Startup targets couponing
Sachin Mehta already knows what he’s doing after he graduates from University of Nevada, Reno, in December.
The electrical engineering major, who postponed graduation to complete a minor in business, will be running his own start-up.
Mehta is the founder of Coupcha.com, an online marketplace for coupons he hopes will revolutionize the way merchants and buyers take advantage of deals.
“Growing up watching my dad, who is a small business owner, I saw how hard it was to get promotions to the customer,” says Mehta. “All stores have one thing in common. They offer promotions in print and in posters, and the public doesn’t see them unless they’re driving by.”
Coupcha aims to create an aggregate site for any kind of coupon. Merchants can go there to create and display bargains in real time, and the end-user can find all kinds of current deals.
“It’s essentially a Craigslist for coupon offers,” says Mehta.
Stores can save money on printing and fees, reach a large audience and manage their promotions on the fly. Customers have a single site at which to search on a variety of local and national deals, whether they’re at home or traveling, and to compare them. Users can access from any type of device and to redeem, a buyer can either print the coupon or use the QR code, the matrix barcode now found on all kinds of products.
The service is currently free for both vendors and buyers, and Mehta hopes to attract advertising or charge a small merchant fee in the future.
But to do that, Coupcha needs to build critical mass so it’s useful to both merchants and shoppers.
Mehta is working now on ways to get the word out.
“I’m hoping to focus on this after I graduate because I really see the potential to make this something big,” he says.
From a national standpoint, research shows the embrace of digital commerce is a whole decade ahead of schedule thanks to the pandemic. We spoke with the Retail Association of Nevada, Downtown Reno Partnership and the Reno+Sparks Chamber of Commerce to give local context to the growth of online retail.