For this Monday's edition of Mobile Monday we are pleased and excited to announce a new player in the mobile marketing industry.
Clip Mobile is one of Canada's newest entries in the mobile app world. An interactive mobile marketing firm based in downtown Toronto, Clip Mobile is taking coupon clipping to a whole level. The brainchild of Clip Mobile is founder David Offierski. Clip Mobile allows consumers to search, save and redeem special offers from their favourite merchants and restaurants using their smartphone.
Techvibes recently caught up with David at a local Toronto social media meetup.
Why you decided to start Clip?
I started Clip because for several years I have been interested in how mobile technology is changing the way consumers go about their daily lives. Back in 2006, I started doing some research on the Chip technology we are now seeing in credit and debit cards. Places like Japan, Korea, Germany and even the UK have adopted some very interesting mobile technologies on a large scale. My interest in bringing technology to Canadian consumers evolved out of my belief that we are at a tipping point in Canada in terms of supporting mobile services. Our mobile internet is quite fast and everywhere you go in Canada you see people carrying Smartphones. The devices themselves have evolved over a short period of time. Of course the iPhone changed the game in terms of building applications with a good user experience which is easier today than it ever has been before. The same will be true 6-months from now for even more devices thanks, in part, to Blackberry improving their dev tools and more devices being run on the Android OS.
I am a believer that mobile technology can significantly improve the consumer experience as we go about our daily routine of buying things. My personal experience over the last few years certainly played a role in how I got to this point too. In 2008 and 2009, I saw myself, like many Canadians faced with some amount of financial uncertainty and was forced to think about how I spent my money, and looking for ways to spend more wisely. I researched quite a bit and found some tools that are out there for consumers, but was generally unimpressed because they were pretty clunky and required me to be sitting at a computer connected to a printer. That doesn't suit my lifestyle which is pretty mobile and not particularly well planned so they didn't really stick. A location-based mobile coupon app seemed like it would be a perfect fit because Canadians really do love deals as much as they love their mobile phones.
Why businesses are excited about Clip?
The momentum has been steadily building and Clip has had some very promising meetings with large Canadian retailers and restaurant chains. When we were doing our focus-group testing and demoing the beta to shoppers in Toronto we had a Freshii sample coupon on the app. For some reason, whether Freshii has ridiculous brand recognition or everyone who has an iPhone in Canada eats at Freshii, but nearly every time we showed someone a list of merchants and deals, they wanted to look at the Freshii offer. We took these finding to Freshii and I am pleased to say that starting this week, all 13 Freshii locations in the Toronto area will be posting offers exclusively on the Clip application.
It seems that even small businesses can can take advantage of Clip.
Another cool thing about location-based mobile marketing is that its is a very egalitarian system- offers are ranked by proximity or the name of the business. For example, right now on the system there are discounts for a downtown Toronto Quizno's franchise, a dry cleaners, as well as a Queen West Head Shoppe called Cloud 9. With Clip, your ability to drive sales has nothing to do with the size of a marketing budget or flashiness of a campaign. It comes down to the quality of the offer and its relevance to the consumer. So in this sense, it an ideal tool for small businesses to use to put their name (and special offers) out there to get noticed. We have been working with independent businesses, several franchises as well as some larger corporations and they have all found value in the system in terms of its ability to create, track and manage offers in real-time.
I know you're based in Toronto but do you have merchants elsewhere?
We just hired a sales team out in Vancouver and we have begun knocking on doors out there telling merchants about our service and our 3-months free offer. We expect the number of deals on the West Coast and outside of Ontario will grow steadily. Vancouver is a great market because the iPhone is very widely adopted - must be something to do with the West Coast lifestyle. We think its important for people to know that we focused on getting launched in the GTA mainly because of limited resources. We are solely focused on the Canadian market and we are really working hard at establishing our presence and user base from coast to coast.
Has being based in Toronto helped your business?
Toronto is a great place to launch this business. It has a very high density of businesses and a critical mass of users. We are especially excited for when we launch for Blackberry in a couple months because you have to play for the home team. That will open up a user group of about 3 million Canadians who are desperate to find worthwhile and user-friendly apps on their Blackberries. Our approach is to focus our sales efforts on the major urban centres - Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Kitchener-Waterloo, Toronto and Montreal. But we really want to support businesses that support us as we are getting going. The plan is to offer the service for free for an extended period of time to those areas that take a little longer to develop a user-base that justifies our $50/month per location. Our approach that we are communicating to merchants is, "If we build it, they will come." Because we know that to be true, Smartphone adoption in Canada is skyrocketing and we want to be the trusted Advisor where all Canadian's turn to on their Smartphone when they want good stuff cheap.
Thank you so much for this David!