Seeloz enters 'mobile coupon wars' with new platform to help smaller businesses compete
October 20, 2014, By Barry Levine
The mobile coupon wars are seeing a new entrant today. Seeloz, which focuses on coupons and daily deals for small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), is launching the retailer and manufacturer side of its platform.
The consumer-facing side, called Mixawallet, will be out at the end of next month. The company said that customer data - including transactional and loyalty program history - makes the offers more meaningful to customers and more useful to businesses.
The company started in early 2013 and has already conducted a pilot with 475 retail locations in 14 U.S. states, which Seeloz said resulted in a tenfold improvement in marketing return-on-investment. The platform launch is being conducted with 30 locations in the San Francisco Bay area. The Santa Clara, Calif.-based company said it will announce additional participating Bay Area retailers, as well as ones in the New York and LA metro areas, before the end of this year. To date, the company has raised $2.7 million.
A customer creates a Mixawallet account through the Web or the mobile Web and links it to a phone number, which serves as the key identifier. Coupons and other offers can then be delivered either through text messages to the phone number, through email, or via the Mixawallet app.
Mixawallet interfaces with "all the loyalty programs out there," VP of product management Jim Longo told VentureBeat, although the app competes with, say, Apple's Passport app as a coupon-holder.
The platform is integrated with the cash register at a store or restaurant. A customer can provide a cell phone number to the cashier and receive a discount coupon or deal offer at the time of checkout.
Frequent customers of a given retailer can also get coupons or offers in "anticipation of their next visit," CEO and founder Dr. Mohammed Aly told VentureBeat.
"You would have the opportunity to select Cafe Vie, [for instance], as one of the stores you want to receive offers from," Longo told us. Different customers will receive different offers, designed by the retailer or their agency for such business objectives as customer acquisition, customer retention, cross-selling, up-selling, or helping to move products with a higher profit margin.
The airwaves surrounding mobile devices are about to become deluged by coupons and other offers.
How does Seeloz intend to stand out?
Aly told us that his company differs because it provides a recommendation engine that learns from customer choices, which, he said, "no one else is providing." He noted that daily deal competitors Groupon and LivingSocial, for instance, "send [the same coupons] to everyone" in a given geography.
Additionally, Seeloz says it differentiates itself with the ability to target offers based on business objectives, such as the need to move higher-margin products, as well as with its focus on smaller and mid-sized retailers.The company also emphasizes its "purely performance-based pricing" model, Aly said, where Seeloz only gets paid when a redemption takes place.
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