Coupon is always a favorite topic among web entrepreneurs. Unlike other business, the concept of coupon always works and never gets outdated. We came across this hot news that Flipit, one of the successful Netherlands coupon website has completed 1-year in Indian market. We’ve cornered its Country Manager of India Joanna Jaoudie to find more answers:
Q. What is your startup?
A. Flipit.com is a global coupon site dedicated to bringing each country’s online shoppers coupon codes for popular shops spanning more than 20 categories, alongside money-saving tips, guides and articles.
Q. What made the founders create this startup?
A. After immense success with two local Dutch coupon sites that the founders started, they decided to expand globally with Flipit.com
Q. How did you finance your business?
A. Flipit.com is self-financed by founders.
Q. What systems have you used to automate your business to give you more time for business planning and development?
A. I wouldn’t really call it a “system”, but the affiliate networks we have partnered with from all around the world play a huge role in automating/tracking the progress that goes on our site, and also help us save a lot of time which naturally enables more room to breathe and plan things out clearly.
Q. How does your business “give back” to the community or to society?
A. It gives back by being an honest online resource for reliable and free coupon codes. Using Flipit’s service doesn’t cost a thing so every money-saving tip or successful coupon you use for a discount doesn’t cost users a penny and helps them save.
Q. What are Flipit.com’s core values?
A. Our core values are to have and make fun, develop ourselves, think in terms of results (things only exist if they are finished- “done is better than perfect”), believe that everything is possible, always stay dedicated and enthusiastically involved with our work.
Q. Give us a view of the industry you operate in.
A. We operate in the affiliate marketing industry, which is basically made up of a lot of affiliate networks that bring both advertisers (the shops) and publishers (us) together. The advertisers share their content with affiliate networks who then distribute the content to approved/trusted publishers and sites like Flipit.com
Q. How many employees does Flipit.com have?
A. We’re a team of more than 50 people boasting 18 different nationalities.
Q. What is Flipit.com’s biggest challenge?
A. Our biggest challenge is probably topping the number one charts in every single country- the ultimate challenge
Q. Other than yours, what is your favorite startup?
A. It might not be considered a startup anymore since it’s been well over 5 years since its inception in Germany, but Car2Go is my personal favorite. For the sake of argument, let’s stay Car2Go’s expansion to more European countries and US territories still qualifies as a startup. It’s a car sharing company that lets people pick up and drop off Smart Fortwo vehicles to and from various points around each city using a smartcard at any time. Users are charged by the minute. Genius!
Q. What are the lessons you have learned from Flipit.com so far
A. We have learnt a lot of lessons along the way, and are still learning! There are a lot to list, but probably the most important lesson we’ve learnt is: always be prepared for change and to change your website. It’s the only way to make sure that you’re always meeting your user’s needs and adapting to how quickly the Internet responds to your website. For example, it may not have been that important to have optimized your site for mobile markets a few years back in India (or Asia), but you wouldn’t be able to get far without a site optimized for mobile nowadays!
Q. Tell us about yourself and how you arrive to the point you are at now?
A. I am the country manager for Flipit India, which is the Indian segment of Flipit.com and our largest venture so far in terms of market size and what the Indian coupon industry has to offer. I guess my passion for the Internet, analyzing how human behavior is affected by technology (including the online world) and writing brought me to this point, but there isn’t one clear answer for how I really got here. I have a background in Psychology and have explored/focused on several subfields within including cognitive science, neuroscience, cognitive robotics/AI (theoretical) and my most recent MSc specialization was on cognitive ergonomics (more specifically human-computer interaction). I’ve also made creative writing a big part of who I am and often use it as a medium to express everything I have learnt and continue to learn.
About the Founders
A. Jochem Vroom and Jelle van der Bij were friends in high school who both always had a dream of starting a company together. That’s when Imbull was born, and consequently Flipit.com. Jochem has a background in affiliate marketing (with Zanox) and focuses on Flipit.com’s innovation, which Jelle has an MSc in Communication and is mostly concerned with administration and finance.
Q. Is Flipit.com the founders’ first business?
Q. Who are your customers?
A. Online shoppers looking for discounts from more than 20 countries.
Q. Who could be your potential customers for this product?
A. Internet users who still aren’t aware that they can shop for (almost) anything they want with a coupon code to receive a discount on their purchase!
Q. What can you do to make sure customers get the best result from your product/service once they become a customer?
A. Personalize all the content that they see in the best way possible so that they always find what they’re looking for in fewer clicks, and can connect to the material they’re reading which will make them want to come back for more.
Q. What are your markets?
A. Flipit.com is active in Asia: India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore; Europe: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Norway; Australia and New Zealand; North and South America: Brazil, Canada and the United States.
Q. What do you think are the growth possibilities for this company?
A. Flipit.com has the potential to grow to become the most globally represented brand name that’s associated with money-saving as a whole. We are already the most active world-wide, and plan to expand to even more countries. Think Flipit, think saving. That’s how I see it at least!
Q. Why is yours better?
A. It’s personalized!
Q. How have you differentiated yourself from competitors?
A. Yes, by having a real global advantage and global partnerships that have enabled us with exclusive deals.
Q. What is the plan for the future?
A. Expanding to more countries and strengthening present ones.
Q. What are the startup’s plans for the next 6-12 months?
A. Optimizing the site’s performance, working on adding more content to each country site, etc. Honestly, who knows what will happen a year from now?
Q. How many more people is the startup hiring in the next 6-12 months?
A. With plans to expand comes plans to hire more people. I can’t give an exact number, but we are always hiring more people when we decide it’s the right time to startup in a new country.