The Free Marketing Opportunity Every Local Business Owner Needs to Try

As a business owner, convincing your customers to shop local instead of taking their business to online giants like Amazon can be a challenge. But local, independently owned businesses bring something to communities that the big-box stores can’t — local flavor, a signature touch, and a common connection that’s vital to the spirit of communities like ours.

So how do you attract those customers — and keep them coming back? Meet Chip-In, a marketing program that utilizes a free mobile app to connect business owners with buyers who are looking for an easy way to raise money for their favorite charities. So how does it work? Nonprofits ask their supporters to shop at Chip-In businesses, and those businesses then share a portion of the total purchase back with the nonprofit. Chip-In incentivizes community members to shop at your restaurant or store, over others, helping you attract new and loyal customers. Not only does Chip-In connect you with the community, but it gives you the marketing edge your business needs — engaging customers on the app, coordinating offers to bring in business during slow times, and leveraging social media.

Scott Wise, owner of Roots Burger Bar, has built his marketing strategy around community support — but trying to accommodate all the “Dine to Donate” requests was time consuming and tracking success was difficult. He wanted to find an easier way to support all of the nonprofits in his community. Since implementing Chip-In, Wise has partnered with 17 schools and nonprofits on the Chip-In app — meaning he has at least 17 new groups of repeat customers. With Chip-In, Wise has been able to nearly double his average ticket size among Chip-In buyers, drive traffic during the dreaded Monday and Tuesday slump, and show his support for multiple nonprofits in his community. He donates proceeds five days a week, with 10 to 20 percent of each qualified transaction being donated back to the nonprofit selected by the buyer.

Don’t own a business? You can still get involved. Local nonprofits are eligible to register on the free platform to receive donations, with no fees attached. Community supporters are encouraged to download the app for free to look for offers from local businesses and make purchases to support their favorite charities.

So Princeton, are you ready to keep it local? With the free Chip-In marketing program, you can improve your bottom line, and feel good about doing it. Don’t get pushed out by corporate giants — build your own grassroots marketing initiative while making an impact on the nonprofits and customers in your community that are important to you. Join the local businesses, nonprofits, and consumers already using Chip-In:

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