Small Business

You Can't Ignore Mobile Any More

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Think your business is too traditional to support the mobile revolution?

It might be time to open your eyes.

A recent article by Canadian Grocer magazine profiles the founders of Checkout 51, a free mobile iPhone app that’s offering a new take on old-fashioned coupon-cutting.

Checkout 51 works like this: Consumer packaged goods companies—including Maple Leaf Foods, Kraft, Johnson & Johnson and Heinz Canada—pay the year-old startup to advertise cash-back deals on and its app. When a consumer buys one of those brands, he or she takes a picture of the receipt and uploads it via the app. A rebate is then automatically added to the consumer’s account; once he or she amasses at least $20 in savings, they’re sent a cheque.

It’s meant to increase the convenience factor for buyers while simultaneously giving manufacturers a way to directly reach prized mobile-savvy customers. And it seems to be taking off: since Checkout 51 appeared in Apple’s App Store in December of last year, more than 230,000 users have downloaded it—and claimed upwards of $100,000 in rebates.

It’s compelling evidence that the mobile-enabled consumer is becoming a mainstay—even in grocery, one of the most staid of industries.

Checkout 51 serves as further proof that the coupon business in Canada is starting to embrace the needs of an increasingly mobile population. Most major daily-deals sites  (and there are many) now offer mobile apps. Such web-based coupon-hunter haunts as and have apps available, too.

With 62% of mobile phones in Canada now smartphones (according to comScore)

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