Products and services
In March 2013, we launched our online channel, hibu business, which allows SMEs to discover new products and services within our digital solutions portfolio.
By extending our sales presence online, we now have greater scale and flexibility and we can attract customers who prefer to purchase and manage products online as well as rapidly bringing to market new products and services as we expand and enhance our range of digital solutions.
For our customers, hibu business is a ‘one stop shop’, allowing them to discover solutions that are easy to use, information from our Knowledge Centre to help their business grow and thrive, and over time, a community to support them.
Visit hibu business from the UK at hibubusiness.co.uk or from the US at hibubusiness.com.
We have digital directories such as Yell.com, Yellowbook.com and Paginasamarillas.es. These directories give businesses additional facilities to increase content and online presence whilst ensuring flexibility to suit budget and scale.
46m consumers used our sites in March 2012 to find businesses or services, read reviews from other consumers, get directions to or read expert advice on products and services.
Our services are also available on mobile. We have state of the art applications that offer more than a search function and that deliver an optimal consumer experience on the go. There were 4.3m unique mobile visitors to our applications in the month of March 2012.
The growing usage from our mobile products and services ensures businesses benefit from this additional functionality.
We are in the process of bringing all our digital directories into one new common platform aimed at the smartphone and tablet user, with additional functionality and enhancements focusing on the needs of each local community.
The hibu eMarketplace, is an eCommerce platform through which merchants can market and sell their offerings in individual, hosted stores, acquire new and manage existing customer relationships; and which can be accessed by consumers through local destination websites to find and buy local products and services. We launched a beta version of the eMarketplace platform to our SMEs in Chicago in the US (at hibu.com) and Oxford in the UK (at hibu.co.uk) in May 2012. We aim to roll out other eMarketplaces across the US and UK over the next twelve months, adding various attractive features, such as consumer ratings and reviews.
- Website production
We help to give our SMEs a professional presence online with our tailored website creation and management service.
The 322,000 live websites we have built act as a shopfront to everything our SMEs do. These websites are often the first impression of our SMEs, so need to be appealing. Our consumers are able to make informed purchase decisions based on these new digital shopfronts.
- Online stores and self-serve facilities
Through our acquisition of Znode, we are building our eCommerce capabilities. We are currently trialling these facilities with our SMEs. The acquisition of Moonfruit adds to these capabilities, enabling us to provide SMEs with a self-serve facility to create their own websites, and transact with consumers through those websites.
We offer our SMEs the option to include a video in their online advertising, either provided by themselves, or fully produced by us.
Video is another insightful tool helping consumers to get useful information on product and service offerings, coverage areas and pricing information, without making additional enquiries before purchase.
- Presence and reach
We work with Microsoft, Google and other search engines to help our SMEs connect with a rich source of consumers and get the most out of search marketing and pay per click. We can fully manage the whole process for our SMEs, which can be complex and time consuming.
Additionally, through our online display product, we put our SMEs’ online advertisements on our partners’ websites, increasing presence and reach.
- Mobile services
Through our strategic partnerships, we are enriching the SME and consumer experience when using our mobile services. Our alliance with Netbiscuits, a leading provider of mobile sites and apps, will enable SMEs to communicate and transact with their customers through mobile media. Our agreement with Shopkick, an innovative leader in local loyalty, will allow US businesses to use smartphone technology to reward customers for visiting their premises.
Directory and printed solutions
- Yellow pages directories
Our 1,239 business to consumer yellow pages directories feature classified advertising through a range of advertisement types. Businesses pay for advertisements based on size, colour and artwork ranging from a black and white quarter column advert to a full page colour spread. We provide dedicated phone lines, enabling our advertisers to see when business leads have come from our yellow pages directories.
Millions of people use our yellow pages printed products every day to find the businesses for which they are looking.
- Community magazines
As part of extending the life of our directories businesses, we piloted and then launched local community magazines (formerly newsletters) in various US markets.By November 2012, we had published over 300 editions. Trials are under way in the UK and Spain.
We believe there is room and demand in our print markets for both directories and community magazines to exist side by side, given their differing nature, shelf life and target audience.
- White pages directories
Our white pages directories, produced in four of our territories, are directories that alphabetically list all the telephone numbers for companies and individuals in the directory coverage area. They are a useful tool for quick reference for consumers who know whose number they require, or which business they wish to contact.
- Direct marketing products
Businesses in the US can reach targeted audiences with our direct mail postcards. Packages include design, printing and mailing. Our door hanger and community mailers feature highly visible and impactful coupons and offers, and also benefit from a targeted distribution, to 10,000 households per month.
Other products and services
- Government initiatives
There are many opportunities to help SMEs transact and interact with Government. Our first initiative is the “Open to Export” portal, an initiative set up with the UK Government, with the clear aim to help SMEs export their products from the UK. This service will enable us to develop expertise, benefiting SMEs navigating the complex world of public spending.
- Directory assistance
We provide telephone based information services that serve consumers seeking information on businesses and services over the phone. For consumers seeking information on the go, or without access to our online products, this is often a solution.
We provide these services in the UK (118 24 7*), Spain (11888) and Chile (700 222).
* 118 24 7 call rates – calls cost 70p per minute and 150p connection charge.