Beyond the Pitch
Bybe Makes It Simple for Brands to Promote and Consumers to Save
Recent research reports that 90 percent of consumers use coupons in some way. In retail to consumer marketing, coupons are indeed a way of life…except in the highly regulated adult beverage industry.
When it comes to wine, spirits, and beer, there are extensive federal regulations, and a myriad of additional restrictions that vary state by state. Which makes it very cumbersome for consumers to access reward coupons and cause retailers to miss out on promotional sales.
“The inability for adult beverage retailers to market to consumers from directly inside their digital ecosystem hurts the consumer,” said Drew Knight, co-founder of Bybe, a Columbus startup that provides mobile platform for retailers to manage alcohol promotions and a free-standing mobile app that allows consumers to apply for rebates easily.
When Consumers Can Easily Use Rebates, Both Buyers and Sellers Win
Bybe has untangled the knots of seemingly unpassable barriers to entry for retail apps. The allow retailers to win potential sales, consumers to access rebates, rewards, and coupons from inside their favorite retail app.
Consumers know that coupon promotions for adult beverages are available, but the effort it takes to cash in on a rebate might not be worth the effort. For example, the consumer must first tear off a rebate form at the store, fill it out, address an envelope, buy a .50¢ stamp, mail the letter, and then wait several weeks for a rebate check to arrive.
Bybe embeds beer, wine, and sprits rebates inside retail applications and websites. Consumers simply snap and upload a photo of their receipt, then send it off with a couple of clicks. They will receive their rebate in 48 hours or less through PayPal or a prepaid MasterCard.
“From a consumer perspective,” said Knight, “they want to save. They love getting the deal. From a regulatory perspective, there is complete transparency and accessibility to historical records. Retailers can integrate multiple third-party coupon providers. Increased customer exposure typically leads to increased sales.”
Understanding Regulations Was Key to Success
To bring innovation to such closely regulated industry, Knight and his co-founder Kevin Mack, worked very closely with regulators to define what Bybe could and could not do in each market. Often, Bybe is the first technology to introduce digital rebates to regulators.
“They have been approachable and easy to work with,” Knight said. “They know couponing is coming and they would rather work with proactive and super transparent partners like us who understand what needs to be done from a regulatory angle. Proving to the industry that we can do this legally.”
Gaining Attention from Industry Leaders and National Brands
Bybe has relationships with most of the top 25 brands in the adult beverage industry.
“We have built a unique way to introduce this innovation to industry stakeholders,” Knight said. “We found that we could push offers out through retail platforms has long as we ensure that federal regulations and the laws in each state are met. We have set the standard for digital promotion for beer, wine, and spirits. We have such a strong understanding of the law that retailers are choosing us to power their offers.”
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