By Pete Rizzo (@pete_rizzo)
Clipless may be the newest mobile loyalty app on the block, but it’s already in the process of cultivating major player status. Since making its debut on Android devices on August 27, Clipless estimates its early adopters have saved more than $19,417.
What sets Clipless apart from other deal providers? According to founder Michael Barnathan, it’s his app’s ability to deliver deals through one of the most comprehensive discount feeds available.
To ensure there was no shortage of discounts at the onset, Clipless chose to piggyback major deal providers – such as Amazon, Foursquare, Groupon, LivingSocial and Yelp – to provide more deals to its users than most new entrants to the market could offer. From there, Clipless remained focused on its user experience. Its app only uses minimal battery power, and it sends users location-based alerts, meaning Clipless can be viewed as more personal assistant than app.
This focus on users has translated to the market so far. As of writing this piece, Clipless has received a 3.9-star rating from 25 Android user reviews – 13 of which awarded the company 5 Stars for its service.
Going forward, how does Clipless intend to keep its momentum? For this answer, PYMNTS.com spoke to Barnathan for a comprehensive look at what his app offers, how it’s looking to grow and how it plans to tackle challenges along the way.
PYMNTS.com: This is the first time we’ve featured Clipless on PYMNTS.com, would you mind introducing your company and your product, touching on how it fits into the current shopping app market?
Michael Barnathan: Clipless is a mobile app that collects deals from 2,000 different sources and delivers them straight to your phone as you move through the day. We offer one of the most comprehensive discount feeds available and seek out the most relevant deals, in real-time, based on where you are. So, whether you’re exploring your own neighborhood or a brand new city, Clipless will let you know when you’re approaching a good deal, so you’ll never miss the chance to save. When developing Clipless, we wanted it to complement the shift that the mobile ecosystem is undergoing now. Apps are no longer simply responding to you, but predicting your needs and providing assistance before you need it – sometimes even before you know you need it. That’s exactly what Clipless aims to do.
A central part of your business model sounds like partnering with deal aggregators. Can you talk about why you decided to take this approach and what the results have been?
We took this approach because we wanted to provide our users with a comprehensive coverage of deals from the start. That way, users can jump right into the app wherever they are and immediately take advantage of the deals that are around them. In addition to working with the popular aggregators like 8Coupons, we also pull from direct deal sources such as Yelp, LivingSocial and Amazon Local. The results have been great – our users have saved a total of $19,417 in the two weeks since our launch. That works out to $504,842/year.
Does Clipless monetize deals or promote certain deals to consumers? If not, is that a feature your app will be looking to incorporate?
Clipless selects which deals to show to consumers based on only two factors: location and relevance. While we do have affiliate relationships with several deal sources, these relationships don’t influence the ranking or display of deals to users in any way. Our users trust us to deliver great deals to them, and we want to make good on that trust by delivering the most relevant results possible.
What do you think makes the rewards market attractive right now? In other words, what made you look at the market and decide a great rewards app hadn’t been released?
When looking at the app market, we noticed there was one thing that had never really been done well in the deals space: collecting all of the deals that are out there in one place and delivering them when and where they will be most useful to the user.
By integrating a very wide selection of deals into a simple, location-aware, battery-friendly mobile app, we have the ability to help consumers discover new places around them, as well as save on purchases at the point of action, without needing to plan in advance. The service works with you, rather than requiring you to go out of your way or arrange your trip in advance.
Other apps are great at what they do, but they have different aims: they typically pop up when you enter a mall (if they’re even location-aware at all), and show you deals in the big-box stores at the mall. That’s useful, but it’s like having a circular rather than a personal assistant.
You’re currently working on version 1.5 of your app. Would you care to share any details about this upcoming announcement?
A lot of our deal sources are U.S.-only, so we’re searching out partnerships in Europe in order to extend our international coverage. We are also working on providing more social integration in the app, so users can easily share the deals that they discover on platforms such as Twitter and Facebook. We’re very attentive to user feedback, so [we’re] continuously making updates to make the app an even better experience. Our next big announcement will be the launch of the iOS version of the app.