Piggy's Automatic Coupons Can Help Your Wallet Gain Weight
By Elizabeth Balboa
As more people do their shopping online, retailers have found themselves reinventing their sales processes to keep up with the likes of Amazon.
And while online shopping has made it easier for consumers to compare pricing with an infinite number of sites, it can sometimes be hard to know if you’re getting the best deal.
Piggy wants to help both of these groups. Through its automatic coupon service, Piggy wants to decrease cart abandonment for stores while helping consumers save more on their purchases.
Benzinga caught up with co-founder John Anderson to talk about the digital coupon niche Piggy holds among business-to-consumer fintech companies.
What’s the general concept of Piggy?
You are shopping at Macys.com. You get into your cart and all of a sudden, we pop up and say, ‘Hey, we’ve got six coupon codes. Click to auto-add those coupon codes.’ Those coupon codes then cycle through Macy’s website and the applicable codes are applied to your cart. You get the savings right there. From the consumer perspective, now I do not have to go to another website and I do not have to spend X amount of time looking for a code someplace else.
How did this idea come about?
I originally started out with the desire to help PTAs [Parent Teacher Association] and other non-profits to fundraise.
All the partners that funded the company had been involved in the affiliate marketing space before. The way affiliate marketing works, we send the user to a merchant site, like Walmart or Macy’s or Target.com, and they give us a percentage back of each sale.
Being fathers of school-age children we thought, “What a great idea. You know, more and more parents are shopping online, if we can contribute a portion of that purchase back to the school or PTA…” Well, it was a great idea, but nobody else thought so, so it kind of died there.
But we built the technology and we stumbled upon the fact that you can actually acquire a consumer market more affordably than we could the PTA, apparently. There were other companies that had been in the cash-back space before, and other companies in the coupon space, but we just built out what we had, converted it from fundraising and geared more towards cash back to the consumer.
Who is the target audience for your service?
Since everybody likes to save money, I guess our answer is however many U.S. adults shop online...We are not really targeting couponers per se.
What is the business model?
It can work two ways. They [the consumer] can either create an account if they want to receive cash back, or they can go without creating an account if they just want to take advantage of the coupons.
I cannot give you an exact count of the stores today, but there are over 2,000 stores that we have partnered with, and we pay cash back on probably about 99 percent of those stores. We have, I think, about 1,000 stores that will automatically add coupon codes into the user’s cart as they shop.
There is no fee for membership. It is all completely free. The user makes a purchase through one of our links, the merchant tracks that on their end, pays us back, and we pass on that payment to the consumer. At this point we actually automatically add coupons in the consumers’ checkout shopping cart while they are on the website so they do not have to leave the cart and search for coupon codes.
What are your present product offerings?
We have browser extensions right now, which are available in Chrome, Firefox and Safari. We also drive traffic to the merchant via our website and via email marketing as well.
How do businesses benefit from partnering with you?
About 70 percent of all shopping cart business right now is abandoned. A lot of that is because somebody is not at that point in their buying cycle when they are ready to commit, but 50 percent of the people that abandon carts do so because of convenience. Convenience can include a number of different factors. One of those factors is I leave a shopping cart to do a search for a coupon code; I may never come back.
So the reality is also helping merchants decrease their cart abandonment and increase their conversions of sales by enabling the consumer to stay within the cart environment, not leave, and not get potentially distracted going elsewhere.
How do you see yourself fitting into the modern personal finance industry? Do you have many competitors who offer similar products?
We have a few different competitors. We are not in a position to be in any way monopolistic. But who has a better mousetrap? We have some products that we are going to be launching in the not too distant future that nobody else has. We have filed a provisional patent on our extension. We will be branching into the mobile space in the not too distant future as well.
Do you have a five-year growth plan or any innovations in the works?
User growth — we actually just brought on a Vice President of Growth. We have very aggressive targets for 2017. We grew over 400 percent in the second half 2016, and our targets for this year would be at or above that percentage growth.
Product growth, we have several different offerings in the pipeline right now, but we’re just not at a point that we can release them publicly. I can tell you that it will include mobile. I think if you look at an industry that has 70 percent abandon rate of somebody that is trying to make a purchase, there is definitely opportunity to improve that.
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