SnipSnap already had over five million users who had saved more than $500 million with their award-winning mobile couponing app. After being acquired by Slyce in early 2015, however, Founder and CEO Ted Mann realized that they could use Slyce visual search technology to start pushing the boundaries of saving even further.
They decided to develop a new personal savings assistant called Scout that would broaden users’ savings past coupons and deliver other types of deals. They were especially keen on figuring out how to do in-store price matching where users would take pictures of the items they were interested in buying while they were in a store, and Scout would find a product that would beat the in-store price from qualifying competitors.
While they were investigating, SnipSnap realized that nothing was specifically built to handle in-store price matching. They needed to have a comparison price engine and be able to layer price matching rules on top of that. They were looking to build or buy the best and easiest to integrate comparison shopping search that they could.
“We were originally planning to go crawl retailer websites ourselves,” said Ted Mann, founder and CEO of SnipSnap. “However, when the Slyce CTO suggested that we could use Indix Product Information instead, we realized that it was the best and easiest to integrate into Scout. We saved a great deal of time and money by going with Indix rather than building our own product database.” SnipSnap partnered with Indix due to the breadth of the catalog and the ability to compare product prices against multiple retailers with a single call.
Scout chats can start with an image. Once it’s submitted, Slyce technology identifies keyword attributes, like object type, color, and style. Scout then queries the Indix Offers Premium API endpoint with those keywords, and Indix returns product and price results from across the Internet.
Scout then uses a combination of human-curated responses and automated artificial intelligence to deliver product identification as well as accompanying deals, including price matching. If the user is in-store, it further refines the results to those that the retailer will match. It sends the best candidate to the user, who can get in-store price matching or go directly to the competing retailer’s site to buy the product online.
SnipSnap has seen great results with Scout. The feature has doubled SnipSnap’s customer retention—users who use the Scout assistant to find a deal are twice as likely to return as those who do not. If anything, this speaks to the power of comprehensive product information in consumers’ hands.
“In terms of product ID systems that Slyce has built, the Scout system is one of the best due to Indix Product Information from the API,” said Mann. “And Indix has worked with us to best optimize the quality of our results, allowing us to bring our costs down substantially.”
SnipSnap is the first mobile coupon app to allow users to scan and redeem any printed coupon on their smartphone. Since launching at TechCrunch Disrupt in 2012, the app has grown to 5 million users on iOS and Android, who have saved more than 250 million coupons and $500 million. More than 60 retailers have partnered with SnipSnap to deliver targeted coupons via the app or utilizing SnipSnap’s Coupon Author platform. The company was created at DreamIt Ventures accelerator program, participated in the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Project Liberty Incubator, and is based in Philadelphia. SnipSnap is a wholly owned subsidiary of visual search leader Slyce Inc.
Ted Mann is the founder and CEO of SnipSnap. As a father of two young kids and lazy couponer, Ted started SnipSnap to be a more responsible, frugal parent—and also to make sure his wife wouldn’t yell at him for always forgetting the baby coupons. Previously, Ted was Director of Digital Development at Gannett, where he oversaw the core newspaper sites for six New Jersey papers. At Gannett, he also launched several ventures, including the company’s first hyperlocal network, InJersey, as well as their first group of daily deal sites (now called “Deal Chicken”). He also started his own website design and development business, Striped Bull, which developed websites for local businesses and medium-sized companies. Ted was also a reporter and editor for 10 years.
Also published on Medium.