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« Shopitize is a company which is now two and a half years old,» began Alexey Andriyanenko, co-founder and managing director of the company. In the small space of time, Shopitize has managed to launch an application and to convince a lot of British customers that couponing in back in fashion. Shopitize was founded by Andriyanenko, together with Alan Griffiths, now Executive Chairman, an experienced entrepreneur and formerly a Minister for the Australian government, and Irina Pafomova, also co-founder and managing director, and a former investment banker.
How did the idea of mobile rewards and coupons come about?
We wanted to see how mobile phones would change the relationship between brands, retailers, and consumers. We realised that mobile phones, and smartphones in particular, have a very fast adoption…and two years ago that was a big question…We made a bet that this would happen, we analysed the trend and looked at the ways that the smartphone changed relations in this industry.
What was evident is that most brands have to interact with their consumers via retailers, and they are the ones developing close relationships with these customers. So Shopitize was formed as a platform to directly connect shoppers with the brands they love and use.
All the existing propositions…one way or another ... relied on retailer integration. Whatever programs run so far needed to be integrated and agreed with retailers. What Shopitize does is remove that step ... we are retailer-agnostic. We can set up a campaign where the user goes to a supermarket, any supermarket where the product is stocked and the brand wants to promote, the user buys it, takes a picture of the receipt, and then we close the loop without involving the retailer. That’s a very big difference from everything that’s been in the market so far.
What kind of brands do you work with?
The brands that partner are household names like Kellogg’s, United Biscuits and General Mills, these big companies with a lot of brands. But there are also smaller companies like Little Dish, for example who have partnered with us from an early stage. So we have multiple products from these participating partners and we are in discussions with quite a few more. There will be more and more products in the Shopitize platform in the coming weeks.
Do you plan in forging partnerships with retailers?
Well, brands themselves put this opportunity on the table « why don’t we involve this retailer in this particular promotion as well? », so it’s pretty much driven by brands wanting to have promotions linked to specific retailers, or specific retailer locations.
Do you think mobile coupons could bring customers back to stores ?
Absolutely. What we’ve done with Shopitize is tested all the assumptions before we embarked on building the platform. As members of the Institute of Promotional Marketing, we also looked at all the research available there. We discovered that marketers often underestimate the power of discounts: savings as small as twenty or thirty pence can move consumers towards a particular choice.
And this is what we see as well with Shopitize from our commercial trial. We’ve seen that mobile coupons, because they are on a device that is constantly with you, and the information on it becomes extremely relevant in real-time decision-making.
So the short answer, yes, it could. But it goes beyond that ... it makes the experience of shopping more relevant, more enjoyable, and a reason to go there again.
What can we expect from Shopitize in the coming months?
We have learned quite a lot from the trial so far, especially feedback from our users...they have been very helpful in telling us what they like and want. So, in the next couple of weeks, a new update to the system will be available which incorporates requests for added functionality. It’s a better, smoother experience on the product side.
We have partnered now with more great brands, so our users can expect more products, and new offers. And we are also looking to encourage users to share their shopping experience with friends and families to get more rewards out of the service if they share their offers on social media.
Our goal is to become the de facto mobile grocery shopping companion embedded into the daily shopping routines of consumers ... in short, the ultimate personal mobile shopping assistant.
Dr Alexey Andriyanenko is a co-founder and managing director of Shopitize. He has extensive experience as a strategy management consultant with a focus on management of innovation and negotiator working with both early stage and mature global companies in organisational interface roles
Original article from: PYMNTS.com