Customers looking for the next place to shop, eat, or play now have a new app which highlights those destinations in one East Tennessee community.
On Tuesday, The District in Bearden announced its new app for iPhones and iPads. The free app guides users through the area's restaurants, shopping and events calendars.
Bebe Vogel handles advertising and marketing for the District, and said the strategy made perfect sense.
"What's the next best thing, what is everyone using? Well, everyone today wants it instant," she said. "They want it in their hand, they don't want to look in the paper, get the phone book out, or dial information. You want everything right there. And so, you have it now."
Vogel said the app officially launched in late 2012, and she has already seen results.
"Since Christmas, the statistics show we've had an increase of almost 45 to 50 percent more people hitting us on Facebook, Twittering, following us on the app or the blog. So there's a buzz and it's exciting," she said.
Amanda Maddox Salon, run by an owner with the same name, is one of the District's members. Maddox said customers are still learning about the app.
"We're trying to tell people about it, since it's so new," she said.
She is optimistic the app will further her community's reach.
"I hope it lets our business explode, by referrals and promotions for our retail products," she said.
"I think it's a good way to find out what's in your community and what's around you," added Bobbi Powell, a customer at Maddox's salon.
Powell supports several other hyper-local apps, including the one featuring her own office, The Tennessee School of Beauty.
"We really like idea of getting our name out there in a different way, having our clients be able to book on an app and our students be able to contact on an app, or students who want more information," she said.
East Tennesseans have plenty of other local app options: