Virtual City Market

Empowers the city local marketplace by bringing together customers and merchants.

Virtual City Market is an application that offers a wide range of possibility to the user, such as uploading text and images of their businesses, details on their products/services provided, as well as advertising special offers. Most of Thessaloniki’s shop owners that are included in the Virtual Shopping Centre do not upload further information on their businesses and settle for the minimum amount of data required for their registration on the application

The service aims to sustain the local marketplace and local businesses. It will consist of five subsystems / applications:

  1. A business directory which presents the local businesses and professionals on the city map. The information is classified using a number of categories (hotels, restaurants, clothing stores, real estate, doctors, lawyers, etc.). Each entry presents a minimum amount of information about the specific store or professional, whereas the owners can add additional information about his/her company, products and services.
  2. A virtual representation of the local marketplace and shops where the local storekeepers presents their stores using text, photos and video.
  3. A coupon site containing promotional codes, from local retailers and professionals, offering discounts to specific products and services. The visitors should print the coupons or store them to their mobile phones and bring them to local shops.
  4. A virtual supermarket based on open data available from the relative price watch system of the Greek Ministry of Regional Development and Competitiveness. The system enables users to compare consumer goods from local supermarkets in one central place, through the creation of a “personal basket of goods”. Based on the price watch system the basket proposes best prices and most suitable local store for purchases.
  5. A review engine that assists customers in gathering local shopping information, posting reviews and opinions of local shopping-related content. The system allows users to contribute different kinds of content, including reviews, photos, votes, quick tips and more.

This application has been developed within the project “STORM Clouds: Surfing Towards the Opportunity of Real Migration to cloud-based public services,  which is partly funded by the European Commission.

Some of the key features of this application are the following:

  • Provides specific information about local businesses located in the center of the city, such as their address, contact information, the official webpage, etc.
  • Promotes offers and coupons for all available products
  • Permits rating local businesses by the users
  • Access to Virtual Marketplace is made through PCs, mobile phones, large touchscreens and quick response (QR) codes embedded in the physical space of the city centre.

This application is an improved version of a similar application of the Municipality of Thermi, and is currently used in the Municipality of Thessaloniki.