ReapSo: Spin to Win Discounts, Loyalty Rewards

4/8/13Follow @XconomyDET

Ever since the advent of Groupon, it seems like startups across the land are tripping over one another trying to be the next big thing in deals that drive customers into businesses. Jumping into the fray is ReapSo, a Farmington Hills, MI-based company started in 2012 by Bill Wildern and Steve Valentine, two self-described automotive guys.

“We’re problem solvers,” Wildern says. “So we said mobile is here to stay, and we just want to help businesses promote their own business and cross promote other businesses in the community in a fun and engaging manner.”

They hit upon ReapSo, a loyalty platform with a corresponding free app. Live in the iTunes store since mid-February, ReapSo combines gamification and rewards to offer users discounts at participating businesses. Right now, ReapSo’s pilot city is Royal Oak, and that’s where you’ll find ReapTags, which are QR codes posted in the windows of about 30 businesses around town. Users scan the ReapTags with the app, and they’re rewarded with a spin on the app’s slot machine, which in turn leads to a discount offer based on pre-defined likes. “It’s a fun way to win stuff from businesses you like,” Wildern explains.

Users can earn spins by sharing the game with friends or clicking on social media links. On ReapSo’s Twitter page, the company gives away one free spin per day. Once a ReapSo user has purchased something at a business nine times, he earns a “golden peach” reward. The more loyal the ReapSo customer, the better the deals offered.

ReapSo thinks this loyalty component will be critical to its success. Like Groupon, ReapSo makes its money—a commission of about one percent—when a deal is redeemed. What it hopes to do differently is lure customers back for repeat visits. This would, of course, boost ReapSo’s revenues, but it could also provide an alternative for businesses that have found that customers who redeem Groupon offers don’t tend to come back.

Wildern says ReapSo aligns its success with the success of participating merchants. In fact, the health of Michigan small businesses is one reason Wildern and Valentine decided to launch ReapSo in the first place. “We have a true desire to be a part of the reinvention of Michigan,” he says, adding that ReapSo plans to expand soon to other walkable downtown areas across the state that are densely populated with retail shops. “That’s the goal—to have a significant impact on Michigan’s economy.”

Sarah Schmid is the editor of Xconomy Detroit/Ann Arbor. You can reach her at 313-570-9823 or sschmid@xconomy.com. Follow @XconomyDET