The new store tries to reward consumers for sharing their shopping habits

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Lauren O’Reilly and Bidemi Afolabi are both pharmacists who have transformed their customer behavior insights into ProMotion, a company that gives brands clear insights into who buys their products and rewards customers for their purchase.

“Working in retail allowed us to see how good people felt when they had rewards built up and able to spend them, and we also got to see the value of . . . Spend insight was for the retailer,” says O’Reilly. “But the brands [themselves] do not have equal access to this consumer information and certainly not across all distribution channels from pharmacies and supermarkets to petrol stations and other places where their products are sold. With ProMotion Rewards, they can see exactly who is buying what.”

ProMotion Rewards works with a phone app and is heavily consumer driven. They choose whether to submit a receipt for something they’ve purchased, and when they do, they’re rewarded for sharing their purchase information. As with most traditional loyalty programs, ProMotion users earn points for each receipt shared. The difference is that these points are converted into cash that the user can access via PayPal or, if they wish, they can donate the money to a charity of their choice.

The business is underpinned by its brand partners, who fund the customer rewards and at the same time pay ProMotion a commission for using its platform. If a receipt is marked with one of these brand partners, the customer receives bonus points. Unlike existing retail loyalty programs, which are typically tied to specific locations, those who use the ProMotion app are rewarded for their loyalty no matter where they shop.

‘Fun and Engaging’

“ProMotion is a fun and engaging way to earn rewards for the purchases you’ve already made, and with extras like additional offers and surveys that people can take based on their shopping habits, we offer multiple ways to earn rewards,” says O’ reilly . Wearing their healthy living hats, O’Reilly and Afolabi have also decided to offer users bonus points if they reach 5,000 steps a day each week, and they’re picking the bill for it.

“Our users can also take advantage of in-app offers based on their shopping habits,” adds O’Reilly. “So if someone normally shops in the baby products category, they could get a relevant offer from a baby brand like 33 percent back as points if they buy a specific product. The customer scans their receipt as usual and receives the points immediately.”

O’Reilly says the app allows brands to get detailed sales information across online and offline channels and the full breadth of retail stores. “With our document data, you can analyze down to the product level. It also allows them to select audiences for market research based on actual buying behavior, rather than just demographics or pre-selected interests,” she says.

investment

Investments in the company to date are in the order of €50,000, coming from a combination of early angel funding and support from the New Frontiers program at TU Dublin Blanchardstown, Dublin City LEO and the Trinity College LaunchBox accelerator . Development costs have been contained because Afolabi, the company’s technical and product engineering lead, is also a full-stack software developer.

ProMotion Rewards will be launched in Ireland in March when the brand partners are announced. O’Reilly says the goal then is to quickly advance into the UK, followed by mainland Europe.

“Basically, our competition comes from outdated market research solutions, but what we offer is completely different, so the two aren’t really comparable,” says O’Reilly. “Until now, there have been limited ways consumers could get something back for their purchase. For example, participation in consumer forums is not open to everyone. With ProMotion, everyone can be part of the ‘panel’ and be rewarded for just doing their shopping.”

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