Gawler Digital Innovation
Technology is driving the way that communities speak to each other and pointing them in new directions. Community expectations are that government and business operates in a 24-hour fashion, available for customer engagement at any time, whether it be for paying bills, reporting concerns, buying clothes or booking a dinner date.
In line with these ever-changing times, the Town of Gawler has implemented, The Town of Gawler App, that will improve economic development and the liveability of Gawler and the Greater Adelaide region.
This smart app will have significant benefits for the Town of Gawler, ratepayers and residents, local business and visitors to the community’s main commercial precinct – Murray Street – as well as other commercial precincts in Gawler
The Town of Gawler’s mCommerce program has three aspects:
- Smart app;
- Free WiFi in the Murray Street shopping precinct and around the Gawler Visitor Information Centre, Pioneer Park and Clonlea Park;
- Retail mCommerce opportunities.
The Town of Gawler App provides users with a one-stop shop for multiple transactions, whether those interactions are with Council or local businesses.
It will allow the community to be notified of planned road works, pay Council rates and dog registrations, read meeting agendas and stay informed about community events and activities, while local business can benefit by customers booking appointments, shopping, making dinner reservations and receiving targeted offers through the app.
The app will provide a portal to users of Council’s public WiFi system and will feature interactive elements, community messaging, advertising and event promotion.
Further to this, the app allows for the sale of products and services at participating businesses.
Most businesses in Gawler are small and don’t have a digital engagement strategy or product to build their business.
The Town of Gawler App is a smart investment that will cost-effectively deliver this capability to local business, creating sales, jobs and expanding the region’s economy.
The data interoperability and integration will allow users to access the Town of Gawler App in public spaces and transfer or re-skin to a business app when the user enters participating stores.
The platform, via the use of traditional Game Mechanics as well as Social Mechanics and Reputation Mechanics, allows for the following:
- A business specific App
- The ability to conduct business online
- Access to both direct and indirect marketing
- Customer rewards programs
- The ability to notify sales and offers direct to customers based on analytics
- Online sales conversion with instant direct deposit of funds
- The ability to be part of a packaged deal with other businesses in Gawler
- Point of Sale solutions
- Enterprise Payment solution
This service is available to all businesses within the Town of Gawler local government area at a starting price of only $20 per month, providing an easy-to-use gateway to online marketing and sales.
Council has engaged Plutus Commerce to develop the Town of Gawler App as well as engage local businesses to get onboard the project.
This app positions the Town of Gawler as a destination to do business, it promotes local businesses and their offerings to residents and visitors and will develop a highly engaged residential, visitor and business community.
This mCommerce initiative will assist business growth in Gawler through innovation and customer engagement, while also providing a new opportunity for residents and ratepayers to communicate with the Town of Gawler.
Data derived by the app can drive efficiency and responsiveness from Town of Gawler staff, as well as drive future development, planning and liveability within the local community.
Council can improve the use of public assets and decision making about these assets through analysis of data retrieved from smart infrastructure and in local precincts that will:
- Analyse pedestrian and vehicle movements within Gawler;
- Promote smart planning and decision making
- Allow the use of weather analytics for event planning and to control the use of solar electricity and storage.
Data collected on traffic management and carparking will allow Council to implement strategies that reduce the amount of time people spend searching for a parking space and reduce congestion and pollution.
Pedestrian data and air and noise pollution data captured on the Town of Gawler App can inform Council planning and improve the quality and frequency of social events and activities for residents and visitors.
Pedestrian data gathered in Murray Street can also be used to inform businesses and landlords on footfall hot spots and allow them to inform their decision making about commercial rentals, marketing, infrastructure improvements and changes to business hours.
Council’s mCommerce solution is being funded in partnership with the Australian Government’s Smart Cities and Suburbs Funding Program and private investment.
The entire project cost is approximately $999,000 with Council funding $653,000, the Australian Government contributing $250,000 and private investment providing $96,000.
