High Concept Statement:
Craigslist + Groupon for College Students
Need or Demand:
Universities are diverse – students come from different backgrounds, study various subjects, and are involved in a number of groups on campus – but one thing is true of all students: the desire to save money. Local used good marketplaces currently available are cluttered with spam and don’t offer users a curated selection of items. Similarly, deals aimed at students have either never been published online or are scattered across individual business websites.
Likewise, both national brands and local businesses alike want to reach the college student demographic but lack a comprehensive platform through which they can provide deals and engage with students.
Product / Service / Solution:
Squidly is a mobile-first C2C and B2C marketplace, connecting students with secondhand goods, local services and business deals around their campus. The platform acts as the comprehensive ecosystem for local student deals, appealing to both consumers and businesses.
For buyers: Find useful goods and services from verified sellers near you at affordable prices, while also getting access to exclusive coupons from relevant businesses and brands.
For sellers: Earn money by providing things you no longer need or skills you have to verified buyers near you, while also getting access to exclusive coupons from relevant businesses and brands.
For advertisers: Reach college students through a high engagement advertisement.
Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, other local marketplaces (i.e. Letgo, Close5, Offer Up, etc.): Squidly offers the safety and security of a smaller network by being exclusively open to college students. Squidly also provides curated lists of items, which reduces the amount of searching and helps buyers and sellers meet more quickly. Additionally, Squidly provides value-added advertisements relevant to target users.
eBay: Squidly removes the added steps of coordinating a sale, processing payment, and shipping your goods by allowing students to transact locally. Additionally, Squidly provides value-added advertisements relevant to target users.
Thrift shops: Squidly lets users browse with no commitment from the comfort of their smart phone. Inventory added by other users will be updated more regularly than that of a traditional retail store.
Student newspapers / Campus Clipper: Interactive ads provide higher levels of engagement than print media. Higher engagement allows advertisers to convert individuals into customers quicker and more easily. By providing these tools at the local level, Squidly enables local businesses to take advantage of methods previously only available to large corporations.
Traditional online ads: Hyperlocal targeted advertisements allow businesses to reach their target demographic more effectively. Similarly, as a deals platform, users are already thinking about commerce to some degree and therefore will be more easily converted into customers.
Flyers: The cost to produce flyers and the labor required to distribute them are both expensive given the low success rate of a flyer in converting people to customers. Squidly provides greater effectiveness at a discounted cost.
Squidly has two core revenue models:
Transaction fees: Charging a transaction fee on (optional) in-app payment coordination between buyers and sellers.
Advertising partnerships: Charging both local businesses and national brands dynamically set rates for hyperlocal targeted ads reaching students on campuses across the country.
Squidly’s unique positioning as a student marketplace also creates additional opportunity for revenue growth (i.e. data collected).