Solavei Marketplace is now available ! Learn more.
FierceWireless (May 21st, 2013)- As it has been outlined in Solavei has partnered up with U.S Retails for Cashback Program when You Shop with Solavei Pay Debit Card, Solavei now officially announces the upcoming loyalty program for its members by sometime in September of this year; marking its one successful year in business of the service since it launched on the same month back in 2012 where profit was expected to be in the domain of $100M.
The new incentive program will be called Solavei Marketplace, where it offers Solavei current social members exclusive discount from 5 to 15% to products from the participated retailers.
According to Solavei CEO Ryan Wuerch from a meeting on the sidelines of the CTIA Wireless 2013 show, Solavei has already inked a deal with credit card transaction company First Data to power its forthcoming Marketplace service, and that a wide range of retailers including Ace Hardware, Walmart, JCPenny, Burger King, Outback Steakhouse and Kmart have already agreed to participate.
“These (retailers) will end up being partners of Solavei,” Wuerch said.
Wuerch also added that Solavei already uses Solavei-branded Visa debit cards to pay membership commissions through its Compensation Plan, the tiered structure credits $20 for each three customers the member refers each and every month. The payout increases as the member grows his or her personal network.
Now in September, Solavei plans to add a coupon and loyalty layer into those Solavei-branded debit cards. The program will give 2-15 percent cash back to members who spend money with participating retailers using the Solavei debit card. Retailers will pay to participate in Solavei’s Marketplace and Wuerch said that 50 percent of those payments will be distributed into users’ networks (meaning, to users and the other customers they have signed up to Solavei).
Wuerch said that Solavei members will be able to view participating retailers and specific discounts on Solavei’s Marketplace service–similar to how Groupon users can view discounts and coupons–and Wuerch said the Marketplace offering will be built into Solavei’s existing online customer service system.
Interestingly, since the Marketplace service will be tied directly to Solavei’s mobile service, users will receive text alerts on their phones when they spend money at participating retailers informing them of the discounts they have obtained through the Marketplace service.
“This is so much stronger than a Groupon,” Wuerch noted, adding that Solavei customers will be able to sign on smaller, local retailers to the Marketplace service themselves. “It’s so much more than a mobile phone.”
Solavei’s Marketplace plans represent the next major phase of growth for the company, which Wuerch likened to Amazon. Wuerch explained that Jeff Bezos launched Amazon as an online distribution company that initially focused on selling books. Similarly, Wuerch said Solavei launched initially selling mobile service, but will over time expand into a variety of new markets and services with the goal of saving its members money.
Separately, Wuerch provided an update on Solavei’s progress in the eight months since it launched. He said the company currently counts 180,000 members, of which 100,000 are considered “active” users (those who remain active after 2 months of service).
Wuerch said the company has paid $10 million in membership commissions since it launched in September. Importantly, Wuerch said Solavei is on track to generate $100 million in revenues in its first full year of operations.
Wuerch also said that Solavei has been successful in luring customers away from some of the major wireless carriers. Specifically, he said that 78 percent of Solavei’s customers are new to T-Mobile’s network, meaning that they were previously customers of Verizon Wireless, AT&T Mobility (of the 2-year contract) or another T-Mobile rival and churned onto Solavei’s service.