Features

New Digital Discount Marketplace Launched

Image: MATHURIN [PHOTO: By PhotoMike]

Mobile app and Website for ‘Sales Only’ Company.

Image: MATHURIN [PHOTO: By PhotoMike]
MATHURIN [PHOTO: By PhotoMike]
A NEW online company that deals only in sales was the surprise introduction at the opening of Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) last week.

Appropriately called ‘Sales Only’, the company already has its own app that can be downloaded onto a smartphone, tablet, computer, etc.

The company was unveiled to a packed Sandals Halcyon ballroom comprising government officials, Chamber of Commerce executives, established business persons as well as entrepreneurs from around the island.

Anselm Mathurin is the founder of ‘Sales Only Inc’. At the opening of GEW he presented what he described as “St. Lucia’s Digital Discount Market Place; where retailers attract shoppers by offering guaranteed discounts”; thus the name ‘Sales Only’.

Mathurin, as a 17 year Regional Product Development and Marketing specialist stated that businesses needed help.

According to him, the two major issues identified by entrepreneurs were access to start-up capital/financing and cost of ongoing marketing and customer engagement activities.

“For those businesses able to find financing it is estimated that at least 60% of them will fail within five years. As the engine of economic growth, we can’t allow this to continue,” Mathurin said.

His concerns were validated by the Commerce Minister Bradley Felix who has said that SMEs/MSMEs (Small and Medium enterprises) make up between 70%-80% of all businesses, contribute up to 60% of GDP and are responsible for approximately 50% of all employment on island.

“The Sales Only Mobile App and Web platform gives us the opportunity to address unfunded or underfunded marketing investment of businesses. Sixty-six percent of small businesses see marketing as a cost and not an investment. When businesses don’t advertise shoppers don’t know about them; generally don’t buy as much, thus reducing sales and revenue opportunities which ultimately leads to their demise,” Mathurin said.

According to him with the Sales Only Mobile App and Web platform two problems are addressed, namely shoppers can easily find sales for the things they need and love and relative unaffordability and ineffectiveness of traditional advertising.

The platform consolidates thousands of scattered product and service offers across all media/channels into one, single, digital discount marketplace. Users can download the Mobile App which is already available in both the Google Play and iOS App Stores for free.

“I hate shopping, so my vision was to wake up in the morning, open my Mobile App and see all sales available in St. Lucia, all in one place! No more endless walking, scanning through newspapers, magazines, searching through chaotic Facebook groups or having to be in the right place at the right time to hear an ad on the radio or see it on television…everyone’s busy! For businesses without a website, no problem! We’ve put the power back into the hands of shoppers. When the Mobile App is opened or the website loaded, users will instantly see ‘Featured Sales’ (paid option) on the landing page of the App and Home page of the website with the discount percentage! If they don’t like these offers they can then search up to 12 Categories to find the sale that’s right for them: Auto & Marine, Beauty, Electronics, Events & Tickets, Fashion, Food & Drink, Health & Fitness, Homes & Gardens, Kids, Lifestyle & Leisure, Pets and Service,” Mathurin said.

He said that the most empowering feature of the platform is that anyone can register as a business and start selling instantly; home business, small business, any business! The distinct quality of the platform is that it will attract motivated shoppers because it only showcases sales and discount offers. It puts the shopper in direct contact with the retailer and increases engagement because now within the ad the shopper can ‘Like’, ‘Share’ on Facebook or retweet on Twitter if there is an offer they support. The shopper can also call, email, check the website and even get directions to the retailers if needed.

Said Mathurin: “We are truly excited and optimistic about this new service because there hasn’t been any other as detailed or as functionally rich especially since the platform also offers the ability to purchase right within the App or website. Our hope is that going forward entrepreneurs take advantage of the platform including persons who simply want to sell extra clothes or household items that are no longer needed; they can now do this in an organized searchable manner which is convenient for the shopper. We also envision a scenario where shoppers ask their favourite stores to put their offers on the platform so they can enjoy savings from the places they love to shop at. Freedom for Businesses and Power to Shoppers.”

“We’ve invested six months into the development of the platform, an idea that was more than six years in the making and involved an investment of more than EC$25,000! I’m a patriot and have always believed that for us to succeed we must not be afraid to try new things outside of our comfort zone,” Mathurin added.

Micah George is an established name in the journalism landscape in St. Lucia. He started his journalism tutelage under the critical eye of the Star Newspaper Publisher and well known journalist, Rick Wayne, as a freelancer. A few months later he moved to the Voice Newspaper under the guidance of the paper’s recognized editor, Guy Ellis in 1988.

Since then he has remained with the Voice Newspaper, progressing from a cub reporter covering court cases and the police to a senior journalist with a focus on parliamentary issues, government and politics. Read full bio...

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