bizyhood is trying to combat the practice.
Lots of companies have taken a whack at the local home services space — from Angie’s List to a raft of startups. ClipCall, which came out of beta in January and will present t Street Fight summit West on June 7th, relies on customers using the company’s app to record video of a job they need doing and then sends that video out to nearby experts.
Fermat wants to allow customers and small businesses (or people offering services) to talk directly to one another and pay for services using the likes of Bitcoin. As founder Luis Molina says: “Fermat aims to replace the ‘Sharing Economy,’ where powerful intermediaries extract significant value and information from every exchange.”
Bot Hunter allows queries about the latest hot bots, and its makers envision lots of local bots populating the platform. Key use cases include scheduling appointments, retrieving basic information, receiving automatic follow-ups after certain purchases, as well as promotions and loyalty programs.
“There’s an entire layer of mission critical technology that small local business owners know they need, but absolutely abhor their current relationship with technology,” says TableHero’s Deap Ubhi. “And at the foundation of that is digital presence, their Websites.”
“I believe we are now at the tipping point where both AR and VR are set to become accepted into the mainstream and in a few years will play an integral part in all our lives,” says Amplified Robot’s Steve Dann.