Actor and entrepreneur Greg Grunberg, one of the leads on NBC’s primetime series Heroes, forgot a cardboard coupon in his car one day last year and mobile coupon app Yowza!! was born. ‘I thought why wasn’t there a digital app that would bring the coupon to me, instead of the other way around,’ he says, describing his Eureka! moment a year ago.
Grunberg got to work right away and in a short six-month span got the mobile phone application that delivers coupons directly from retailers to handheld devices up and running. Yowza!! is currently available in iPhone, iTouch, BlackBerry and Palm Pre versions. And so far, more than 200 US retailers and restaurants, including Toys ‘R’ Us/Babies ‘R’ Us, McDonald’s and Sports Authority, have started sending out digital coupons via the program.
In order to receive the discounts, consumers have to download the free Yowza!! app, which Grunberg estimates more than one million US shoppers had by the end of 2009, and he plans to make it available to the Canadian market within the next few months. Additionally, he expects to deal directly with manufacturers that want to offer coupons through the platform.
The program allows users to search via their zip code or through the device’s GPS to find participating stores within a set radius. Users select the retail location and the coupon then pops up on the device to be scanned later at the point of sale. It’s also customizable in that users can request notification of new offers at their fave retailers or when deals on particular products and brands come up.
On the other side of the transaction, retailers can upload coupons online and get a read on their redemption and user metrics. (Yowza!! charges the retailers a fee based on the number of locations using the service.)
In order to boost retailer uptake, Yowza!! is focusing its marketing efforts on POS signage and highly visible promotions on daytime game shows The Wheel of Fortune and The Price Is Right, as well as magazine ads and a billboard campaign throughout the US. GR