MARTIN HANNA INTRODUCES PENNY PINCH!
Penny Pinch is an online platform which connects consumers and businesses through coupon marketing. It was founded by Martin Hanna, a nineteen-year-old who is ardent about making his mark in the tech and business landscape on the island. Penny Pinch was in the making for about five months and started its unveiling in September of this year. STAR Businessweek sat down with Hanna to find out what Saint Lucia can
expect from Penny Pinch ahead of its early 2019 launch.
HOW DID THE IDEA OF PENNY PINCH COME ABOUT?
Martin: The idea came about because Saint Lucia lacks technology and I myself use these coupon marketing platforms in first world countries, such as Groupon [and] Retailmenot; these already exist for shopping online. So, when I use these platforms, I’m thinking to myself, ‘Why does this not exist in the Caribbean?’ That’s why I had to really
develop and plan the idea, in bringing it to the Caribbean, and starting off in Saint Lucia, and then hopefully expand out.
HOW DOES PENNY PINCH WORK?
So, the website is completely free to use. You head onto the website and there’s basically a catalogue of offers: most popular, new this week, expiring soon, and then you could view coupons by the stores themselves or by categories. So, it’s all organised however you like it. If you want to search for beauty, you’ll see all the stores related to beauty products or services, or if you want to see a coupon under a specific store. On our home page we have the most popular categories so it’s basically a catalogue where a user can select which coupon they want and then, when they select the coupon, it provides them with a coupon code.
HOW DO YOU GET BUSINESSES ON BOARD AND WHAT TYPE OF BUSINESSES DO YOU TARGET?
Martin: I’ve been targeting the retailers in Saint Lucia, mainly the high-end ones such as restaurants, clothing, vacation, automotive. I’ve been going to them myself or getting contact information and asking people to meet up to present the idea to them. So far, I’ve been getting some good feedback that the idea is very good. Some say that they’ve actually been waiting for something like this and they’re waiting for it to launch. In terms of the general public, I’ve also gotten good feedback and they also are waiting for this to launch.
IS THE WEBSITE IN USE?
Martin: The website is not live right now but we’re in the process of teasing it, meaning we’re just in the process of getting it out to the public, letting the public know that this is coming soon. Our website is www.pennypinchslu.com where you can actually visit it right now and sign up for our newsletter. This will allow you
to get notified on our launch details and giveaways that we’re having right now.
WILL THERE BE ANY GIVEAWAYS AS PART OF THE LAUNCH?
So we’ve collaborated with thirteen businesses that plan on coming on to the platform and they’re supporting by providing prizes that we’re giving away.
WHAT ABOUT THE DESIRE FOR DISCOUNTS?
Martin: In Saint Lucia, whenever a sale comes on, everyone is already heading to it. And coupon marketing works. It’s been proven that coupons, especially when they’re valuable, are very effective in terms of bringing customers in and they would travel a significant distance to redeem these coupons. And even the online industry of coupons works very well. Whenever there are sales online, people tend to use these coupons while they last. Coupons also create urgency. Since a coupon is not forever–lasting, it will bring in people right away to drive in sales.
WHAT SORT OF COUPONS SHOULD PEOPLE LOOK FORWARD TO?
Martin: It all depends on the merchants. The merchant has the option of picking a percentage or dollar value and they have the options of selecting what the coupon will be available for — whether it be selected items, new arrivals and so on. It’s all very flexible with the merchant to do so.
WILL THIS TAKE OFF IN SAINT LUCIA?
I’m going to say that it’s going to be hard since it’s going to be something new. I’m hoping to develop a trend so my vision is to really revolutionize the shopping experience in Saint Lucia. And
I’m not only limiting myself in Saint Lucia; I’m going to be trying to expand
to the entire Caribbean in hopefully a few years.
HOW DO YOU INTEND TO DO THAT?
So expanding through the Caribbean would be a little easier because it would be a website meaning there’s no physical goods that need to be pushed out to the public; its more or less getting the service out to the Caribbean. So I’d probably go to another island, do my market research and see which stores would be interested. The same
that I would do here but transfer the knowledge I’ve learnt doing it in Saint Lucia onto another island and I just start
to market it into that island.
Martin Hanna, Founder of Penny Pinch, is launching his coupon app in early 2019. Sign up for early access at www.pennypinchslu.com