[UK] Vouchercloud, a new iPhone app, hopes to make paper discount vouchers a thing of the past. The free app enables users to find the best offers local to them and have the associated ‘digital voucher’ delivered to and redeemable from their phone – off-line in brick ‘n’ mortar outlets as well as online via a traditional discount code.
Along with location (using GPS), vouchers can be browsed by category, such as restaurants, casual dining, shopping, entertainment or days out and so on, and ranked by distance.
Perhaps controversially, while the app is free with 100’s of vouchers that are also fee to use, Vouchercloud is offering a small selection of high-value premium offers, which users actually have to pay for. That’s right, you’re expected to purchase select vouchers that will in turn save you money – this is how Vouchercloud plans to get paid too.
Dougal Templeton, Director of Invitation Digital Ltd., the company behind Vouchercloud, gave me one such example:
A local restaurant in Bristol called Goldbrick House is offering a voucher that gives a 25% reduction off the total bill exclusive to Vouchercloud.
“If you want to use this, and save around £20 on a bill for two, we ask you share some of the savings with us and pay £1.79 for the voucher. You make £18.21p on the deal. If you do not want to use this offer, you are welcome to go and get, for no charge, 25% off at Café Rouge which is four doors down the road”, explains Templeton.
For heavy users of Vouchercloud’s premium offers, there’s a subscription version too, which for a monthly fee may work out better.
While the online discount voucher space as a whole is already pretty crowded and there are half a dozen or so similar offerings in the US, Vouchercloud says it differs from other UK mobile voucher competitors. For example, Capital Eats and Lastminute.com’s Snaffle focus just on London and Local Sale Finder aggregates content already out there in the marketplace, says Templeton.
“We see ourselves as being a little bit different to their proposition in that we have invested heavily in negotiating every single deal on Vouchercloud as well as providing a fully integrated redemption process.”
Vouchercloud can already be used in over 5,000 outlets across the country. This includes major brands such as Coffee Republic, Fitness First, and Thomas Cook. And just this week, Giraffe restaurants and the Revolution bar chain signed up. The company has been able to strike up such commercial partnerships based on its heritage as a traditional paper-based ‘voucher book’ provider.
Another differentiator, says Vouchercloud, is their web-based merchant’s dashboard for retailers, which makes it easy to load new offers into the system. It enables any sized business to log-on and create an account with offers (voucher codes, mobile vouchers or printable vouchers) which they can then control and amend.
“We have had several people call us the eBay for offers – which we quite like”, says Templeton.
The app has seen 200,000 downloads since its launch a fortnight ago.