As customer acquisition costs increase, operators and media owners are finding consumer engagement and interest harder to achieve effectively . SBC caught up with DiscountIF Founder & CEO Lewis Holland, who details the importance of communicating real value and opportunities to your targeted customer.
Combining a live event dynamic to its customer offers, start-up DiscountIF aims to be a leading discount portal in European retail. Holland details his company’s product development, commercial progress and long term goals.
SBC: Hi Lewis, DiscountIF is adding a live event dynamic to commercial shopping for discounts. What drove you to create this unique enterprise?
Lewis Holland: We’ve seen offers in the past by global brands “Buy a TV & IF England wins the World Cup you get monyeback”. Its an interesting marketing concept that has been pushed by brands globally, but not necessarily executed well.
We want to take that marketing concept and scale it. Allow customers to purchase ‘any product’ and get cashback linked to ‘any event’. We’ve now launched our own brand, DiscountIF, but also started to sell our technology as a white-label to other ecommerce brands too. The below info-graphic explains the process best!
SBC: Dealing in live-events for customer rewards, how does your team optimise its products to gain best user engagement?
LH: When we first launched discountif.com we were receiving great feedback on the concept, but we got told our offering was very limited. We made the same mistake as the brands who used this marketing concept! We had around 50 products, with each one linked to a specific offer, say, an Ipad 2 with 100% Cashback if Chelsea wins the Champions League.
We began testing a ‘create an offer’ service, whereby we allowed customers to submit any product and suggest an event they followed. One of our employees would manually create a personalised promotion. We found that by using this service, we converted over 50% of our requests to sales.
The logical next step was to automate this ‘create an offer’ service and that’s what we’ve done with our new platform. How this works is part of our “magic”!
The interesting thing is that within a week we’ve got over 2,000 product links submitted! We’ve had a £12,000 Rolex watch, Playstatiion 4’s, books, headphones, tennis rackets,…you name it!
SBC: In your opinion how is the Cash-back sector changing in terms of competitiveness and product offering?
LH: The cashback industry is becoming more and more saturated which is why in order to be competitive in this market you have to innovate. This is where we come in! We give customers a good deal and in parallel also make shopping fun and engaging.
Cashback sites in the UK such as Quidco or TopCashback generally offer cashback up to 10%. We offer cashback between 10% right up to 100%. We leave the power in the hands of the customer and allow them to choose whatever cashback they desire.
Our competitors pay out cashback on average between 2 to 3 months after a purchase. With us you get paid within 30 days!
SBC: You are offering a unique service with more concentrated engagement; in your opinion do you classify DiscountIF as an affiliate portal?
LH: We see ourselves as two things in one; an e-commerce site and a technology service for other brands & ecommerce sites to create unique discounts.
We’re just like other e-commerce sites, however we have one big twist! We offer the customer to get up to 100% cashback of every purchase they make through us. For our ecommerce site we leverage other retailers and suppliers to ship our products.
We’re also offering our technology as a service. We’re currently in conversations with a few retailers in the UK and Germany to integrate our cashback offering onto their sites. These retailers would be able to offer their customers the chance to earn cashback and convert better.
SBC: Why did you choose to fund your enterprise via crowd funding platform seedrs? Why was this an attractive avenue than other investment channels.
LH: We’ve used the ‘power of the crowd’ in the past when we competed for a UK start-up competition organised by Virgin Media Business, called Pitch to Rich (i.e. Richard Branson). We got nearly 3,000 votes and came 7th out of 1000 startups! More recently we’ve been using the crowd to assist with improving our landing page communications through startup communities in forums such as reddit.
So we asked ourselves… Why not get the crowd to be part of our growth plans?!
We therefore partnered up with Seedrs, the largest crowdfunding for equity platform in Europe, to launch an investment campaign for our next phase of growth.
By crowdfunding on Seedrs not only are we getting funding for our growth plans, but we’re also building a reputation with the public.
SBC: Launching Version 2 of your portal, what short term and long term gains do you want to see DiscountIF achieve?
LH: Our new version, allows customers to purchase virtually any product and get cashback based on any event they choose. Customers will have a much richer and engaging experience and we believe that will be very powerful in reaching out to wider audiences.
We’re also looking to expand our services in another region, Malta. We’ve had a lot of traffic from Malta which has so far been untapped. It’s a perfect place to test our concept outside of the UK and potentially trial some of our new features prior to launching in larger markets.
Our longer term strategy is to use our technology as a service and partner up with large retailers and brands. We’d plug in our technology into their e-commerce site, for their customers to purchase a product through them with a ‘DiscountIF’ offer rather than a traditional ‘10% off’ discount
Lewis Holland – Founder & CEO DiscountIF
For further investment information – DiscountIF (click below tab)