This Startup Gives Customers More Freedom One Search at a Time Give them deals exactly when they want -- and will use -- them.

By Will Caldwell

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


There is no denying the importance of advertising to a business. Without it, how would you draw in new customers? Unfortunately, for this reason, advertising has become pervasive. The average consumer is overwhelmed with thousands of ads every single day.

With most of these ads not even being relevant to the viewer, it is interesting to learn that most advertisers believe that their ads provide value to consumers. Even if an ad is relevant to the consumer seeing it, it's likely to get lost in the sheer volume of ads the viewer is exposed to. Plus, most ads reach the consumer at the wrong time, when they're not in the mood for the advertiser's product.

Related: The Death of Traditional Advertising and the Rise of Originality

Simply put, this system is flawed. There should be a way that puts consumers in control of what they see and when they see it. That thought sparked what founders Mike Kogan and Todd Glassberg call Wolfie, a search engine that lets consumers control when and where you see deals and coupons.

For example, imagine that you just stepped out of the office and suddenly got a craving for a vanilla cupcake. You could search on Google and simply see sponsored listings, or you could look on Groupon and find a bakery that is discounting their products because they're just not that good. But you want the best vanilla cupcake, and you want a special discount on it.

Wolfie enables consumers to connect with businesses in real time for deals. When you launch their mobile app, you can search for that vanilla cupcake, and ask for a deal from the bakeries you like. These bakeries will respond with their best deal in real-time. You get to pick the offer you like best for a vanilla cupcake you'll enjoy the most.

This helps both the customer and the business, as the customer gets to find a deal in an effective manner, and the business gets to connect with a new customer at the exact time they're looking to make a purchase. With this search and request approach, you take back control of your shopping experience. Instead of having limited results forced upon you, you have quality choices at your fingertips.

If you're looking to create more freedom for your consumers, follow the three tips below:

1. Focus on demand.

The key to creating an amazing business is by focusing on demand. This applies to all facets of business, from ordering new inventory to building out features on your mobile app, you need to understand what your customers want.

Related: Five Ways Entrepreneurs Can Benefit from Advertising Discounts on Deal Websites

Wolfie has created one of the best ways to accomplish this, as they only offer deals to consumers in real time. This means your business won't be giving out deals during a busy time and can instead decide to only give discounts during off hours.

2. Cut out the middleman.

One of the worst parts of any business is the middleman. Middlemen take a cut away from the business, and that often results in an increased price for the end consumer. By cutting out middlemen, you'll save costs and often have better pricing than most.

As an example, many dropshipping businesses that try to sell directly to consumers end up working with middlemen. These middlemen often act as wholesalers who buy in bulk from a manufacturer, take their own margin, and then are able to sell in smaller quantities to businesses. If you're in the ecommerce world, it's almost always best to work directly with a manufacturer.

3. Control customer flow.

The most important part of any business is the experience you provide for a customer. This is often mapped out through a customer flow that identifies when they enter your app, the screens they'll be shown and how they'll eventually become a retained user.

For a physical business, you want your shop buzzing with customers. You could give away a free item with a purchase, but this isn't sustainable. And after a while the cost of this free item will eat into your margin. If you want a way to control both your discounts and your customer flow, use Wolfie. There is no pre-determined start or end date to a deal, and there is no discount that you cannot get out of if supplies run out. Since you now know when people are searching for you, you can extend an individual offer to based on each search.

Related: 3 Apps and Gadgets to Help You be More Efficient

Entrepreneurs need to understand how to create more freedom for their customers. Whether that means focusing on demand, cutting out the middleman or controlling your customer flow, taking these steps will help grow your business in the right way.

Will Caldwell

Co-founder and CEO of Dizzle and SnapNHD

Will Caldwell of San Diego is the co-founder and CEO of Dizzle, a mobile real-estate tech company that helps real-estate professional generate more word-of-mouth leads.

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