While the social network isn’t doing away with its direct-sale initiative, it is focusing its attention on ads that drive consumers to retailers’ sites.
Austin Experience Feature Connects SXSW Visitors to Iconic Austin Places
AUSTIN, Texas, Feb. 21, 2013 -- Today, ScanSee, a new comprehensive mobile app that connects retailers, suppliers and consumers, announced its launch in Austin to coincide with South by Southwest (SXSW). The company also announced an important app feature for SXSW visitors called the Austin Experience, which will be active for this year's festival and will direct visitors to local businesses that are unique to Austin.
"We are excited to partner with GoLocal and many others to deliver the Austin Experience feature during South by Southwest so we can help promote many of the unique businesses that are must-sees for Austin visitors," said Roy Truitt , co-founder and chief executive officer of ScanSee.
Perhaps more importantly, ScanSee's innovative approach helps local businesses compete in the mobile marketplace year round by building a custom mobile app, or AppSite, that also serves as a mobile website. Not only does ScanSee build the AppSites for its clients, but it also helps businesses manage and promote their AppSite, as well as drive traffic to the business' AppSite, website and retail location.
"Local business support is at the heart of Austin, and ScanSee truly levels the playing field for those brick-and-mortar businesses that are trying to compete with major retailers and Internet-based companies," said Truitt. "ScanSee aggregates and processes vast amounts of information to fill the gap that often exists between local businesses and their potential customers.
"In today's mobile society every retailer needs a mobile app to compete, but for most retailers it does not make sense to spend tens of thousands of dollars building an app, placing it on the AppStore and hoping somebody finds it, downloads and uses it," said Truitt. "ScanSee builds custom, affordable apps for retailers, shows them how to promote it, helps them manage it and works hard to help the retailer be seen."
For retailers, ScanSee allows local businesses to interact with consumers anywhere, anytime. Stores can display a variety of information—including their logo, special offers and store location—in text, graphics or video, and can link to any page in their existing website or other locations on the Internet, such as YouTube. Consumers can access this data on demand; and retailers can access their dashboard at ScanSee for aggregated marketing data.
Businesses can also include inventories in ScanSee's database so their location appears when a consumer searches for a product or service. These actions direct traffic to retailers' stores and websites.
ScanSee already has more than 50 local businesses signed up, including several iconic Austin companies, such as RunTex, Rudy's Country Store and Bar-B-Q, Mighty Fine Burgers and Austin's Parks.
"We really like how easy ScanSee makes it for us to have a mobile website for our guests," said Allyson Young , human resources and brand director for K & N Management, the creators and owners of Mighty Fine and the licensed area developer for the Austin area Rudy's Country Store. "The simplicity of the ScanSee app streamlines the information about our stores and products and makes it easy to read for guests using their mobile phones."
For consumers, ScanSee combines the best of multiple applications into one easy-to-use app. Users can access a full range of features, including creating shopping lists, finding products and services in brick-and-mortar stores, finding daily deals from local businesses, scanning UPC and QR codes, creating wish lists, and more.
"ScanSee allows us to have a strong mobile platform to present our story, products and sales to the everyday consumer who is on the go," Paul Carrozza , owner of RunTex, said. "People are continuously moving to the City of Austin, whether it's new full-time residents or college students, and we are always looking for the best ways to introduce them to RunTex. If these new residents already have the ScanSee app, they'll be able to find us and connect with us quickly."
In addition to the app's benefit to retailers and consumers, ScanSee was founded to benefit education. ScanSee gives back 50 percent of its profits to qualifying universities. When using the app, consumers can select their favorite university to receive ScanSee's donations.
"Our immediate goal is to help local businesses connect with consumers in today's space, but our ultimate goal is to provide support for higher education," said Nate Ungarean , co-founder and chief operating officer of ScanSee. "We're here to give back to the community and to give Austin's businesses new tools and the integrated support they need to be even more successful."
ScanSee is available as a free smartphone/web application at the iTunes store and for Androids. For more information or to download the app, visit ScanSee.com.
Through SXSW, ScanSee is offering a free listing to Austin businesses that includes an "About Us" section and key word search at ScanSee.com/free.
ScanSee is a social commerce company based in Austin, Texas, devoted to helping local businesses compete in the new mobile marketplace and saving shoppers time and money. It also empowers consumers to support higher education. Concerned about the financial challenges facing public universities and encouraged by The University of Texas at Austin, the National Math and Science Initiative and key investors, Roy Truitt and Nate Ungarean founded the company in 2011 with the goal of building an innovative self-sustaining solution to help fund education. As a commitment to this goal, ScanSee donates 50 percent of profits to qualifying universities.
Levente Smith or Kristin Marcum
Elizabeth Christian & Associates Public Relations