MAR­TIN HANNA IN­TRO­DUCES PENNY PINCH!

The Star (St. Lucia) - Business Week - - MAKING MOVES - BY CLAU­DIA ELEIBOX, STAR BUSI­NESS­WEEK COR­RE­SPON­DENT

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?

Mar­tin:

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?

Mar­tin:

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?

Mar­tin:

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?

Mar­tin:

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

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