Detroit-based Plain Sight has launched new app features that allow businesses to communicate to customers about their reopening plans as COVID-19 restrictions are relaxed.
The startup originally launched in October as an app that helps users connect in shared spaces in real time to find new clients, recruits, and people with whom to collaborate.
The new version allows businesses to promote their services and safety measures. It also can manage foot traffic by accepting reservations, allow guests to socialize and receive offers through the app, and receive data to help businesses tailor their offerings.
For users, the app shows which places are open for business, guidelines for entry, and reservation options, and allows them to socialize with other users in the area and interact anonymously and without profile pictures.
“We care just as much about people making new, meaningful connections as we do the spaces where they happen,” says James Chapman, founder and CEO of Plain Sight. “Working, eating, exercising, and socializing from home gets old after a while, but we understand safety is always most important. To that end, we’ve spent the past few months developing features to help our users be more informed as life on-the-go from a social distance becomes the new norm.”
In addition, Plain Sight is purchasing more than $50,000 in gift cards from a number of businesses listed on the platform and is distributing them to users. The participating enterprises will be listed in the “Info” section of the app. Individuals who visit and check in at a business listed will receive a $10 electronic gift card from Plain Sight.
The startup is also running a match program that will allow businesses to receive three months of the service for free. The first month is paid for by Detroit’s Bedrock through a match that will allow more than 100 of its food and retail tenants access to the app, and Plain Sight will cover the next two months.
“Bedrock tenants, like so many other businesses across the country, have been deeply impacted by the pandemic,” says Bill Emerson, CEO of Bedrock. “Since the onset of COVID-19, Bedrock has deployed millions in capital to small businesses downtown through our Bedrock Relaunch program, providing rent relief and a range of other support tactics. Moving forward, it will take all of us to ensure stores, restaurants, and shared spaces reopen safely and successfully, and we are excited to help Plain Sight connect businesses with consumers in a way that enables increased volume while remaining socially distant.”
Organizations willing to cover the costs for 25 or more businesses through the match program can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
“I’m confident we’re taking all the right precautions and sticking to the CDC guidelines,” says Carli Goltowski, owner of Good Neighbor, a clothing store in Detroit. “With the help of the city, we offer disposable face masks and have hand sanitizer and disinfectants on hand. In all transparency, we just really need our foot traffic to pick up and for locals to know we are open and know what other businesses are back. I think with the help of Plain Sight, we can spread the word and make reopening less challenging and begin engaging with locals and visitors again.”
The Plain Sight app is free for users to download on Google Play at the App Store. The cost is $99 per month for businesses to list their space. Interested spaces can apply here.