My idea will solve my girlfriend’s problem. [Pause] She loves to shop. You must see her while she pays bills at the store. She has a big bag wrapped around her right shoulder. On one hand she has her phone and another purse. Now, she has to take out cash to pay the bills. Also she does not want to miss on the loyalty points. She has to search for the loyalty card. She has 17 such cards. She literally has to treasure hunt for the right card. She struggles. And I can’t help her because I am carrying her shopping bags in both hands. I remember us going shopping just to buy a purse which could hold all those 17 cards.
She carries a smart phone and she asks,” why don’t you build an app which collects all my loyalty cards. I don’t have to carry all my cards every time. No plastic cards, no paper cards. I don’t have to worry about forgetting my loyalty cards. I carry my phone all the time. I can get loyalty points every time and any time I go shopping.”My girl friend is demanding. She adds, “I don’t want an app which just collects loyalty cards but it also must be able to show all the updated information such as new arrivals, sales, discounts etc from my favourite stores. I get the information, I go out for shopping and I get the loyalty points. Easy and simple.”
I have another friend who owns a clothing store. He shares his problem. “Sales at my store is mostly through repeat customers. There is no system which helps me to communicate and connect with my loyal customers so that I can bring back to my store quicker. At best I can send out bulk SMS which is good except it is too expensive. I want more than just text. I want something like virtual magazine. A system which could help me share pictures of designs, sales posters, discount coupons, new arrivals etc. I don’t want to broadcast ad in TV, newspapers or radio because it does not guarantee that it reaches to my customer. “
Paul Graham, co-founder of Y-combinator, a premier seed capital firm in Silicon Valley, notes in his essay, “The way to get startup ideas is not to try to think of startup ideas. It’s to look for problems.”
At one side there is my girl friend who demands information and another friend who wants to supply
Our idea is a convergence of demand and supply.
Even before we started product development and wrote a single line of code we did some research to find you whether there is real need in the market. We researched and found out that my girl friend is not unique in her demand and my friend is not the only store owner who wants that system. There are many people and many stores. Our idea will solve the problem of the people like my girl friend and my friend.We talked with shoppers and shop keepers. We talked with clothing stores, department stores, furniture, cafes, air lines, restaurants and even the pet stores. They said it is not a good idea.
Infact, This is a great idea. Stores say they spend awful amount of money to reach out. We don’t want the system. They didn’t say that. Instead they said, “ what is the pricing model.”
Even the research shows loyalty system works. Forbes article “Is 2013 the year for loyalty cards” clearly says loyalty system definitely works. Loyalty system is so deeply ingrained in the Nepalese context. Hence, we are certain that loyalty system would work.
But are there enough users in Nepal who use smartphones? Because we are going to start our business from Nepal. Two apps have been downloaded more than 140+ k times. By this time we are pretty clear that opportunity exists. Our team, having launched social initiative movementnepal.org , wanted to do something on business.
We present to you storesmunk.
Our team has three important characteristics. They are happy, they show humility and they are always hungry. Our team believes that simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. We invested so much time on user experience. Here is an example which epitomizes our focus on design and simplicity.
We want our logo to be simple and natural. We borrowed simplicity of nature. Nature is great. Everything in nature follows golden ratio. We invested so much time to make it simple. First, we made a target which represents stores targeting shoppers and sliced in the middle. Pulled right part lower to represent S from the storesmunk. And that’s our logo.
Here is how it system will work. The system is really simple.Stores, businesses, sign up in our website. Updates their specific pages with pictures of new arrivals, sales, discount, special offers. Updates it’s loyal customer base. Consumers like my girlfriend registers in the mobile app. Adds favourite stores from the stores list. Assigns her loyalty or membership number she has received from stores. Starts browse through app like a catalogue. During shopping, they can just flip through the digital loyalty card. Get it scanned. No longer have they had to carry cards. No longer have they had to waste time googling. All information they want about from their favourite stores on their palm.And stores can send customized offers or messages to their customers on the basis of the shopping habit. If you look more clearly you will observe. It is really a smart system for both consumers and stores. It is not just loyalty system. It is easily a catalogue. It is easily a loyal customer management tool.Stores can say, “ Hey, she has 1,000 points. She is eligible for discount why don’t i send her discount offer.?Restaurants say,” It is 12:30 pm. It is time for lunch. This is today’s special dish. Let me just send the picture of the dish to my loyal customers.”Possibility is immense. The biggest and coolest benefit for consumers is that they get information they want not spam. Stores can market smartly and consumers can act smart.
We already have 20 stores which are ready to test our product. As I mentioned before, we talked with the stores even before we wrote a single line of code.
Personalized calls and meetings, social media marketing are taken for granted. We will also new innovative methods to market.We will start with new and upcoming stores. We will reach out to them and add their stores to ours. Stores will request their customers to download the app.
We will gift a stamp to the stores.Everybody looks at receipt. That is how every customers gets to know about the app.I know my girlfriend wants to share “ Yippie, I bought a nice dress from ginger along with the photo from ginger store in facebook. In each facebook status update we will put “powered by storesmunk”. This will help increase the reach and go viral.
Mostly our cost will be operational. Salaries and infrastructure. The average market wages and cost. We have calculated around 28 lakhs for a year. Surely, this will rise as we grow.
All stores will get free 3 months subscription.First 10 stores will get free 1 year subscription.We will sell packages to storesBronze: Updates and it will be pull messagesSilver: Updates and push messageGold: Loyal customer management. Send out customized message.Advertisment after 1 year when we have enough data. Even non registered consumer can use mobile app. When they search for some product then they will search result. We can always do featured stores.
Can you imagine with a cost of one front page newspaper ad stores can connect with their loyal customer for an entire year. It is outstanding, isn’t it?
In the first year itself, we shall be profitable.
To conclude,Every Urban Store can use the system for a smart marketing.
Every Urban Customer with a smart phone can use the app to shop smartly.
1 year hence, the system will be so simple that even someone from India, Africa or even South America want to the system, they must be able to use it.Eventually, I am just trying to earn money from the stores and spend on my girlfriend for shopping.
My idea will solve my girlfriend’s problem
REPLACE PAPER CARDSREPLACE PLASTIC CARDSSAVE FUEL & ENERGY
The way to get startup ideas is not totry to think of startup ideas. It’s tolook for problems.“”- Paul GrahamCo-founder of Y-combinator
ConsumersDEMANDTHE INFORMATIONStoresSUPPLYTHE INFORMATIONWANT TO
3 Value PropositionsReplacing Loyalty Cards with an appA virtual catalogue of your favorite storesAn easy loyal customer management tool
“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication”- Steve Jobs
Stores1. Add Store Info2. Add Offer3. Manage CustomersWebsite (Web System)Information of Storesfrom the web systemUse Mobile App to get updateson stores & their offersCustomers Mobile AppShow loyaltycard in app& get loyalty points1 234
MarketingWE ALREADY HAVE20STORESREADY TO TESTOUR PRODUCT