Campus Discounts, a Kenyan based tech startup was recently recognized under the IBM Digital Nation Africa initiative as a success story. This startup is a global social network where students find and recommend discounts offered by businesses near campus spread-out across the globe.
“Many businesses offer discounts targeting students. However, they lack a digital platform to economically and directly reach out to them. On the other hand, students live on tight budgets and constantly look for places where they can save every penny possible when buying products”, said Don Omondi, founder and CTO.
On this platform, there are 36,507 campus locations worldwide where businesses can post and students can find discounts.
Businesses create a brand page that is designed to function as a website would. Pages contain a business’ country of operation, contact details, include a product slideshow and enable direct interaction with users.
“Businesses also use these pages to post discounts tagging up to 3 campuses near them. This makes the discount visible in each tagged campus page and any other campus within a default 10km radius. There are options available for businesses to extend their discounts reach to beyond the default 10km”, added Don.
The discounts invitingly showcase the product on offer with the price reduction shown as a percentage and in monetary value. Students find discounts by visiting their respective campus page, via a link in a friend’s recommendation or through a product search.
“Students and business managers can like, comment on and recommend discounts thus interacting in real time. Discount, apps, groups and page recommendations made by friends form a student’s feed. They display page ratings, subscriber numbers, shares, and much more. Users can comment, rate, like and share content straight from their feed”, explained Don.
This model of operation is designed to accommodate businesses and students in any country in the world.
Businesses on the platform post discounts for free, get free location-based advertising, access detailed analytics for their business pages and discounts, plus select easy to execute and effective promotional options. They also directly market to their target audience and can use apps to increase the functionality of their business page and discount promotions.
“Business owners can add their store’s physical location, giving users directions to their store via our global map. In addition, we have flexible marketing options that businesses can utilize to get customers on slow days, reward first time customers or appreciate return customers and so much more”, remarked Naomi Wambui, co-founder and COO. “The analytics data we present is designed to help businesses assess and grow their marketing efforts”, she added.
Students get to save money, see what’s popular in their campus, get great rewards, join or create groups based on their interests, location etc and build a community. Interestingly, they can choose the type of content they want displayed on their feed by simply stating their interests, displayed as product categories, once chosen they only view friend recommendations in their categories of interest.
Campus Discounts is also keen on helping developers. They have an easy to use API with over 100 endpoints that developers can tap into.
Moreover, they have open sourced a kickstart package called Embersy. This production ready bundle is made up of the same package powering the platform. Though not yet in the league of Twitter’s Bootstrap, Facebook’s React or Google’s AngularJs, this is Campus Discount’s own effort towards helping the developer community.