Finding Customers with VoucherThing
VoucherThing works as a service for both merchants and customers. It consists of two apps – the VoucherThing for Merchants app that allows you to create of voucher and coupon campaigns. This allows merchants to send vouchers to customers and also redeem them in-store. There is also the VoucherThing app for clients or potential customers. The customer app also allows discovery or merchants as well as storage of coupons in a centralised, handy place so you don’t need to search your emails or print out your coupons.
Built into both VoucherThings apps is also the ability to locally, anonymously track the other type of app i.e. the merchant app can ‘see’ the client app and vice verse but client app cannot see other client apps. This allows the customer or merchant to ‘see’ opportunities to spend or to attract business in the local area. This ability is completely configurable – both users must ‘opt in’ to enable it and it can be turned off at any time. It is however completely anonymous and the range is limited in practice to around only 20 to 30 metres or yards. This technology is built on top of Apple’s iBeacon ranging technology.
When both apps are active (shown here on an iPhone 6 and an iPad) then the ‘radar’ screen shows approximately how close the other device is. There is no direction finding ability – just three zones which indicate the proximity of the other user from very close (centimetres) to a couple of metres (medium range) to long range (within ten or twenty metres depending on environment). This enables customers and merchants to discover nearby opportunities.
This ‘ranging’ ability as it is known can also work when the phone or iPad is in standby mode in the pocket or bag. iBeacons can ‘wake up’ the device and show a notification informing the user of something local of interest.
There when a customer has the VoucherThing app installed and walks within range of an active VoucherThing for Merchant iPad then then customer’s iPhone will send a notification of this event on the lock screen. The phone can be in the pocket and locked and this notification will still appear.
Likewise on the VoucherThing for Merchants app there are notifications available to inform the merchant when there are VoucherThing customers in the area. As indicated the VoucherThing radar in both apps shown the approximate distance to the other party.
Notifications – as well as the ability to advertise position – can be controlled from both apps so that privacy is not a concern and no personal information is ever transmitted. This ability is particularly of interest in areas where there are a lot of potential clients and merchants in the same location – for example at a trade show this would easily show merchants how many local customers had the VoucherThing app installed and might be looking for bargains.