Save.ca launches an app

The mobile solution allows users to view enhanced versions of retailers' physical flyers, organize them by release date or alphabetical order and filter by retailer or store category.
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Online deals site Save.ca is going mobile.

The Metroland Media Group-owned company’s digital users fall into two categories, says Doug Guan, digital retail director at Save.ca – those who access the content while relaxing at home to plan out their shop, and those who are on the go and near a store who want to check quickly for sales.

So to deliver a better service for mobile customers, the company, which works with around 300 retailers in Canada including Metro, Sobeys, Shoppers Drug Mart, Rona and Giant Tiger, is launching an app that aggregates high-res digital versions of flyers that are provided to Save.ca as FTP files by its retail partners.

With consumers using apps on smartphones in increasing numbers, it was essential for the company, established in 2000, to have its own, Guan says. Around 350,000 people are already accessing Save.ca via mobile web every month and 56% of Canadian adults are using a smartphone, up from 33% in early 2012, according to a recent report by Google.

The development team had been occupied with re-launching the Save.ca website, which went live in July, and improving its content management system, Guan says. It then developed the app in just six weeks for iPhone users and in another three for Android, as the company hustled to get to market ahead of the holiday shopping rush. More than 17,000 people have downloaded the app since it launched in November.

At present, the app’s viewing experience is essentially of an enhanced version of stores’ physical flyers, which users can organize by release date or alphabetical order and filter by retailer or store category (i.e. tools/hardware, home décor, clothing/accessories/shoes).

Retailers have the option to run mobile-only deals with the current version. Guan says takeovers of the app are also on the table and Save.ca is working with retailers to try and make that work. Guan says other functions, such as geo-fencing capabilities, “are on the road map” for the app and will be added “quite soon.”

Guan says his company is testing a social media campaign and segment-based online targeting to acquire new users, but for now the focus is on converting its mobile web users into app users. The company is promoting the app through web notifications on Save.ca and is also actively messaging consumers through email and social media.