Yellow Pages’ campaign helps local retailers go digital

Third annual Shop The Neighbourhood event bridges digital gap in local shopping

Yellow Pages Group is helping to digitize local retail with its latest “Shop the Neighbourhood” campaign, which takes place on Nov. 28.

The program, now in its third year, is designed to support small businesses by encouraging local shopping.

Strategically placed between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the event offers deals to help drive consumer traffic to local shops during a weekend when many Canadians shop in the U.S. or order online.

Participating stores and services receive free advertising on and on YP Shopwise, an app dedicated to finding shopping deals. By downloading the YP Shopwise app, Canadians can access Shop The Neighbourhood promotions and deals available at local stores during the event.

“The vast majority of Canadians now start their shopping process online, where they do research and get more information about the products and services they need,” said Paul Brousseau, VP, brand communications at Yellow Pages. “Of the more than one million small businesses in this country, more than half don’t have a significant digital presence… and are not present as part of that information-gathering process, so it’s an inhibitor for the success of small businesses.”

“One of the roles that we play is to really help small businesses cross that digital divide, to enable them to have a digital presence and to be found online,” added Brousseau. “Foot traffic [alone] is not enough anymore to compete with how consumers are now investigating and buying products.”

New this year, Shop The Neighbourhood is launching a pilot program involving iBeacon technology at participating retailers in Burlington, Ont. and Montreal. On Nov. 28, shoppers who have downloaded the YP Shopwise app will receive notifications on their phones alerting them to the proximity of a deal or promotion exclusive to Shop The Neighbourhood.

Bell Media has renewed its partnership of Shop The Neighbourhood and will promote the program across the country. Spots will air on Bell Media’s English and French properties, and content integrations will be done across Bell Media’s conventional, specialty and radio properties.

Hosts and experts from The Marilyn Dennis show, The Social and eTalk will profile a number of Canadian neighbourhoods, and features will air on Canada AM and Bell Media radio programs.

The campaign also includes out-of-home advertising at street level and on digital superboards in English and French.

“Yellow Pages’ campaign has an ambitious vision that directly benefits the economic health of Canadian merchants and their neighbourhoods,” said Debbie Drutz, vice-president, Bell Media Mix, in a press release. “It’s our mission to deliver a strategy that brings this brand idea to life across the country and we’ve engaged a huge lineup of media personalities to help rally Canadians to shop locally.”

Last year’s Shop The Neighbourhood event saw more than 750,000 consumers spend $89 million at local neighbourhood retailers, according to Yellow Pages. More than 8,000 neighbourhood businesses participated nationwide, and Brousseau expects that number to double this year.

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