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How special offers benefit customers and retailers

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Discounts are a sure-fire way to increase footfall. Based on this principle, a new app will soon be available which will particularly re-energise small retailers.

Big Deals Local, or BigDL, is a new content platform that gives a bird’s eye view of the high street and alerts users of new products and current deals in local stores, matched to each individual interests. It’s an app that will boost independent shops as well as benefiting the larger stores.

In place of excessive e-mails, paper coupons and loyalty cards that make it difficult for customers to accrue value, app form allows retailers’ promotions to be conveniently relayed and accessible. Matt Norbury, founder and CEO of the BigDL platform told Retail Gazette he foresees consumers becoming habitual in the way they use it.

“Everyday use is the end goal. We are confident that usage will become innate, much like checking e-mails has” Norbury tells us.

The app will also alert users of available services for example a certain sports retailor which offers free tennis racket re-stringing and a department store that provides free makeovers on certain counters.

In order to remain innovative, Norbury has been keen to gamify the BigDL experience, taking inspiration from successful apps out there and applying it to the user. The most popular tend to be games like ‘Candy Crush’. It has been important to take general engagement into consideration. Of late, been a consumer backlash against the influx of e-mails received by organisations like Groupon so it’s wise that smartphone owners be able to opt out of push notifications and receive suggestions tailored specifically to their data only.

“Mobile is the most personal medium out there” says Norbury, “we have to be respectful.”

BigDL has a mobile couponing system that can help reduce queue times and improve the overall store-experience. The patented MPoS solution can be integrated into existing till systems and allows customers to quickly tap and redeem their vouchers.

Currently, the app has around a dozen stores in pilot mode such as Londis, Beals department store and Herons Food. There are over thirty retailors in the pipeline including a well-known fashion retailer.

Bryan Duffy, Chairman of BigDL said “in order to create affordability, the annual cost of our premium package is less than 10% of the wages of the average paid to a single shop employee. Retailers, with no capital investment required and no financial risk, can use bigDL to galvanise their own omni-channel capability as bigDL promotes their high street shops and also their online and mobile offerings.”

Special offers are a simplistic marketing push that won’t fail to attract new and existing customers. Retail Gazette spoke with psychologist Emma Kenny to understand consumer behaviour behind discounted shopping.

“Savvy shoppers exist because the economy is in a position where saving money matters” says Kenny.

While the conspicuous consumer is important to factor into retailers’ marketing strategies, there is a steady supply of bargain hunters. As a whole, goods bought at a perceived lower cost make people feel like they are outsmarting the reality of the price. According to Kenny, offers and deals “play into our belief system and make us happy”.

A platform like BigDL is a tactical take on how extensive shopping needs have become and a quirky combination of immediacy and discount, two things that the nation loves. Working off the back of reward schemes’ shortcomings, BigDL has been well received so far, with 97% of tested users saying they would download it.

Package prices range from £7.50 to £25 per week per store and retailers are guaranteed a return on investment of at least 100% in their first year. The app is currently in beta and due for full launch in October.

Published on Friday 26 September by Editorial Assistant

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