A new iPhone app geared for creating local discounts is gaining momentum among students since its launch at Virginia Tech on Sept. 27.
The app Plurro allows students to create cash mobs aimed at saving money when shopping in Blacksburg. While the technology is new, cash mobs have previously occurred in Blacksburg. Downtown Blacksburg, Inc. puts on cash mobs occassionally to support local businesses.
Kim Muhato, CEO of Plurro, said the idea of the cash mob stemmed from reviewing other discount related sites.
“People want to save money, people want to take advantage of any discounts that there are at whatever retailers or restaurants they’d like to go to, they just don’t want to get bombarded by emails. So we thought, we want to build a model that essentially puts the power in the hand of the consumer,” Muhato said.
And that is exactly what they did. The user-friendly app makes it easy for people to create a cash mob in a matter of seconds from their iPhone. All they are required to do is list the location and time that they wish to go to the local business of their choice. From there, they can invite friends through text, Facebook, Twitter and other mediums. Once the cash mob is created, it is available for everyone to see and attend.
Users can already receive a dicount with a minimum of 10 people. However, the more people attend the cash mob, the higher the discount.
Meanwhile, Plurro contacts the business to relay the information that a cash mob is set to take place at their business as well as communicate how many people are expected to attend. With those details, they can then establish the discount amount to their discretion.
Muhato expects attendance will increase after the initial post of the cash mob, in which case businesses also need to consider what the discount levels will be if more people attend.
For example, if 25-50 people attend, they will receive 25 percent off, but if more than 50 people they will receive 30 percent off, according to Muhato.
“It really all depends on how broadly you can invite your friends and because they’re broadcasting it to other people, so anyone can look at their iPhone and see this cash mob. Literally anyone can attend the cash mob and save money,” Muhato said.
Users can sign up in advance or prior to attending. The app offers a tab that allows users to see what cash mobs are occuring in real time.
In the future, businesses can decide to allow cash mobs at any time and set a discount rate without Plurro having to contact them.
Currently, there are cash mobs scheduled at Souvlaki, Benny Marzano’s, Cafe de Bangkok and Log Cabin BBQ as of Wednesday.