UK discount publisher Savoo has shocked its users by announcing a complete revamp of its core business.
As of today, the group - owned by Cox Target Media, the home of US deal giant Savings.com - is an online fundraising site which returns donations to a number of listed charities through users searching for items and redeeming discount codes on the homepage.
A new partnership with Bing means that users can search for items on Savoo, or ‘Savoo, Search, Save and Raise’, and donate 0.01p to their selected charity for every query made.
Savoo’s discounting business is still intact, with retailers including Halfords and Dorothy Perkins remaining on board, although 50% of the site’s affiliate commission is also donated to worthy causes.
Savoo has stressed that the change is only effective in the UK, and that its discount properties in France, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands, Brazil, Austria, Ireland and Australia are unaffected by the change.
Savoo.co.uk along with German property Savoo.de and Savings.com were purchased by Cox Target Media in 2012, who already had ties to the affiliate publisher market courtesy of its ownership of localised print and digital savings hub Valpak.
The UK division has since prided itself on weeding out expired or inactive discount codes with the aim of boosting its user experience.
But these same users are going to have to get used to a new-look Savoo in the UK as the company looks to build a head of steam with charity partners such as RSPCA, Lumos and Garden Organic in mind.
Donations require each user to sign-in with their email or social media account details before choosing their charity from a list of 37 partners.
From here, a migration back to the homepage allows for discount redemption and searches via a scaled down version of Bing, with all donations tracked in a profile hub.
Staff have their say
Speaking today, Simon Bird, GM of Savoo International, said the move pulled inspiration from a number of sources - not least from the people powering the technology.
“Having asked our staff and members what they would like to see change about our business, the ability to give something back was the clear winner and we are really excited about Savoo Search, Save and Raise.”
In 2012, Savoo's former international operations manager Michael Schaedel informed PerformanceIN about an intention to build presence in Europe, but also that having a more diverse business model could “only be a good thing”.
Touching on the benefit of having a “clear objective” moving forward, Bird added: “We are always looking for ways to innovate and develop a better consumer experience and we believe that thanks to the support from Bing and our charity partners we are well placed to do exactly that.”