Startup Spent is releasing a platform to help grocery shoppers get customized deals based on their past purchases, and to help retailers push deals out to their most active customers. The platform lets grocery retailers and brands send consumers targeted deals via SMS, email or through Spent’s iOS and Android applications. By linking to the retailer’s point-of-sale (POS) system, Spent can analyze shoppers’ shopping habits and purchase history and provide the retailers with analytics so they know where and when they should target deals.
Co-founders Andria Trivisonno, Terry Horner and John Krebsbach came up with the idea after being frustrated at the inefficiency of the grocery shopping experience and the impersonal deals they offered. “We found that the pain point of shoppers was not receiving a personal experience,” Trivisonno said in an interview. “We’re still receiving coupons and circulars that aren’t relevant to what we buy. We’ve grown to expect that personalization and the relevancy with the ads we receive from other companies, but why not with groceries?”
Spent provides grocers with a retailer dashboard for web and iPad that allows them to choose which type of promotion they’d like to send out, and how they want that promotion to be delivered, either via email, SMS, or mobile app. The campaign management tool then customizes the list of consumers to send messages to, and allows retailers to send those messages from the dashboard. “Spent will likely not be a brand that the consumer ever sees, and will be the system powering the mobile and communication ad messages skinned as the retailer,” Trivisonno said.
Customers interact with Spent by signing up through their grocer’s loyalty program, providing their contact information, and selecting how they want to receive notifications. They can then access deals in a grocer’s existing mobile app, via SMS or email, or by downloading the Spent iPhone or Android app, where they can view a personalized deal feed, shopping list, and savings dashboard. They will then only receive deals on items that they’ve either purchased before, or items that are similar to things they’ve purchased before. Deals are sent at the time they are most likely to shop, so rather than going through the coupons and looking for deals, they get deals when they’re actually shopping.
“When a retailer pushes out a message, the only people receiving that message on their phone in a text or email, are the people most likely to take action on it. So, for example, If I never bought blueberries or if I was allergic to blueberries, I would never receive a promotion on blueberries sent to me. So everything becomes relevant coming from the retailer,” Trivisonno added.
Spent will charge a base fee to retailers for every message that gets pushed out. In addition, they hope to sell insights and reports to brands to provide them with the necessary data to better design, brand, and package their goods.
Although there are many grocery shopping list apps like ShopWell and Grocery IQ that are consumer facing, and there are coupon apps like SnipSnap, Spent strives to differentiate itself by leveraging past purchasing data to provide coupons that matter to end consumers. Their initial target market is grocers with loyalty programs that have the necessary data to allow for the push messaging their system depends on, but will roll out the software to other retailers down the road. Once a grocer partners with Spent, it will be up to the grocer to promote the app to its customers through their existing promotional channels.
Part of the Iron Yard startup accelerator in South Carolina, the company is looking to demo their back-end analytics and messaging technology to investors flying in this week for the program’s demo day. With an initial focus on getting grocers to partner with them in South Carolina, they hope to expand to other states in the U.S. and then start selling their SaaS product globally. After their demo next week, they will be opening the platform up in October, looking to get grocers on board and gearing up to personalize the grocery shopping experience.