Q: What was the reason behind developing a price comparison app?
A: Environmental pollution. Our current market does not practice recycling. What we are seeing is an increase in pollution through paper and promotional materials. By digitising the deals and offers around town, we have managed to address the environmental issue.
There is also a cost factor. Printing costs have gone up over the years. Most retail stores are spending quite a lot to promote deals. Some retail stores are printing monthly, weekly and daily. Transporting the promotional materials to all corners of Botswana comes with pain points. Issues like price leaks of goods, delivery times of the material, fuel costs and ability to measure one’s return on investment may arise. With the recent increase in price for commodities, there has been a negative impact on the consumer’s savings and financial planning. With our platform, retailers and consumers can eliminate these problems and price fluctuations.
And there is impact of COVID-19. All over the world the last two years have seen a new normal that demanded access to information for people without stepping out. COVID-19 pushed many industries to flourish, tech in particular! With limited or no movement for a long period, people had issues going in and out of stores to check deals and shop. We therefore decided to come up with a solution; a platform – Slash Deals – to address the market problems
Q: What products and services does slash offer?
A: Slash has an array of products, stores and categories targeting audiences of all ages and genders. Slash offers solutions to: The shoppers – a one-stop platform to keep up to date with the latest deals and offers. Traditionally shoppers would move from store to store to locate the best deals. Slash provides a service that assists in searching for deals; comparing those deals and identifying at which store the deals are available. One could be in any location in Botswana and they could identify deals available in their specific area. Some deals are offered in one store in each area. All they must do is to switch location manually.
The retail store – we are providing them with a secure 24/7 panel where each retail store can publish promotions any time they like, view and track performance of their deals and offers, improve targeted promotions and in-depth data analytics.
Q: How does the price comparison app work?
A: The platform shares a push notification with users with every published flyer. The users in turn can choose from a list of their preferred store(s) to keep up to date with the deals. The deals could be one-day offers, weekend offers and/or monthly specials. Users are then able to browse deals, search for deals, compare the same deals with what other retail stores offer and identify the most affordable or nearest store that offers the deals. The app has product search and filtering features. Instead of going through a static flyer one at a time, they can type the product they are looking for, get all the listings of products and compare prices.
Q: Has slash managed to bridge the gap between customer and retailer?
A: Yes, we strongly believe we have. The testimonials we have received are an indicator that we are on the right path. We have seen reviews from our users on the impact the platform has had on their lives and for retail stores some have managed to get an increase in footfall, thereby having a positive impact on their bottom line.
Q: Has the software gained traction since its launch?
A: We launched in April 2021. Since then, we have managed to have consistent growth in app download and an increase is web version visits. Due to request for some users, our web version is available for those who also want to browse their favourite deals on a computer. Since inception we have managed to gain over 100+ stores who are utilising the app, gained over 12 000 downloads for both iOS and Android with over 250 000 views across our platform. We are humbled by the response from Batswana
The 100+ retail stores that we have on board are of different categories ranging from groceries and furniture to hardwares and auto dealers. We have stores like Choppies, Woolworths, Haskins and Naledi Motors and the list goes on. We are currently working on adding more stores as per our users’ requests.
Q: What are some of the challenges that slash has faced since inception?
A: Slash is a self-funded startup with our services currently free for retail stores and users. The challenges are in relation to capital for improving and increasing our offerings. The other would be that mobile data costs in our country are high. Some users are on social media packages already and cannot afford to pay for more data bundles to user the apps or website services.