Project by: Danielle Vildorf, Mary Kate Engstrom, Anthony Donadia
High Concept Statement:
We are Waze for hygiene products – navigating our customers to the best prices, brands, and locations for the products everyone needs most.
Need or Demand:
We believe that all people need to purchase hygiene products and desire to spend as little as possible buying their preferred brands. After speaking with low-income New Yorkers in the Bronx, Harlem, and the Lower East Side, we learned that a common practice in low-income communities is to travel to find the best deal, whether that means driving to Costco or walking from store to store in their neighborhood. While people are willing to spend many hours in search of the best price, they are not willing to compromise brand. This is especially important to our customers where no form of government assistance is currently available to help with the purchases of necessary hygiene products. When every dollar counts, it is critical to our customers that their money is being spent well on quality products.
Product / Service / Solution:
We believe these needs can be fulfilled by providing people with an application that shows them the listed prices of all essential hygiene products at the stores near them. To us, comprehensiveness is key: our app will include all brands and all locations (big and small) in the areas we serve, ensuring our customers accurate information and eliminating their need to waste time traveling to find that information.
The #1 value customers want to derive from this solution is convenience: convenience of time/location – users can find the products they want as fast as they want; convenience of price – users can find the products they want at the price they want to pay; and convenience of personalization – users can find the brands they trust, all competitively priced and closest to them.
A number of apps currently exist in the price comparison market, each with varying levels of accuracy, specificity (in terms of products covered) and price, including apps like Honey™, ShopSavy™, Consumr™, and Red Laser™. Our app differs from existing apps, however, in that we will include pricing from both individually-owned, local vendors, bodegas, and national chains. By focusing on a limited number of high-burden products on low-income individuals we will better be able to ensure accuracy.
Because our mission is to help people of the lowest income, we firmly believe that SpendAid should be available for free to all our customers. Based on this, our business model is designed with three principal lines of revenue: selling ad space on the app; selling data collected on our app; and selling bodega premium membership. Data and ad space can be sold to both stores and product manufacturers, and bodega premium memberships will provide smaller stores with the opportunity to purchase a package offering customer analytics and a featured spot on the app. Because we’re currently bootstrapping, we’re applying for grants and business competitions to provide us with funding during these early stages. In the meantime, we will keep our costs low until we have a clearer picture of how these revenue lines function in practice.