The UK-only Vouchercloud launched in February from Bristol-based Invitation Digital Ltd. to enable users to find the best offers local to them and have the associated ‘digital voucher’ delivered to and redeemable from their phone – off-line in brick ‘n’ mortar outlets as well as online via a traditional discount code. Since then, the iPhone app has seen nearly one million downloads, says the company, spurring it on to look at ways of opening up further.
And while an Android app is in the works, the company has fallen back on the humble text message, which in all honestly – given the UK’s texting habits and low barrier of entry, particularly for teens – is a technology that startups shouldn’t ignore.
The way the SMS option works is as follows: Users visit the Vouchercloud website and choose the discount they want to receive via text message. The service then sends them an SMS ‘stub’ containing all the information required to redeem the offer. When the user wants to use the discount they simply reply to the ‘stub’ message to receive their voucher via SMS which they then show to the vendor.
As for the discounts themselves, these cover anything from dining, drinking, shopping, days out and visits to the cinema. To-date, Vouchercloud claims that users have already saved over £5 million via the company’s iPhone app. Now with the SMS option, presuming word travels, that should continue to grow significantly.