ispy Portugal is a mobile app launched towards the end of 2022 which provides businesses with a modern affordable option to promote themselves digitally.
Having recently won the ‘Trailblazer Innovation Award’ at the Algarve Business Awards, the ground-breaking app has over 100 listings so far and growing, it is free to download and is available in English and Portuguese.
Founder Wayne Aldred had the idea in his mind for a few years until he decided to begin developing it with a friend, Levente Pusztai, last year.
The app was ready for launch at the end of last summer and has been building up its customer base ever since.
“The idea came from a few different frustrations – on the one hand, you have the consumer looking for the small business and, typically, they post on Facebook where they get a host of replies from random people recommending other people, and then, on the other hand, is the small business trying to deal with all their digital media tools and hoping for the best. Social media and Google ads are expensive and what’s happening now is that many businesses, small businesses, cannot afford advertising,” Wayne told the Resident.
“So I thought, wouldn’t it be great if we could compact the digital profile of a business into a listing and put it into a user-friendly environment where the user can press live links?
“Each business can include 10 pictures, include links to all their traditional contact methods – phone, email and website, but also links to Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp, Twitter and YouTube where the consumer can watch a promotional video. After all, who better to promote their business than the business owner themselves with a video of their making? Also, price lists, menus, bookings and map navigation to the premises all contained within the listing.”
Businesses also must select the keywords they want to be found for.
“It works a bit like Google in terms of its keyword search, so clients have to think about what they want to be found for and include that in their business listing.
“From a consumer perspective, the consumer can search for what they are looking for easily whether they are in England, Ireland, in a hotel room or in their apartment or villa and see all the key information about a business, allowing them to make an informed decision,” Wayne said, stressing the importance of this digital presence in what he calls “the mobile app generation”.
Businesses from all sectors can sign up for a €20 (+ IVA) monthly subscription.
“We chose this amount so that it would reach all sectors of business, whether you’re a salon owner, a plumber, a solar firm, an entertainer or a large corporation – it’s readily affordable to all. It’s a level playing field for everybody,” he said.
Making sure the app was affordable for businesses was especially important to us after the pandemic.
“Coming out of the pandemic, businesses are strapped for cash, and the cash flow that they once had just isn’t there. In these situations, the first thing to go is the marketing and advertising budget, which is counter-intuitive because that’s what brings customers to their door,” the ispy Portugal founder said. “Thus, the goal is to show businesses that they now have an affordable way of promoting themselves.
“We have what we believe is a very modern and functional tool, and a product that the client can control,” he added. “Clients can make changes to their listing immediately, without having to wait for approval. With their own login and dashboard, the client is in control.
“We’re growing our user base and downloads of the app are in the thousands already. As we grow, we are committed to the continued development of the app as we are aiming to build the best product we possibly can.”
The app also allows users to create a free account and promote events or holiday rentals and post classifieds for 30 days for free.
ispy Portugal can be downloaded for free from Google Play or App Store or scan the barcode on this page.