Today’s consumers expect options, convenience, the best price and a personalized experience every time, everywhere they shop.
Small businesses, selling $3.2 trillion of in-person goods and services every year in the U.S., are struggling to keep up with this increasingly omnichannel, mobile world while fending off competition from Wall Street-backed chains, franchises and online stores. Today, Fanbank, a Santa Monica-based startup, is announcing the launch of a SaaS commerce platform that levels the playing field for small businesses and leapfrogs expensive hardware and enterprise software used by big retailers.
Fanbank’s commerce platform integrates a business’ existing point-of-sale (POS) system, mobile devices and their customers’ existing credit and debit accounts. Using Fanbank applications, small businesses can merchandise and price their offline goods and services for sale online by transforming them into digital credits that can be purchased virtually anywhere. Through Fanbank’s revolutionary account-linked stored value system, all small business categories will be able to offer customers customized, one-click, mobile purchases of these digital credits. Fanbank’s advanced transaction processing technology makes hundreds of data points associated with each transaction actionable so business owners can increase their selling opportunities and deliver smart, personalized experiences to their customers, wherever they are. Fanbank’s easy-to-use platform includes hundreds of campaigns that business owners can customize and run in just a few minutes, saving them hours of time each week and thousands of dollars each month.
“Until now, small businesses didn’t have an easy way to sell things like a haircut, a floral bouquet or a yoga class as a one-click mobile purchase to a local customer based on that customer’s personal preferences or previous buying history,” said Mitch Jacobs, founder and CEO of Fanbank. “By turning their typical advertising channels like email and social feeds, into sales channels with personalized offers, Fanbank is giving small businesses a whole new way to reach and sell to new customers.”
To date, the promise of commerce automation amongst big retailers has been constrained by the investments they have made in fragmented, legacy systems, hindering their ability to achieve the integrated, automated platform needed for personalized commerce. In the small business sector, technology companies and investors have been singularly focused on building better POS systems. Fanbank is the first company to focus on integrating the existing POS system with other existing infrastructures. Ironically, small businesses, with their lack of investment in legacy systems, are better positioned to realize the promise of commerce automation and price personalization. Today, Fanbank is delivering on this vision by offering merchants a turnkey solution built on top of 40 years of technology advancements in mobile devices, social media and payments infrastructure.
“We’re essentially offering small businesses a technology that is the equivalent of bringing 5G to developing countries,” added Jacobs. “Since small businesses don’t have the same investment in legacy systems as big retailers do, there’s nothing to rip out and replace. We are giving them a powerful platform that doesn’t require any additional software or hardware to install. That’s what makes it a game-changer.”
The Fanbank platform is offered through a monthly membership for only $129 per month. Local businesses simply sign up, answer a few basic questions, and the Fanbank platform takes care of the rest. Fanbank’s proprietary technology customizes purchasing opportunities based on a customer’s personal preferences and other real-time phenomena (such as a hot day or breaking news) and then automates the distribution of those opportunities to relevant customers wherever they are - on their mobile devices, in their social feeds online, and eventually through apps like Waze and Alexa. When the customer clicks to buy digital credits - whether in their Facebook news feed, or from an email - the credit is stored on their existing credit card account and then instantly recognized by the local business when the customer redeems their credit for that item offline, in the store. Over time, the platform will leverage machine learning to offer even more sophisticated and personalized buying opportunities to customers.