E‑commerce managers and e‑commerce analysts alike might be intrigued by a new couponing startup which targets young, female consumers – especially if they’re professionals or fashionistas.
Pretty Penny identifies the e‑commerce site a virtual customer is viewing and then, with a browser add-on, scours the site for offers and coupons relevant to the user’s interests, deftly presenting them in a neat user interface.
Carving a feminine niche in the couponing space
The startup’s two female, MBA-wielding founders wish to remain unnamed at this stage, as they’re operating the company in bootstrap mode and still have full-time jobs. But the two have been assiduously developing the company for nine months, something that immediately becomes apparent with a visit to the well-designed, aesthetically pleasing and user-friendly site.
It may seem that the coupon space is so crowded that a fledgling firm has little chance of making it, especially when pitted against Goliaths like RetailMeNot, whose website just passed the 450 million visits mark and boasts 500,000 offers. But Pretty Penny’s creators believe they’re onto a unique angle. While RetailMeNot is an exception, most of the other couponing sites out there hold little appeal to women, who find them too “spammy.” Pretty Penny, by contrast, looks and feels totally different, with its easy user interface and pleasingly elegant site design.
The firm sources its coupon codes from a range of places, including feeds and aggregators. It’s also manually entered some of the codes (like those posted online or sent via an e‑commerce brand’s email) into its database.
From beta to better?
Now in open beta, Pretty Penny’s founders are developing patent-pending crawler technology which will venture forth and comb the web from end to end in search of deals (although, come to think of it, does the web have ends?) The next version of the app will have this feature built-in.
At present, the company has 200,000 offers to its name derived from 12,000 different merchants, 1,700 of which involve direct relationships. The latter includes Saks, Bloomingdales and Macy’s, and a number of beauty brands are lining up to offer exclusive deals.
The unnamed CEO says that the site has been built around an understanding of women’s behavior and mindset when they go shopping online, using an algorithm that makes relevant offers tailored to a given shopper’s preferences.