We have some exciting news to share. We’ve been working for months on a breakthrough way to save money on all in-store purchases. Yes, ALL of them. Our beta testers have been saving 15% on average, with many cracking 50%.
Get ready to meet Scout.
How does Scout work? You simply snap a photo of any product. Using groundbreaking image-recognition technology developed by Slyce, we can immediately identify that product, and then turn around and find you all the deals for it. Scout will quickly figure out if any product has a price-match opportunity, instant mobile rebate, card-linked offer, or gift card. If we don’t have a mobile coupon on SnipSnap, we’ll even scan all the other coupon apps and sites. At SnipSnap we used to promise you’ll “Never forget a coupon.” Now, with Scout, you’ll “Never miss a deal!”
Some background on how Scout was developed after the jump.
The savings tactics that went into Scout have been things that we’ve wanted to add to SnipSnap for years. Every time one of our amazing users would teach us about things like mobile rebates or price matching, we’d start kicking around ideas for how we could integrate. Of course, there are a LOT of cool ways to save with your smartphone, and short of having a dozen tabs, we couldn’t settle on an approach. That is, until we began experimenting with a new class of applications, popularly dubbed “Concierge” apps.
These apps deliver the user information via a chat or messaging user interface (UI). Whether automated or manual, this kind of UI afforded us the ability to offer up multiple deals for every query, as well as the flexibility to ask the user for more information if needed to pick the right offer. Price matching, for example, requires us to also ask for a preferred store and list price.
Perhaps coolest of all, we were also able to tap into the revolutionary image-recognition technology developed by our parent company, Slyce, to allow any query to begin with a photo submission. In our testing, we found that identifying a product is far easier—and more accurate—when you have a photo of it, and Slyce’s tech makes this all extremely fast.
We began the hard work of fleshing out the Scout experience during a 2-day retreat to Dover, Delaware, in August, when our team worked around the clock to validate all our assumptions, build some basic backend functionality, and test out all the savings scenarios in real-world settings (read: the Dover mall). The SnipSnap team came back to our home base in Philadelphia, fired up to bring Scout to life—which is just what we’ve done the past few months.
Building this kind of virtual savings assistant this was a Herculean team effort, and I’m so grateful to everyone at SnipSnap for working nights and weekends to get Scout live in time for holiday shopping. Likewise, a huge shout-out to our colleagues at Slyce, for helping us execute everything from visual search to concierge workflow.
Thanks most of all to Kyle Martin, SnipSnap’s VP Product, for championing the savings concierge vision since Day 1, and leading development of this incredible new product in record time. Kyle also killed it with the playful, adorable Scout logo. By the way, if you’re wondering where the name “Scout” came from, credit to our iOS developer (and current Penn student) Alice Ren, who said it just sounded like what we were doing — Scout’ing for deals.
We’re launching on iOS, with plans to bring Scout to Android in 2016. The beta usage has been off the charts, but we want to open Scout up to more people starting this week. To help us spread the word, and to ensure that our existing users get first crack at saving, we have a cool way for you to cut the line! Post a review to the app store, and send us a screenshot. We’ll get you priority access to Scout.