App ‘to give local businesses the chance to compete against big brands’ – for less than the price of a newspaper ad

An app that will give local businesses the chance to compete online with big brands is launching this week.

According to its creator Philip Cullen, RUBAN is about shopping local and keeping the country’s high streets busy.

Local businesses will be able to manage a business profile on the app and post notifications about their products, offers and events.

Speaking to Independent.ie, Philip said the annual subscription fee to the app will cost less than a local newspaper ad. He said there are no special skills required to manage their business profile, and said businesses get to keep 100pc of the revenue.

“It’s to give local businesses a chance against the Amazons, whether they have an online presence or not,” he said.

“It’s a vision for keeping things local, for looking up local businesses, events, community gatherings.

“The app is free for users. When a user opens the app, it’ll automatically give them everything going on around you within a 20 mile radius.

“You can delve into it and search hairdressers, butchers, etc. Meanwhile, the hairdresser with a subscription can post as many notifications on the app as they’d like about their offers, products or maybe even if they have a free appointment.”

He continued; “RUBAN was born out of frustration. I got so sick of looking for information about businesses and services in my home town, first on various local directories, then on Google, then Facebook, Groupon, Instagram, Tripadvisor, Done Deal, the list goes on.

“Often, I was searching for something that was available just down the road, but it was invisible to me, because it was invisible online.”

Philip and his team are kick-starting the app in Wexford, which will be followed by a 12-month roll-out nationally.

An advocate of ‘keeping things local’ and supporting rural businesses, Philip’s team consisted of app developers and telemarketing and marketing teams from around the country in Wicklow, Cork, Galway and Westmeath.

They are currently recruiting businesses to get involved and said they plan to place the free app on the market on April 5.

It will be available on iOS, Android and on all web browsers.

“It’ll give us a few weeks to get a sufficient number of businesses involved,” he said.

“We now have two months to register as many businesses as possible.

“Businesses will get their own mini website, or we’re calling it a business profile, they will get to bump out offers, details and events as much as they’d like. It can be used to let people know about coffee mornings, road closures, appointment cancellations, everything.

“Businesses will have full access to manage their account but we can help people if they’re stuck.

“It’s definitely as easy, if not easier, as putting an ad on DoneDeal,” he added.

Businesses pay a monthly subscription fee of €19.99 or an annual €199.99 subscription. If interested, they can email Philip at info@ruban.ie.

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