Icon representing a gift, deal or special offer

Free this, half price that, Two 4 One, Buy One Get One Free, 20% off…

There’s no getting away from it, everyone loves a deal!  Today, customers from all walks of like are fully engaged with the deals/special offers culture, taking great pleasure and comfort in getting that ‘great deal’.

But what’s in it for small businesses?  Historically, not a lot for some it seems, especially when it means being overloaded with customers paying discounted prices and unable to offer the usual great service and losing the business money to boot because you gave 50% or more away to a ‘deal broker’

Image showing deals and offer tagsHowever, it doesn’t have to be like that.   Imagine if you could offer an attractive deal or special offer, that…

  • Attracts new customers through the door
  • Costs just £1 each time a customer buys one
  • Is marketed free and available to customers 24/7
  • Instantly redeemable using any internet connected device

Miquando local deals have all the upside of the daily deal websites and coupon clipping but none of the downsides by allowing businesses to…

  • Get started with no up-front costs
  • Run deals & offers for however long you want
  • Avoid overloading and the usual operational havoc
  • Directly target under used capacity only
  • Limit availability – Stop, start or change a deal instantly
  • Make a deal/offer profitable

So how do I do it?

1st thing to do is give a little thought to what you want to achieve with an offer.  It might be any of the following.

  • Increase brand awarenessBeauty Bar deal image
  • Advertise a new product or service
  • Boosting sales
  • Attract a new set of customers
  • Convert new customers to repeat customers
  • Increase visits from existing customers
  • Using excess stock
  • Rewarding customers / buying loyalty

You just add a new service and tick the check box to highlight this as a special offer and add a great image or photo that really sells the offer.  If you want, you can limit when customers can book this deal so you are only discounting in quieter periods to help fill spare capacity e.g. a midweek early bird dining offer.  To do this, simply add a new resource for this service with limited booking times

Add a new Resource that is only available to be booked between 5:00pm and 6:30pm, Monday to Thursday

Image showing local deals pageThat’s it – we’ll start promoting your deal on the date your new service is set to start (immediately or a future date) and it appears on the relevant regional deals page (e.g. http://miquando.com/deals/isleofman).

Customers both new and existing, local or visitors to the area, are always on the lookout for deals and offers using our regional deals pages.  To keep a flow of new visitors, we regularly promote these pages through targeted social media and other online campaigns.

Ready to get started?  Give us a call on 01624 640393 or Click Here to send us an email

 

Still not convinced, look at these independent findings from Technomic’s research into online deals….

  • 48% of deal buyers used it for a business that they had never tried before
  • 25% used for a place that they have visited only once before;
  • 67% returned even without a deal;
  • 83% recommended the business to their friends and family
  • 34% wrote a review
  • 25% posted a status on their Facebook page
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miquando.com mobile site

Back in February we talked about how mobile (tablets & phones) had overtaken non-mobile (desktop/laptop) in terms of the devices used to access miquando.com.  This was slightly earlier than we predicted last July when we launched our mobile web app (http://m.miquando.com) to accommodate this changing consumer behaviour (more..).

Mobile Devices 58% v Non Mobile 42%Today, less than 6 months later (July 2016), we see mobile phones alone are now the most popular device for our visitors.  This is a critical tipping point, because if your business does not have a mobile friendly website, chances are you are undoubtedly missing out opportunities to engage with the modern consumer.

Analysis of the devices used, has revealed a second valuable trend.  2 years ago, tablet usage was in decline, but with the recent introduction of new devices into the tablet market, there is currently a resurgence in tablet use.  This month, analysis of our visitors shows almost 60% now using mobile devices.

Miquando mobile site images
This is important because, whilst your ‘old’ website might be just about usable on these large screen mobile devices, unless you have designed it to be ‘responsive’ i.e. respond according to the type of device being used, it will likely be a pretty ugly experience for your consumer.

The first great thing about listing your business with MiQuando, means that even if you don’t have that ‘responsive’ website yet, people searching for local businesses like yours, can find you on miquando.com, looking great on a mobile friendly web site.  That way you won’t be missing this rapidly growing group of customers.

The second, is that by enabling your business for online booking, you are opening your doors 24hrs a day to mobile wielding consumers across the globe.

 

If you’d like to learn more, arrange a call back today – http://bit.ly/DiscoverMiQuando

 

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Book Now Button

Many visitors to the Isle of Man are looking to enjoy the peace and tranquillity this fair Isle offers.  Some come for the breath-taking scenery, coastal walks and outdoor adventures available.  Others come for sporting challenges or to see the thrills and high speed excitement of road racing around the Mountain Course and Southern 100.  And then there’s business travellers and people visiting friends and family.

