Sunset Park has scored another digital milestone.
Responding to customers’ growing dependency on smartphones, the Sunset Park Fifth Avenue Business Improvement District (BID) has created an application that will benefit both residents and businesses by providing information on promotions and special events as well as general information on businesses that are BID members.
The app was first released during the Thanksgiving season; subsequently, developers have continued to work out the kinks and add 600 businesses to the app’s list.
“I felt like it was something that we needed to do,” said Executive Director of the BID, Renee Giordano.
The developer, Eduardo Artica, has worked on the one-of-a-kind app for a year, and continues to add features and improve the service. “He’s been instrumental in researching what was the best company to use and put it together,” Giordano said.
The idea for a smartphone and tablet app that would alert residents to discounts, events and what local businesses have to offer stemmed from the BID’s extensive Wi-Fi service along Fifth Avenue and through Sunset Park.
“The app was an outgrowth of that. If we offer Wi-Fi, we need to make use of it also,” Giordano said. “I thought more interaction would be a great way to use the service.”
When the application is opened, it features a directory of clickable options, divided by the type of business — such as restaurants, banks and barber shops. “If you sign up on the app, it will send your phone alerts when a new promotion is available,” Giordano said. “It will also remind you when those promotions expire so the customer can take advantage of them. We also offer scratch offs where you could possibly win extra prizes.”
The app is also an interactive and collaborative one, as it allows users to make suggestions on how the BID can improve the service and experience.
“It is exciting because people that are not always in Sunset Park can check which businesses are here and what events are coming up,” Giordano added.
So far, with little promotion, over 100 users have downloaded the app. Local businesses, on the other hand, are still trying to figure out how to best utilize the opportunity.
“Businesses are excited about it, but it will take a while for them to figure out how to be part of it since it’s something new to them,“ she said. “If you use it in a positive way, being in touch with what’s going on with businesses, it can be a powerful tool and enhance the shopping district.”
To download the app, go to your smart device’s store and type Sunset Park Fifth Avenue BID.