There are two things consumers can’t save enough of: Time and money. OccamScan designed and co-created by MentorMate Director of Operations Stefanie Trimble and her business partner Stephen Fluin helps savvy shoppers cut down on both.
An idea born out of curiosity
Stephen was considering switching to a grocery delivery service. It would save time, but would it really save money? Lightbulb. Stefanie and Stephen stumbled upon a competitive gap in the marketplace. No app empowered consumers to compare item prices between stores to understand how their shopping habits impact cost and savings. The need for OccamScan is fierce. Stores can switch SKUs at a moment’s notice. With OccamScan, consumers can see an aerial perspective on the ROI of their buying habits and take back the power.
Validating the potential for OccamScan
Before designing and developing the app, Stefanie and Stephen ideated. Through conversation and competitive research, they confirmed the need for the tool. So when Stefanie isn’t helping to allocate resources or coordinate invoicing she works to coordinate design and development for her own mobile venture. Stefanie and Stephen have found working side-by-side is most efficient. When Stephen architects and codes, Stefanie refines the design. That way, they can implement any changes in real-time.
Building out the OccamScan feature set
“Scan, smart, save” is the app’s tagline. It also represents the benefits of the app. OccamScan falls squarely in the quantified self-movement. No manual entry on the part of the user is required. First, users scan a receipt. The more receipts scanned and stores visited, the more value uses gain from the app. This helps build on the current OccamScan product database.
Then, at the bottom of each e-receipt, users can see whether they saved or lost money on the purchased item based on its known price at other stores. If Trader Joe’s has blackberries for a cheaper price than the user paid to purchase them at Target, OccamScan notes this in red.
Users can also search within the app to find the store with the most economical price for the product they seek. By looking at the Stores feature, users can see where they spend the most to gain insight on their spending habits.
Harnessing the competitive urge to save
Looking ahead Stefanie and Stephen plan to extend the social components via Facebook integration and release the iOS and Kindle versions of OccamScan in the Apple App Store and Amazon Appstore. It’s currently available in the Google Play Store. They hope the app will create a competitive community for users where friends compete to save the most.
Before that, the pair are focused on continuing to architect and augment the data base to support the product cross-referencing the app needs to be successful. They also plan to build out a notification system, alerting users when one of their preferred products goes on sale.
Local spotlight on OccamScan
For Stefanie, designing and coordinating the development of OccamScan represented a chance to view the app development process from the perspective of her clients. Only this time, it was her partner’s “big idea” they were realizing.
Stefanie and Stephen presented this year at MinneDemo and were featured in the Star Tribune recap of the tech incubator. Read it here.