For some, the best part of shopping online is its convenience and for some, it is the special deals and discounts which online shopping offers. We find innumerable offers floating on the e-commerce sites, on dedicated discount portals and almost all around the web. And these are great money savers. But what about the exciting discounts available on the street we are walking on? We miss them as we are more involved with our mobiles than the places around us.
LBS (location based services) apps have found a great market potential in such users and have a lucrative retailer side market as well. Offline retailers had been feeling a little out of place a couple of years back but not anymore. There are some exciting LBS apps in the Indian market and a new entrant is FLAGMYOFFER. It is an app by 4PMobi, which is a Kochi-based startup, virtually incubated at the Startup Village.
It is founded by Kumar Deepak Chandra and Naveen Pillai in February 2013. Both of them have worked with TCS in mobile technologies before starting up. Reading about successful young entrepreneurs scaling heights, Deepak was inspired to act on his dream to be an employer rather than employee. The idea of FLAGMYOFFER originated when they found it difficult to search for offline stores in Kochi, which had some discounts deals running. Deepak says: “When it comes to offline retailers, it is very unlikely to find their offers online. Research online and purchase offline happens a lot and if offline retailers have an easy to access online platform to showcase their offers, there might be a significant rise in sales for them. Our platform FLAGMYOFFER and the android app is a location based offer management and delivery solution for offline retailers.”
Today, targeting the customers effectively without wasting time and money on conventional marketing campaigns is a very big problem that offline retailers face. Moreover, the effectiveness of traditional marketing channels cannot be measured quantitatively. Print media or television is costly and bulk SMS and emails are intrusive and are often deleted unread. Deepak says: “For merchants, active advertisement, inbound marketing, real time offer management, analysis of shops and offer performance will be the essence of using FLAGMYOFFER.”
They are collaborating with offline merchants and giving in-store promotion to FLAGMYOFFER. It is a free service for buyers and for offline retailers the charges are affordable. It is free for merchants for a trial period of 6 months. After the trial period, there are 2 revenue models – subscription based and pay per view. They have partnered with about 50 merchants in Kochi and crossed 10,000 visitors to their website recently.
Initially, it was difficult for them to convince offline retailers to use online platform to promote their offers. But once they got Pizza Hut, QRS, Carnation, Golds Gym, Ramada Resort, Beaumonde, The Fern etc on board, it became easier to convince others. Deepak signs off by saying, “Our big dream for FLAGMYOFFER is to make it a household name when it comes to research online and purchase offline. To achieve this goal, our plan is to be operational in 20 major cities in next 3 years.”
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