18th Apr 16
When we started building RedCarpetUp, we set out a very simple target - build a platform (P.S. not a software tool) that solves a small retailers biggest pain point : the ROI of customer marketing. Hitting that target has been a monumental effort - building fundamental technology around desktop software (even on really old, shitty point-of-sales), async APIs, and big data analytics. We have understood how to port security patches to really old, legacy systems infrastructure - we take our security very seriously and try to be consistently at A+ security ratings on SSL Labs (as opposed to some of the new “wallet startups” that score a F- !!!).
We built fundamental technology on top of NFC long before Apple Pay and when pretty much everyone had written NFC off.
More importantly, we have learned to build and streamline our sales processes, incorporate a fairly seamless CRM process, after sales support, lead-gen. We have learned how to educate the small time merchant and help him understand the fundamental value of loyalty over maniacal screaming of “new customers, new customers”.
We have also learned to build nifty after sales customer support - loyalty works when everyone is on the same page… which includes the merchants and the customers. This is why large coalition loyalty and rewards programs dont work - customers see no value and dont give a shit. So we have built a formula for building loyalty programs that deliver genuine engagement.
We have been persistent and redesigned our core product many, many times over just to find that sweet spot where we are delivering genuine value to the retailer.
UX is not how it looks - it is how it works
A lot of people ask us why our website is not the best looking one in town. Well, because our UX revolves around the merchant experience and the customer in-store experience. We constantly think of usability, not from a “lets generate pretty reports” point of view… but rather the complex interplay of processes in a retail storefront: between the owner, the cashier and the manager. What makes their life easier ? can we automate anything ? Can we reverse the engagement process so that we dont slow down service ?
Which is why we have been investing our (rather sparse) resources into fixing the in-store experience rather than the web experience.
So, does it work ?
Kartik, our Master of Marketing and Analytics has these tasty morsels for you.
And yes, retailers are realizing the value here. We have had many of our retailers prepay for our product because they are so happy to have the platform working for them and not having to do that work themselves. We are fitting in operationally into small retailers as part of their marketing and infrastructure (payments, analytics) buildout.
And it feels good !