These visitors come from far and wide, and like most people they will have researched and probably booked all or some of their travel arrangements online.  What we are now seeing is, an extension of this online behaviour with visitors looking to firm up their plans and make arrangements online at their destination before they travel.  And this is where significant numbers of people are taking advantage of online booking from MiQuando.

Thank you image to our 10,000 customers

In recent months, we have seen a wide range of Isle of Man businesses receiving online bookings (over 10,000), from visitors far and wide across the globe.  Whether it is the business visitor setting appointments with Advocates and Accountants, someone needing to hire a wheelchair for a week, groups celebrating and hiring a hot tub for the weekend, sportsmen and women needing a bit of physiotherapy or a soothing massage, the bridesmaids booking in for those special treatments in the beauty salon and virtually all of them reserving tables in local restaurants.

In short, customers just love the convenience and flexibility of booking online 24/7/365.

The visitor economy plays a huge part in, and is a significant contributor to the economies of not just small Islands like the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands, but also Great Britain as a whole.  As such it is vital that every business from the smallest up, needs to be in a position to take advantage of this visitor behaviour.

And that is where Online Booking powered by MiQuando comes in to play.  A simple, reliable, low cost online booking service that works for virtually any business, opening the doors to customers worldwide, all day, every day without adding a penny to the wage bill.

If you want to learn more about miquando.com and how online booking can help grow your business, arrange a visit or book a call back today at miquando.com

 

#bookingeasy

 

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At MiQuando we’re on the lookout for some special to help us grow our online booking & marketing business.

Miquando Search Bar

Business Development Star

We’re looking for someone totally #BOOKINGAMAZING, who will be out and about, actively generating new contacts, sales and opportunities.  You’ll dedicate yourself to …

Identifying new sales leads – Following up new business opportunities – setting up meetings – Presenting features and benefits – Sharing new product developments – Developing working relationship – Identifying new market / product opportunities – Developing marketing literature – Providing feedback – Plus some other stuff too

 

Is this the role for you?

We need someone who is outgoing, friendly, assured and self-confident; that simply loves networking, meeting and presenting to people, both 1-2-1 and to wider audiences.  It also helps if you can demonstrate…

Good business sense – Passion for success – Exceptional communication skills- A positive outlook – Sound understanding of marketing principles – Plenty of initiative – Solid negotiation skills– Your sense of fun – Some dress sense

Other good stuff we need!

As an e-business, technology underpins our core offerings, including our innovative local business directory and advertising services and our popular multi sector / multi-platform online booking services.   As such, you will be…

Comfortable using current technology – Able to communicate technical features in simple language – Familiar with technology terms, trends and developments – Able to contribute to the development of new products and services

 

What’s in it for you!

The right person can expect to be rewarded with not just an attractive remuneration package comprising salary, commission scheme, bonus scheme and company car, but also the pleasure of working with a great set of people.  It’s still early days in the MiQuando journey, and the opportunity is there to grow the role and responsibilities in line with our own exciting growth plans and ambitions.

If this makes your toes tingle, send us an email to Business Development Role making sure you tell us why you think this is right up your street and don’t forget to attach a copy of your latest CV.

 

#bookingamazing

 

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The team has been busy over the winter month, beavering away behind the scenes to bring some great new additions to miquando.com.  We’re now into the final stages of development and testing, getting ready to release our latest updates into the wild.  Here’s a quick preview of some of the updates coming soon.

Email Icon

Better Informed

After listening to feedback from our members, we are making some small changes to our emails, to make sure everyone receives all the information they need regarding their bookings.  We’re adding more information and making it easier to read for businesses and online bookers alike.

 


Shield and folder with padlock 

Enhanced Data Encryption

We know how important is to keep your information safe and sound online, so we’ve been busy working to add more and stronger encryption to all your personal information you provide for your online bookings.

 


Tools IconPrivacy Tools

In addition to the improved data encryption, we now offer businesses more choices as to what customer information their staff and our support team are able to see.  The ‘High Privacy’ option suppresses names and contact information for customer bookings, whilst the ‘Very High’ option blocks all visibility to customer booking information, except for authorised accounts.

 


vectorstock_1676929

Restaurant Booking Capacity Tools

We’ve been working alongside some of our busiest restaurant partners to develop some very clever algorithms and a new graphical interface for our Restaurant Booking services.  We’re really pleased with the capacity management tools we have added that make it so much easier for restaurants to manage their bookings and prevent overloading both the kitchen and the front of house.

