Advertisers trying to reach mobile iPhone users in Canada are being introduced to a new offering: Vancouver-based Canpages, a fast-growing local search company, has launched a Street View search feature, as well as a voice recognition search application, for the iPhone,
It is believed that Canpages is the first in Canada to bring these types of immersive search experiences to users and advertisers.
Fully integrated with Canpages.ca local search functionality, Street View provides panoramic street-level views of the city so that users can not only pinpoint their search results on a map, but also see high resolution visuals of their search results in the context of the local environment. For example, users can take a virtual ‘walk’ down city streets to a local restaurant or hotel to see what it looks like from the outside before they make reservation, or check whether there is street parking or a lot nearby.
Canpages will be working with advertisers to develop enhanced online marketing programs on Canpages.ca, which receives 3.5 million visitors each month, so that when users click on a storefront in Street View, in addition to the advertiser’s local business profile, they might be taken to a video, menu or Web site for more information. Canpages has currently captured panoramic views of Vancouver, Whistler and Squamish streets in British Columbia and has plans to roll the functionality out to more cities across the country in the coming months.
“Not only does Street View help to eliminate many of the ‘buyer beware’ types of concerns consumers may have when conducting local searches online, it also allows us to offer our advertisers the chance to engage with their audience on a whole new level—at a fraction of the cost of most other small business marketing programs,” says Olivier Vincent, president and CEO of Canpages.
“With the 2010 Olympics fast approaching, we made a strategic decision to capture panoramic street views of the host cities and business before we roll it out to the rest of Canada.”
In the mobile market, Canpages has also launched Canada’s first voice recognition local directory search application for the iPhone. The application, which can be downloaded for free at the iPhone App Store, enables users to speak their local search request into their iPhone and then see detailed results on their screen including access to maps, directions and Web site links. Users can add the business to their iPhone contacts for future reference.
The application also leverages the iPhone’s GPS functionality to find listings closest in proximity to the user without having to input a location. With every business listing from across Canada accessible, the Canpages voice application provides an easy, hands-free way for mobile users to access local search information on-the-fly.