Council’s contribution to the solution is leveraged from the following projects:
- Public WiFi Access Point Installation - $38,000
- Audio Visual and IT Fit Out at the Gawler Civic Centre - $235,000
- Digital Wayfinding Device within the Walker Place Redevelopment - $175,000
- Community Buildings Solar Initiative - $130,000
- Resource Use and Carbon Emissions Monitoring Software - $10,000
- In-Kind Project Management - $65,000
The mCommerce development, marketing and hosting is costing approximately $376,000.
Council’s Public Wifi Infrastructure has been jointly funded via the Australian Government’s Safer Communities Program, the SA Attorney General’s Department and Council.
These funding streams are also being used to deliver Council’s Community Safety Initiatives such as increased public lighting in reserves and sporting precincts and improved CCTV throughout Gawler. The entire project cost of the Public WiFi and Community Safety Initiatives is approximately $400,000 made up of the following contributions:
- Australian Government - $200,000
- SA Attorney General’s Department - $100,000
- Council - $100,000
The data gathered by the Town of Gawler App is ethically managed and will remain the property of Council at all times. This data cannot be on-sold to third parties without Council’s written approval.
Security settings within the app guarantees user privacy.
Free Public Wi-Fi network has now been installed within the Town Centre. The network covers Murray Street from Gawler Central Station to the Gawler Mill Inn Bridge as well as throughout the Gawler Civic Centre.
Public Wi-Fi is a great opportunity for local government to connect entire communities: smart communities deploying free Wi-Fi are largely increasing and as a result, can effectively empower their communities with better services. Wi-Fi provision also enable Council to engage with its community in real-time digital environments (cheaper and more responsive than traditional consultation techniques).
Another advantage that public Wi-Fi access brings to communities is represented by public libraries: everyone, even those who can’t afford internet at home, can benefit from a free connection and use it to access public services, look for jobs, or for their personal entertainment, i.e. learning a new language.
Equipping public transportation with free Wi-Fi access is another example of how public Wi-Fi positively affects communities: residents and travellers can enjoy a better travel experience and get real-time information about transports, so as to better plan their routes. Council’s Public Wi-fi provision extends to the Gawler Central Train Station therefore creating seamless connection for commuters.
Public Wi-Fi access can have a huge impact on tourism, too. When traveling, indeed, people want to stay in contact with their family and friends, share their holiday pictures on their social networks and check travel information. As a consequence, tourists are more incentivized to travel to a location if they can use the internet for free. Providing a city with free Wi-Fi hotspots would be advantageous both for tourists, who would enjoy internet connection without roaming charges, and for the local economy, which would largely benefit from increased levels of tourism.
Statistics show that 40% of traffic jams in city centres result from drivers searching for car parks. Solving this traffic congestion problem can be achieved by installing parking sensors, which work with an online application and show people where there are available parking areas. This is a future application opportunity for Gawler.
Council’s public spaces CCTV system uses the same backhaul infrastructure as its Public Wi-Fi network. Co-locating Wi-Fi access points with CCTV cameras on existing street lighting poles has delivered cost efficiencies as well as removed the need for the installation of additional poles within the main street.
The future delivery of smart digital services, such as smart waste management and smart lighting to public spaces around Gawler, will also rely on this infrastructure.
Go on, give it a try. Save your data, use ours!!
mCommerce is short for ‘mobile commerce’ and is the next wave of a technological revolution that began with the development of the smart phone.
Business systems have evolved over time from solely face-to-face transactions to online via a personal computer (eCommerce) to the now available mCommerce solutions that enable customers to transact from any device – personal computer, laptop, tablet, phone, wearable device, etc…
The mCommerce revolution enables people to shop anywhere they like and at any time they like. The power of business transactions is now solely in the hands of the consumer rather than business. Local businesses need to keep up with the mCommerce trend to ensure they remain viable.
The Town of Gawler App embraces savvy technology to connect with the community, while giving local business and its customers a functional way to do business – it can be downloaded now via your favourite app store. Look for Gawler Connected Community.