 


Chart for Bookings

Graphical Interface for Bookings

The new graphics and interface, mean it is easier than ever to see at a glance all the reservations for a particular day and service, view details of each individual booking in an instant, or update a booking with a single click of the mouse or tap of a finger.


Busy Diary

 

Diary / Calendar Management

Perhaps the hardest part of managing a busy diary is making sure everyone is up to date with everyone’s appointments and working hours.  It’s pretty much impossible to do with a paper diary, but we’re making it as easy and flexible as possible with our smart new Free/Busy Scheduler wizard that works with your online bookings calendar/diary.

 

 

All these new features and the great benefits they bring to consumers and businesses alike, are pencilled in for release mid April.  We’ll add a system news to let everyone know exact dates once all tests have been completed and signed off!

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Lgog for Paparazzi Pizzeria Isle of Man

Paparazzi Pizzeria, one of the Isle of Man’s most popular restaurants has joined forces with Miquando to offer online reservations in 2016.

Customers can now quickly and easily make a reservation for lunch or dinner online using their phone, tablet or computer at their convenience – 24 hrs a day

Paparazzi Pizzeria Wednesdays.

Customer’s can also take advantage of monthly special offers available every Wednesday, which can also be booked online.

January’s offer is…

Choose 2 pizzas off the main menu for just £15 per couple in January.

Note: This offer does not include extra toppings  and is not valid for take away orders

#bookingeasy

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As part of our commitment to making life easier for customers and businesses alike, we’ve made it quicker and easier for you to change and cancel your bookings.

New “Edit My Booking” tab

Pic of Edit Booking Tab

Our ‘booking widgets’ now have a new tab.

To Change or Cancel a booking, simply click on the ‘Edit My Booking’ tab, or use the new link included in your booking emails, which will take you to a form, pre-populated with your booking info.

 

Change or Cancel a booking

EditBooking1-75

 

 

If you use a link from a booking email we’ve sent you then your information will already be shown, otherwise you can type in your Booking Reference and Email Address.

Click on the Find Booking button and we’ll find and retrieve your booking in a jiffy

 

#bookmeitseasy

 

EditBooking2Found it!

Once we’ve got your booking, you will see all the details here, and you then have the option to Change or Cancel your booking.

Change it leads you through your booking, allowing you to change the date, time, no of people, notes etc

Cancel it asks you to confirm your choice, and will then cancel your booking (providing you are within the cancellation rules set, otherwise you will be prompted to contact the business concerned)

#bookingamazing

 

That’s how quick and easy it is to change or cancel your bookings without the need to sign in to your MiQuando account.

 

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The Menu Icon for Google Chrome

It isn’t just apps you can put on your smartphone or tablet. Whatever your device, it’s a quick and easy process to add your favourite mobile friendly web sites to your home screen. So just like apps, they’re always to hand when you need them; no downloads taking up space, and they’re always bang up to date.

How to add MiQuando mobile web app to your home screen.

Google Chrome IconUsing Chrome for Android

Navigate to m.miquando.com. Tap the The Menu Icon for Google Chrome menu button and then tap the “Add to homescreen” option. Give your shortcut a name, like “MiQuando”, and Chrome will then add this to your home screen.

The MiQuando icon will show on your home screen just like any app, so you can drag it around and move it to wherever you want. Chrome for Android loads the website as a “web app” when you tap the icon, so you won’t even get a browser interface, just a nice clean web app.

Most other Android and native browsers offer this feature, so you should be able to add the MiQuando web to your home screen in the same (or similar) way.

 

Apple Safari IconSafari on iPhone, iPad, & iPod Touch

Open your Safari browser from any recent Apple iOS device, and go to m.miquando.com. Tap the The Apple Share Menu Icon Share button on the browser’s toolbar (you’ll find it on the bar at the bottom for iPhone or iPod Touch, on the top for iPad), then tap the Add to Home Screen icon in the Share menu. Give your shortcut a name e.g. MiQuando and it will be added to your screen.

Just like a normal app, you can drag the icon around and place it anywhere you want, including in app folders. Tapping your MiQuando icon will load the MiQuando mobile website using the Safari browser app.

 

Internet Explorer 10 IconInternet Explorer on Windows Phone 8 / 8.1

Using IE on your Windows phone, you use the “Pin to Start” option to add items to your home screen as tiles. Open the Internet Explorer browser and go to m.miquando.com. Tap the The Windows Phone more Icon More button and then tap Pin to Start in the menu as shown here.

