We all know a few of those small stores that have the best deals and yet no one knows about them. Unfortunately, the bigger stores are taking these small stores out of business and without the resources to stop them, or the social media team to boost their customer-base, these stores will just keep dwindling. If only there were some way to help out them out… Introducing the new app Moopon that allows you to post pictures and post about these companies on social-media outlets and get rewards from the store.
Today, CEO Mark Sim spoke with joins us to talk about the state of shopping and how Moopoon is a win-win for everyone!
Tell us about the product or service.
Moopon is a Customer-Sourced social media advertising platform for local merchants. Customers snap pics and post on facebook, instagram, or twitter via our mobile app. In exchange for posting, the merchants incentivize the customer by giving them a special deal. The pain we are solving is that local merchants do not have the resources (time, expertise, and money) to have an effective 24/7 social media presence. We are solving this problem by giving them a platform where their customers can create and post social media content.
How is it different?
With Moopon, customers are creating the social media content by taking fun and creative pics at the local business location. Negative reviews are minimized since the posts are going on the users’ own instagram, facebook, or twitter accounts. Some users are already posting their experiences at the local merchant’s location (think food pics, pool pics at hotels, when they buy new cars, etc). Moopon is now giving a systematic incentive system for creating and posting SM experiences on behalf of the merchants. Many merchants now have customers ‘like’ ‘check-in’ or ‘review’ on customer’s social media for a discount, but they don’t have access to data. When merchants use Moopon, they know when, which channel (facebook, instagram, or twitter), how often, and how much their customers are sharing on social media. This is valuable data that they can’t capture when using independent social media apps.
What market are you attacking and how big is it?
Local merchant advertising is a trillion dollar industry in the United States. Just the direct mailer market alone is $12.9B. This market is still highly fragmented with industry leader being Yelp and Google. A lot of merchants are unhappy with Yelp, and are looking for a better substitute. Google is a search engine and getting discovered is much more difficult.
What is the business model?
Local merchants pay a monthly fee to use the platform.
What inspired the business?
Our parents. All the founders grew up in homes where our parents owned small local businesses. They worked hard, never took vacations, but they also lacked resources to effectively market their businesses. With social media, digital advertising is now available to local business owners. We want to help them succeed, since we saw first hand the pains of running a small local business. We love the underdogs!
What are the milestones that you plan to achieve within six months?
We currently have both iOS and Android version of the app in the respective app stores. We also have 100 merchants participating…some with fantastic deals. Since launching in June of 2015 in Koreatown, Los Angeles, we are getting steady growth in user redemptions. We want to average 400 downloads per week, and keep user retention above 30%. In 6 months, we want over 10,000 users, expand our merchants in Los Angeles, and show positive sales from our participating merchants.
If you could be put in touch with one investor in the community who would it be and why?
Mark Suster. I love reading his blog, and admire his commitment to developing the Los Angeles tech community.
What does being “Made in LA” mean to you and your company?
I went to UCLA and USC. My wife went to UCLA and USC. My sister went to UCLA and USC. All of us founders grew up in LA, went to school in LA, and stayed in LA. LA is the trendsetter in entertainment, and we have the resources to be the innovation capital of the world. We love the diversity and culture of LA. If you want to travel the world, all you have to do is drive around pockets of LA and OC. The world is here in LA.
What else can be done to promote early stage entrepreneurship in Los Angeles?
Take risks. People with financial resources, need to back early stage companies. We need more investors that were tech entrepreneurs. Right now, LA still has many investors who made money in other industries (real estate, finance, entertainment). They don’t take as much risk with early stage tech companies. They want to see stronger financials, better tractions, etc.
Where is your favorite after work spot for a drink in Los Angeles?
Café Bleu, Cheers of ktown. ToeBang, a great folksy bar in historic Chapman plaza. Awesome Coffee, for great coffee and liquid nitrogen ice cream.