Categorized | Smart Phone App

Cardagin: Helping Local Businesses Retain Their Best Customers Using Mobile Technology

Cardagin: Helping Local Businesses Retain Their Best Customers Using Mobile TechnologyWhat is the name of your business and URL of your APP?

Cardagin (www.cardagin.com).Our company name originated from a common phrase we often repeatedat our favorite local merchants, “I don’t have my loyalty card. Can I get a card again?”

A brief synopsis of the smart phone app Or a short bio of your company

Cardagin helps two groups of people – business owners and their customers. For business owners, our technology identifies which customers visit most often and spend the most money. They can then reward their best customers with discounts and specials. For customers, our app lets you earn points, gain rewards and discover new places…all on your mobile phone.

Why did you start this company?

We saw a major need to help local businesses identify and retain their customers. Hotels and airlines have realized the importance of loyalty programs; however, their expensive and complex programs are often outside the reach of local business owners. We wanted to create a company that provides the same information as corporate loyalty programs but makes it affordable for the local business owner.

Android, iPhone, BlackBerry, or Windows?

We have apps for the iPhone and Android as well as a mobile website for BlackBerry and Windows users.

Was your company started on a shoestring budget or funded?

We operated Cardagin from our founder’s garage for three years using card tables and folding chairs as our office furniture. We were fortunate enough to receive funding to build our technology and grow our business but didn’t move out of the garage until January 2012. Even today, we espouse the principals of a lean startup and maintain a “minimum viable” approach to everything from product development to office furniture.

Who is your competition, and what do you do better?

Our direct competition consists of a handful of mobile loyalty companies spread across the country (e.g. Punchd, Belly, Perka, to name a few). Cardagin differentiates itself in the information we provide to businesses. For example, most of our competitors only record “check-ins” or visits. Cardagin lets the cashier identify the customer by first and last name, record the amount of purchase and apply any offers or rewards to a transaction. This information paints a much more detailed picture of a business’ best customers.Additionally, we eliminate check-in fraud, which is a major concern amongst our business owners. In other words, businesses on Cardagin only provide discounts and rewards to real customers making real purchases.

Why would a small business, entrepreneur, freelancer, etc use your product?

Small businesses use our product to identify their best customers and retain those customers. Research shows that it costs at least five times more to acquire a new customer as it does to retain an existing client (The Loyalty Effect, F. Reichheld), and retailers who take meaningful steps to drive consumer loyalty are 88% more profitable than their competitors who do not (Deloitte research study). In addition to these compelling numbers, Cardagin is simple and easy to implement and use. We provide businesses with an iPod Touch to record transactions, so any business can use Cardagin.

How could you effectively use these tools?

Businesses that get the most out of Cardagin are the ones that “own” their mobile loyalty program. In other words, it’s not Cardagin’s mobile loyalty program…it’s your mobile loyalty program. Cardagin is just the platform to reach and reward your customers. Businesses that actively promote their loyalty program to their customers have the most usage and information. This allows them to make more informed marketing decisions.

Is this a free app or how much is it?

The Cardagin app is free for customers. We charge businesses a small fee to create a mobile loyalty program on our platform and start to gain insight into their customer base.

Are there different pricing levels?

We currently offer a low-cost subscription plan, with the ability to negotiate pricing for businesses with multiple locations.

Do you have a blog that keeps users updated?

We are in the process of building a blog with original content. In the meantime, we keep all of our media on our site – www.cardagin.com/media.

Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn? Provide exact URL of each

Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/CardaginNetworks

Twitter – http://twitter.com/Cardagin

LinkedIn – http://www.linkedin.com/company/546090?

YouTube -

http://www.youtube.com/cardaginnetworks

How long have you been in business?

We publicly launched in January 2011, although we’ve been perfecting our product since March 2010.

Number of current users? Estimated yearly growth?

We’ve had more than 100,000 app downloads and expect that number to continue to grow. As more and more businesses join Cardagin, they encourage their customers to join their mobile loyalty program, powered by Cardagin.

How do you see your company in the next 2-5 years (more products or services?)

We expect significant changes and growth over the next 2-5 years. While continuing to serve local businesses, we expect to expand internationally as well as release products focused on growing franchises and larger corporations. Without giving away too much of the secret sauce, we are currently working on ways to allow Cardagin’s technology to be used by any business, big or small.

How many employees do you currently have working with you and/or freelance contractors?

We have 10 corporate employees and a sales force of 100 people visiting local business owners daily.

Are you looking to hire more people or contractors? If so, what positions and skills are you looking for?

We are always looking for hard-working, talented people to join the Cardagin team. Our biggest need is sales staff, particularly experienced sales people with an interest in emerging technology.

What other web based products would you recommend to entrepreneurs, business owners, or freelancers?

Google apps, Pivotal Tracker, Trello, Desk, Recurly and any of the 37Signals products (we use Campfire every day for improved communication and collaboration).

Any Patents Pending?

Yes, we filed a patent in 2009, and it is still pending.

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