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Kontakt.io has partnered with dozens of innovative companies, to create and deliver unique customer experiences with our beacon / iBeacon platform. This is the first post in a new Partner Spotlight series that will highlight some of the solutions created by our partners. Today, we’re featuring HotSpot Parking, a young Canadian company that’s changing how local businesses engage customers in busy downtown areas.

Covering your local downtown area with beacons

Many things become possible when you beaconize your busiest urban areas. That’s exactly what Phillip Curley was thinking in 2013 when he founded HotSpot Parking, a mobile parking payment solution for downtown areas and business districts.

HotSpot wanted to find a way for local brick-and-mortar businesses to better connect with nearby customers. By offering free parking and personalized incentives, Phillip believes he can help local businesses bring in more customers, improve sales, and provide better service.

Downtown brick-and-mortar stores are facing serious challenges

Brick-and-mortar stores are always looking for new ways to bring in customers – usually by relying on some form of advertising. The problem is that TV, radio, and newspaper spots are very expensive and are notoriously difficult to measure in terms of ROI.

Online advertising and social media seem promising, but these require a certain level of tech-savviness that many business owners don’t have – thus risking a lot of expenditure with little return to the bottom line. The reality is that small business owners generally don’t have the time or resources to figure out the next step.

“Local businesses are busy being businesses. They make money through sales, and don’t have time to learn new technology.”
Phillip Curley – CEO HotSpot

When you need professional services downtown, parking is no picnic

We’ve all been there – driving around in circles, desperately hoping that a spot will open up. When you finally find parking, you’ll probably have to pay by the minute or hour. How much time will you need? One hour? Two? You definitely don’t want to get a parking ticket – and worrying about parking doesn’t make for a great shopping or service experience.

How HotSpot makes downtown shopping easier for businesses and patrons

HotSpot offers a win-win solution for downtown businesses and customers. HotSpot-connected businesses can send free parking incentives to nearby customers and automatically pay the fees. Should the customer need a top-up (say for an extra 20 minutes to close the deal) – this can be done instantly through the HotSpot Parking solution.

Customers can thus easily find parking, and can receive professional services with peace of mind – without having to worry about parking tickets, additional charges, or running out of time when running errands. The built-in Analytics Dashboard also provides a simple way for businesses to measure connections, engagements, and conversions – offering true insights into advertising ROI.

“It’s all about convenience and measurements for local businesses”
Phillip Curley – CEO

Like all new businesses, HotSpot faced implementation challenges

When HotSpot got into the nitty-gritty details of implementation, Phillip started running into some issues. He needed enough beacons to cover an entire downtown area. Unfortunately, he found that most companies couldn’t provide the quantity or flexibility he needed. Some providers took months to respond to inquiries, or would never sent a response at all. Others wanted to lock in a restrictive platform or tell Phillip how the system should work.

Then, HotSpot talked to Kontakt.io

Kontakt.io was able to provide the three things HotSpot needed:

“We’ve went through every type of beacon imaginable. Kontakt gave us three things
we desperately needed”
Phillip Curley – CEO HotSpot

  • Control. With Kontakt.io, HotSpot was free to develop an independent solution according to his needs.
  • Scalability. Kontakt.io quickly delivered all the beacons needed for the project.
  • Dependability. We worked with HotSpot to develop a customized solution while providing continuous support.

We supply HotSpot with everything they need, including:

  • Beacon hardware (including iBeacon and Android compatability).
  • Open RESTful API to support app and tool development.
  • A cloud-based platform to support and secure the entire system.

The Results?

As of June 2014, HotSpot is currently available in Saint John and Fredericton in New Brunswick, Canada. The app has over 3,000 active users and services over 100 local businesses. The first 10,000 sessions in each local business showed measurable improvement in engagement and conversions.

Would you enjoy having HotSpot available in your city? Contact HotSpot directly.

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