Following a successful European launch, Los Angeles-based MobileBits Corporation is bringing its so-called “mobile mall” product Samy to Canada.
Samy links merchants with their customers on the go, enabling them to receive offers and promotions via their mobile device. Each participating merchant has a “storefront” inside the downloadable app, and users can subscribe to whichever ones they choose.
Merchants pay about 35 cents per subscriber per month, said MobileBits chief revenue officer Dan Miller. The company offers non-profit organizations free access to the app.
First launched in Switzerland about a year ago, Samy has grown into that country’s leading shopper app with more than 1.2 million downloads. The company has partnered with nearly 3,000 merchants that range in size from corporate giants like McDonald’s to local, one-store operations.
The company soft-launched Samy in Canada about six weeks ago, and has built a client roster of about 1,200 merchants, most of them Ontario-based. “We’re seeing really great traction there,” said Miller. “We’re doing business with brands that are very recognizable, as well as not-for-profits, smaller chains and even single stores.”
Participating retailers include Starbucks Canada, Tim Hortons, Pizza Pizza, Baskin Robbins and Second Cup. While Miller says that food service companies tend to gravitate towards the product, Samy is open to every retail category.
Samy’s current Canadian user base is relatively small – slightly less than 1,000 people – but Miller said he expects that to grow once merchants begin promoting their participation.
MobileBits plans to expand the Samy product into other Canadian markets including Montreal and Vancouver, while its U.S. expansion plans include New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas and San Francisco.
The company has also partnered with a Russian company to launch Samy there, and will also be expanding into Germany, Italy, France and Spain in the next 12 months, said Miller.