Cellfire a mobile coupon company and ShopSavvy recently executed an exclusive agreement to offer their coupons in ShopSavvy through our AdOns framework (delivering UPC/GPS based AdOns to PriceGrabber, CBS Interactive, CNET and hundreds of other niche barcode scanning apps using our AdOn framework and scanning technology).
When we launched ShopSavvy back in 2008 we decided NOT to run network based banner advertising. We experimented with sponsors (Visa and their GO campaign was our first), but we quickly decided that normal banner advertising wasn’t going to be successful in ShopSavvy. We came up with the concept of an AdOn – more of a plugin framework than an ad network. By using the barcode of the product scanned + the users location we figured we could deliver relevant and important information to the user without interrupting or bothering him.
When the folks at Cellfire approached us more than a year ago we quickly realized that their Coupon offering was a perfect AdOn. Anytime a user would scan a food item with a coupon, using the API provided by Cellfire, we could allow the user to add that coupon to their loyalty card within ShopSavvy. So instead of a banner ad for Bank of America when the user scanned a can of beans, they see a coupon. They can dismiss it with a swipe of a finger OR click to add it to their loyalty card so that the point of sale system knows to give them their discount. Cellfire is the perfect example of a partner with relevant data that we can combine with the user’s location and buying intent to deliver a valuable offer – a coupon.
More on AdOns™:
Mobile ads delivered by companies like AdMob don’t work very well right now. First they distract and annoy the user OR they are completely ignored by the user. Second, they don’t generate much in the way of revenue since they are rarely acted upon. We decided NOT to put ads in ShopSavvy and I think the app has been better because we made that decision. But we did find a way to leverage the data we had (i.e. the UPC of the product scanned and the location of the user) to deliver information about the item the user was holding in his hand.
ShopSavvy is a simple app that tells the user where he can find the item he is scanning and how much the item sells for, but we kept having all of these ideas to make our app better. Things like coupons, allergy alerts, recall notices, wine info and so on. We couldn’t figure out how to include these ideas without cluttering up the app – i.e. feature creep. Then we had an idea to create a plugin framework, what we call AdOns.
AdOns appear ONLY when there is relevant information about the product scanned. Immediately following the scan screen your app delivers the result (in ShopSavvy we show the item’s picture, title, web and local offers). The AdOn scrolls up from the bottom of the screen without interfering with the function of your result page (you can still interact with your app). AdOns take up only as much space as needed to provide the necessary information – almost never past the middle of the screen. To dismiss the user simply swipes the AdOn down. Finally, new apps won’t see AdOns for the first 90 to 120 days until we get your onboarded into our system – you get a free ride for a while.
What sort of AdOns exist? movie and video game trailers, sample music tracks, allergy information, food safety information, coupons, rebates, product demos, wine info/helper, sports/concert titckets, computer configurators, memory card matcher, battery matcher, what’s not in the box, alternative/related products, product reviews (text and video), warranties and so on. Got an idea for an AdOn – let me know and we will create it. AdOns are usually sponsored – e.g. Video Game Trailers sponsored by GameFly or sample tracks sponsored by Pandora. In all cases AdOns MUST look cool and provide real value to the user without screwing up your app.
Finally, we allow complete filtering for ANY reason. Don’t want to see your competitors in AdOns? No problem. Don’t want to see certain items for health reason? No problem – you have the right to reject ANY AdOn for any reason.