A company called Savor is trying to re-imagine how coupon aggregation websites and services, like RetailMeNot or Coupons.com, would operate had they been invented today. Instead of just throwing a bunch of offers at users, Savor says it’s working to build a service where the coupons presented are personalized to each consumer’s interests.
Personalized offers are something big-name deal finders, like Groupon for example, have been working on as well, but Savor is focused only on e-commerce retailer coupons right now, with plans to expand into offline, brick-and-mortar retail in the future via card-linked offers.
But what makes the service, available today on the web and iPad, so interesting is how it determines what’s relevant to a given user. Explains co-founder Rich DeNardis, consumers who visit Savor can still use the service the way they might a more traditional couponing website – that is, by searching for offers, or browsing through categories.
However, Savor will prompt users to sign up using Facebook, which allows the service to tap into their “likes” and interests on the social network, so Savor can present the most relevant deals.
After you connect with Facebook, Savor selects an assortment of stores and categories you may be interested in, and lets you further customize those suggestions by clicking the store names and categories that appeal to you (e.g. “Women’s Apparel,” “Shoes,” “Toys,” Computer Accessories,” etc.)
After doing so, you can also configure Savor to send out reminders about bookmarked offers and/or daily or weekly email digests.
The company, co-founded by DeNardis and Drew Sementa, came about following DeNardis’ exit from being a so-called “Wall St. guy” who had previously worked in investment banking, then private equity. He says he came across a number of affiliate marketing, loyalty platforms and payment companies during that time, and realized that it was a big, but very broken, market.
“When I looked at the sites that were out there, a number of them were built 10 to 15 years ago, and they really haven’t evolved to keep up with how people interact with the web today,” explains DeNardis. He says that many of these haven’t been updated to offer a seamless experience across devices, or integrate with social.
The company first launched its website into beta last November, and just relaunched the site a couple of weeks ago, following user testing and feedback. Savor also now has an iPad application, which DeNardis likens to Flipboard, in terms of how it offers a more visual presentation where coupons are organized into “catalogs” of deals. Users can flip through these sections, saving their favorite deals along the way.
Savor is currently in the process of developing an Android tablet app, followed by smartphone versions. It’s also working with banking partners for its forthcoming offline extension, which will involve the above-mentioned card-linked offers.
The Chicago-based company is team of 6 full-time, and has raised a “friends and family” round, with plans to go after roughly $1 million in seed funding by the end of the quarter.
The Savor iPad app is here.