Windows Phone 8 and 8.1 support live tile updates from websites that have configured the feature.

 

 

If you have another type of smartphone or tablet, it probably has this feature, too. Just open its browser and look in its menu for an option named something like “Add to home screen” or “Pin to home screen.”

To remove a website shortcut from your device’s home screen, just long-press the shortcut and remove it like you would any other app icon.

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This feature is new icon

We have just released our Summer 2014 update for MiQuando.com, introducing 2 fantastic new major features and over 10 enhancements, all aimed at helping you grow your business online.

 2 Brand New Features

 FREE PR Tool (to help build your brand and reputation)

The Image of shouting girlnew Free PR tool is a simple and effective way for you to communicate your news and announcements to a local audience, and best of all, as the name suggests, it is completely free to use.  You can discover more here:  How it works or PDF Brochure

 Files & Documents (to help convert more customers) 

File and documents types to uploadYou can now add files / documents to your MiQuando profile, which means you can share much more information with prospects and customers online.  Upload PDF documents or add links to your menu or even your own video.  How it works or PDF Brochure

General Enhancements & Upgrades

  • Added options to help refine Search results
  • Improved calendar look and feel with new colour schemes
  • Added Directions to maps
  • New ‘role based’ user management to set user security profiles
  • Option to upgrade a Customer account to a Business account
  • Real time help/chat facility

Online Booking Enhancements & Upgrades

  • Added the option so set minimum ‘Advance Notice’ periods
  • Option to include multiple recipients on Booking email/SMS messages
  • New opt in/out feature for guest bookings for more customer communication opportunities
  • Daily automated reminders for unactioned booking requests
  • Automatic ‘closing’ of bookings and optional automated feedback requests

We continue to develop great new features all designed to help businesses compete and grow online.  Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter to keep up to date with more exciting developments as we continue working to help our customers build an amazing online presence. 

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 Some buzzwords for online shoppingIrritating buzzwords to explain the fact that people shop online a lot in 2014?

Yes, they might be annoying phrases, but their real message is that people do more than simply use a computer when they shop online.

And that’s something that every business needs to consider carefully.

Today it wouldn’t be uncommon for someone to click an online advert, get an offer via email or see something on social media that tickles the part of their brain that says “I like that / I want one of those”. 47% of consumers start their purchase journey on mobile.  (Google/Ipsos)

  • They might do a bit of In-store browsing on the high street, outlet village or shopping mall if it’s convenient or perhaps use their mobile to do a little research on their mobile, or seek opinions on this amazing thing you found via social media.
  • Go online later that day on their tablet or PC to do price comparisons and check customer reviews of product and seller, and maybe go on to make that purchase online from the comfort and convenience of the sofa.
  • Let friends know about the latest bargain with a little social media update from a smartphone.
  • Purchases are delivered swiftly to the door, or ready to collect in-store the following day.
  • Delighted with an online bargain, it’s time to share the overall experience and let fellow shoppers benefit from shared knowledge by leaving ratings and reviews using a tablet.
  • Finally get the smartphone out and post a ‘selfie’ with the new purchases!

Or maybe a completely different combination, but you get the point that the way people buy things has changed and will continue to change.  51% shop online while on two or more screens simultaneously.  (Microsoft)

 

Devices used for online shoppingBig businesses are spending huge sums of money trying to capture these online shoppers, on different platforms and devices, something that is just not feasible for small and micro businesses, but that doesn’t mean they should just roll over and die.

Small and micro business owners need to take the time to understand how customers buy in 2014 and look to take advantage by enabling as many ways as possible for customers to interact with them.

There are any numbers of low/no cost ways small / micro business can adapt and get a slice of this online business.  A good website need not be expensive,  social media accounts are free and help engage with customers, free entries in online directory listings help people find you online, whilst adding ratings & reviews, a shopping cart and online appointment booking can easily be done on a small budget, by adding and integrating 3rd party components.

Customer journey for online shoppers

Figure 1 How customers buy in 2014

Businesses can sign up for a free, search engine friendly local directory listing by visiting www.miquando.com and clicking the Add Your Business link (top right).

Not only do businesses get perhaps the most comprehensive entry available of any local business directory, completely free, they can take advantage of these additional fantastic opportunities:

  • Use highly targeted internet advertising to attract new business
  • Gain new customers via the built in direct mail facilities
  • Build an online reputation by adding the independent ratings and reviews to your own website, quickly and easily and 100% free
  • Offer online appointment booking to your customers via Miquando, your own website, direct maillings and even your social media pages
  • And more great new free and low cost features being added each quarter
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