PushLocal Local Information On-Demand Platform

Connecting local communities

Project Background

Our client, an IT entrepreneur in Natchez, asked us to develop a solution that connects Natchez businesses and organizations with the local community. In response, Sibers developed a website that allows business representatives to register, create, and schedule push notifications. Two native applications (iPhone and Android) were built to supplement the website, allowing Natchez residents to receive the notifications. Today, this scalable solution is employed in multiple cities in the US and the UK.

Solution

The website’s home page explains the service’s benefits to local businesses, and prompts the user to either register or log in.

Each new member is approved manually. When a new user registers, the website’s administrator receives an email with the business’ information. The administrator confirms that all data is entered correctly, generates a registration code, and sends it to the new member. When the code is received, the new user signs in.

Once registered, businesses and organizations access a page where they can create, schedule, and manage push notifications. There’s also an option to integrate their notification with social media. Views, clicks, shares and likes for each post are registered, evaluated, and shown, and can be analyzed to optimize future marketing activity.

To stay abreast of local events and specials, city residents can download the application (native iOS and Android) from the website and subscribe to the locations, organizations, and categories they’re interested in. For example, a user can follow the school his kids attend, the church he frequents, and the restaurants and shops he likes. Moreover, the user can follow as many cities as he wants, i.e. cities he travels to for business or vacation. The app knows where the user is logging in from, and offers only relevant notifications. The user can also get directions to his destination, visit the destination’s website, or call the destination directly from the app.

Tech highlights

Web:

  • C#
  • MS SQL
  • JavaScript
  • EntityFramework
  • WCF
  • ASP.NET MVC
  • Ajax
  • jQuery

iOS:

  • Objective-C
  • iOS SDK
  • PushNotifications
  • CoreData.framework, FacebookSDK.framework, CoreLocation.framework, Security.framework, AddressBook.framework

Android:

  • Java
  • Android Application Framework: geolocation, adapters, fragments, network api, multithreading, services, camera

Third-party:

  • Google Play Services (Google Maps, Google Cloud Messaging), twitter4j, Facebook SDK, PullToRefreshLib, ActionBarSherlock
  • Payments: Stripe

Results

While the application is free for locals, the solution generates revenue for its owner through paid subscriptions offered to businesses. Our client now has representatives in multiple US cities, and a presence in the UK. Businesses love the system, and have described in glowing terms how customers were on their way to one place, but changed directions and visited the business when a push notification was received.

Customer Says

The app and website look and work great. I'm very impressed by everything. It all looks almost perfect on the first try — nice job! (January 2014)

Zach Jex — Co-Founder at Pushlocal

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