BOULDER, Colo. — A Colorado app developer is harnessing the power of TikTok-style videos to boost local businesses.
The social media marketing is already having an impact on The Hill neighborhood shops, and buzz is building.
Change is near, or "nigh," according to Josh Ritzer, who founded the Nigh app.
"Nigh looks like TikTok for local, where everything you see on the feed is from a local business that's near you and wants more customers soon," Ritzer said.
The app is in Beta testing now, and only available in Boulder, where they've done dozens of "drops" with restaurants and shops.
"We've coined the term 'local drop,'" Ritzer said. "Essentially, a local drop is just a spontaneous event or opportunity at a local business near you."
It shows up on the app as a video post from a local business, hyping a limited time offer with creative marketing. Viewers can then select a virtual ticket that gets you access to the deal.
"We literally can bring customers to any business up on The Hill within minutes," Ritzer said. "We're bringing restaurants people during some of their slowest hours."
The Point Cafe is one location that's benefitted from an influx of Nigh-inspired customers.
"They've brought us over a thousand customers in business in a handful of drops," said Elizabeth Engelbrecht, the cafe's general manager. "It's wild. Every time we do something with them, it's so much fun."
What's more, the app is designed to bring in customers who can actually make it to the event on time.
A patent-pending algorithm called "The Nigh Zone" only makes the drop visible to people within driving distance of the offer window.
"So, if there's a yoga class that's right around the corner from here, and they have a class that starts in 45 minutes, we only show it to people who can get there in the next 45 minutes," Ritzer said. "And, the radius shrinks over time."
There's a social component too, which Ritzer has found the younger generation appreciates. Users can post pictures of the events they've been to.
"It shows you everybody that has been to the drop," Ritzer said. "Then you can actually click on a picture if they left a check-in picture."
Ritzer said big technology and e-commerce have left small business behind, and the Nigh marketing app is one way to level the playing field.
"When we look back in 10, 15 years from now, we're going to see the next generation of technology has lifted up all of our local businesses and brought back Main Street, America," Ritzer said.