We know that you are used to getting helpful and motivational tips each issue from Shannon about growing your business and staying positive as an entrepreneur so this month we asked her to give our readers an update on FanSaves itself and how they are so much more than just saving money, they are focus on building communities that support each other and we can think of a better way to run a business.
These days, we all know that a dollar doesn’t go as far as it used to. Money seems fleeting as the cost of groceries, gas and real estate continue to skyrocket to new levels that many of us aren’t accustomed to. It’s no wonder that people everywhere are looking to save a couple of bucks anywhere they can and that 90% of Americans have used a coupon in the past year.
Discounts, deals, promotions, and coupons are far from a new idea. They’ve been around for as long as businesses have relied on marketing to improve sales. And couponing wasn’t a novel idea back in 2017 when my co-founder, Kris McCarthy, and I created our digital platform, FanSaves, to help us solve a problem we faced selling sponsorship for two minor professional hockey teams.
FanSaves was created to give businesses a digital sponsorship option (alongside traditional assets like scoreboard ads, wall signs, rink boards and ads in the game-day program) that would entice people to walk through their doors while tracking customer demographics and ROI– something traditional sponsorship has a hard time doing.
While the dollars that people keep in their wallets are important, FanSaves is about more than ‘just’ saving money. The primary goal of FanSaves has always been to help teams and organizations increase their sponsorship revenue and understand their fans better. The second goal is for businesses to have a digital activation and engagement tool to ensure their sponsorship is driving fans into their establishments. Third, FanSaves gives fans an easy way to support the businesses that support their favourite teams and organizations while saving money at the same time.
While at face value, it may seem like FanSaves is just another couponing platform competing with the likes of Groupon, it is the community aspect and the connection of its three key stakeholders (the organizations, the businesses and the fans) that sets it apart.
With nearly 1,000 deals from businesses across North America currently featured on FanSaves, the stores offering discounts are not just randomly selected nor one-offs. The businesses you scroll through on the FanSaves platform are all either sponsors, partners or members of the organization’s page their deals are featured on.
While FanSaves began as a solution for sports teams, it became apparent in 2018 that many other verticals could be supported by the platform. That’s why you’ll see an array of FanPages ranging from major league teams, to Chambers of Commerce, to events and even media companies, including Spotlight on Business featured on the platform. FanSaves is currently partnered with more than 60 teams, organizations and events across the continent and the best part isn’t just that we’re helping to eliminate paper coupons but also that we’re making it easier for people to support local businesses, which is something that is needed as we all continue to recover from the effects of the pandemic has had on our economy.
It’s always free to sign up for a FanSaves account for users and you don’t have to link any credit cards in order to save money. Simply follow the FanPages you like, scroll through the deals on that page and find one you want to use. Then press the redeem button and show your phone at the point-of-purchase (for in-store deals) or apply the discount code you receive to your cart (for online deals).
At FanSaves, we never intended to reinvent the coupon industry but instead to give new meaning and incentive to what it means to be a sponsor, a member or a partner of an organization and especially what it means to be a fan. We never knew a pandemic would occur or that the cost of living would exponentially balloon but we are so glad that our growing startup has been able to help so many people keep a few extra dollars in their pockets while at the same time supporting the communities, they’re part of. At the end of the day, FanSaves is about much more than saving money; It’s about shopping local, supporting partners and being a fan.
Author Shannon Ferguson currently leads the growing team at Canadian tech startup FanSaves, as Co-Founder & CEO. She has been featured in Forbes and was a 2021 Young Leaders of the America’s Initiative fellow. FanSaves won the 2021 Best Ottawa Business Award for Best Leaders for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion and Shannon was most recently named a 2022 “Forty Under 40” in Canada’s National Capital Region and we are extremely proud to have her as part of the Spotlight on Business Editorial Team.