How Kelowna tech company tackles Facebook with help from global real estate company – Kelowna News

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Tech founder Matt Crowell has no illusions about his company’s biggest challenger.

“We compete with Facebook, let’s face it,” said the founder and CEO of Kelowna-based GetintheLoop Marketing Ltd.

The tech company specializes in apps that help local businesses in Canada deliver exclusive deals to customers – a territory that Facebook firmly values ​​in its ability to deliver advertising to those who target geographic areas and demographics. narrow.

But Crowell is confident that a new partnership with global real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield plc will further expand the reach of the tech company as it takes on the social media giant for local businesses.

As of September 1, Cushman is rolling out GetintheLoop technology in 21 shopping centers across the country, including the Aberdeen Center in Richmond and the Bay Center in Victoria. The company has already partnered with the Downtown Kelowna Association.

More than 1,500 retailers will be able to access GetintheLoop’s platform to deliver offers to customers, many of whom are still reluctant to visit malls during the pandemic.

The app allows retailers to better coordinate everything from roadside pickups and deliveries to purchasing gift cards.

“After COVID it’s a new world and we’re trying to be at the forefront of technology with the tools we implement and the strategies we come up with,” said Molly Westbrook, Managing Director by Cushman for Canada.

His company serves as an agent for the owners of these shopping centers and initially started a pilot program with GetintheLoop last fall.

But Westbrook said the pandemic has since accelerated the need for technology adoption.

“We are ultimately trying to get the best results for these owners so that they generate income. But a big part of that is the success of these individual retailers, ”she said.

“This app helps retailers organize an experience for their customers so that they can generate income… which in turn helps our customers, the owners of these malls. ”

GetintheLoop debuted in 2012 as a platform for golf courses to send text messages to locals letting them know about tee times and exclusive rates.

In 2014, the company was developing iOS and Android apps to reach beyond golf courses and target local businesses, giving local businesses a way to connect with customers and deliver exclusive deals.

The Okanagan tech company now employs 40 workers and has launched 75 franchises in just under two years.

Franchisees pay an initial license – around $ 15,000 for small markets and $ 35,000 for typical markets – to approach businesses with the promise of being able to connect with locals for exclusive deals.

GetintheLoop and the franchisees in turn share the revenue, although the revenue sharing arrangement changes for national accounts such as Cushman & Wakefield.

” If they [franchisees] sign up 50 businesses, they make $ 100,000 per year on recurring revenue, ”Crowell said.

The CEO describes the technology as a marketing platform for small business owners who are typically too focused on their day-to-day operations to focus on the added burden of marketing.

“That’s why we’re franchising – because we now have another business owner who’s now part of this community who can stop by every 60 days, see how you’re doing, come up with more creative and s ‘make sure it works,’ Crowell said.

So far, the growth of the business has been funded by income and angel investors rather than venture capital.

But Crowell said revenues had been hit hard as small businesses were forced to shut down amid the pandemic.

As provincial economies emerge from lockdowns, GetintheLoop’s engagement in apps has increased 400% in the past 90 days compared to the January-March period, according to Crowell.

GetintheLoop is helping just under 5,000 small businesses in July 2020 and predicts that number will grow to around 10,000 by the end of the year.

“Because I think with technology, that’s where it falls for small business owners,” Crowell said.

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