Colombia , Chile and Brazil

Chilean retail app happyshop predicts 500% jump in downloads within a year

Bnamericas Published: Thursday, November 22, 2012
Chilean retail app developer happyshop, celebrating its one year anniversary with some 230,000 downloads, expects to see at least 1mn downloads more in a year's time, María Paz Gillet, VP of product development and co-founder, told BNamericas. However, the company - which is expanding in Colombia and Brazil - is less focused on the amount of downloads and more on the user experience, employing behavioral targeting to provide brand engagement and "performance via experiences," she said. In return, retailers can segment their public by rankings such as age and sex. Adhering stores - which number in the thousands - sport happyshop's "check in here" sign where smartphone users can sign up to receive in-store offers. Once the user is registered, he can also receive offers on his device anywhere and this can be a magnet to draw more customers to the store. Retailers in Chile that have signed on to the program include do-it-yourself chain Sodimac, department store chain Falabella, pharmacy chain SalcoBrand, and upscale Santiago mall Parque Arauco. The company's click-through rate is about 17%, compared to the industry average of about 0.05%, Gillet added. It expects revenues of around US$1.5mn this year. Other tools available from happystore include the Adinstore in-store publicity campaigns on mobile devices and Scanpromo whereby customers can scan the bar code or QR codes to receive discount coupons. Happyshop is supported on iOS, Android and Windows Phone operating systems. Since the company started with iOS, its customer base is still the largest in the Apple ecosystem, but the amount of new Android customers coming on board outnumbers Apple by a rate of at least two to one, CTO Gert Findel said. Currently BlackBerry is not supported but the company expects to begin developing in January to have a release by about March, he added. More than the axiom of "know your customer" in the retail world, "this is about 'get the customer's attention' when the customer is in your store," the CTO said. The company originally received 40mn pesos (US$84,000) in seed capital from Chile's state development agency Corfo that added to the partners' initial capital of US$200,000. In August 2011, it got a US$1.5mn injection from Aurus investment fund, and mid-year Gerens Capital invested US$4mn in the company to consolidate expansion into Brazil.

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