Mobile shopping app Checkout 51 gives new life to receipts

December 17, 2012  |  Russ Martin  |  Comments

A new app called Checkout 51 offers consumers targeted discounts based on data mined from their printed store receipts.

Created by Rethink strategist Pema Hegan and entrepreneur Noah Godfrey, Checkout 51 launched in Apple’s App Store on Dec. 7 and is currently only available in Canada.

It offers weekly deals on packaged goods bought at any store. After purchasing items from Checkout 51′s partnering brands, the user photographs their receipt. When purchases have been verified, credit is deposited into the user’s account. Once an account reaches $20, users receive a cheque in the mail.

Brands are also able to offer product-specific deals. Kraft is one of the first brands to sign on with Checkout 51. Last week the company offered users $4 if they purchased three tubs of Philadelphia cream cheese.

Other offers target user behaviour. If, for example, a company is launching a new organic product, Checkout 51 can offer a deal exclusively to users who have purchased organic products in the past.

Instead of relying on demographics, Checkout 51 taps into user behaviour, which Hegan believes is a more powerful indicator of purchase intent. As an example, he cites a laundry detergent aimed at people with sensitive skin. Consumers who have purchased lotions or similar skin care products are more likely to purchase this detergent than a broad demo, such as women 25-36, he said. The app, therefore, tracks such patterns.

In its first week in the App Store over 10,000 people downloaded Checkout 51, making it the number one lifestyle app in Canada. The startup brings in revenue exclusively through partnerships with brands that pay a processing fee each time a member redeems an offer.

Checkout 51 will release an Android version of the app in 2013 and roll out the app in the US market.

Hegan is currently splitting his time between Checkout 51 and Rethink, where he currently works about one day a week on several clients including Molson. Hegan joined the agency as partner and managing director of the Toronto office, which he helped open in 2010. In March 2012, he moved into a strategist roll. He said will continue to split his time between the two positions throughout 2013.

“I really enjoyed helping to build the Toronto office of Rethink,” Hegan said. “Now that the office is established I love being involved, but I was anxious to go and build my next thing.”

“I appreciate being a technology entrepreneur and having half a foot still in the marketing world,” he said. “I think there are some interesting benefits to those two worlds working more closely together.”

Prior to joining Rethink, Hegan sold another startup company he founded with Godfrey – the business recommendation site GigPark – to Canpages.

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