Croydon-based company driving a promotional-marketing revolution

CEO Chris Giddins on how Uniqodo was created to fix a problem in online marketing, and the company's move from Shoreditch to the Silicon Flyover.

Croydon is home to one of the fastest-growing tech clusters in the UK. This cluster, also known as the Silicon Flyover, plays host to nearly 2,000 digital data and tech companies, from early-stage startups to established digital teams. Among these tech companies is Uniqodo, a software as a service (SaaS) company driving a promotional-marketing revolution with its unique promo-code-generating software.

In 2014, myself and Julius Somoye founded Uniqodo to provide total promo code control to advertisers and affiliates. After a 6-month stint in Shoreditch, we moved the company to Croydon in 2016. Excited to seize local opportunities, Uniqodo rented offices in the Sussex Innovation Centre (SINC) hub and began working with graduates from Sussex University. 

Uniqodo is thrilled to continue to call Croydon home and looks forward to many more fruitful years in the Silicon Flyover. Here’s Uniqodo’s story.

Promo codes as a marketing tool

Like many entrepreneurs, we started our company to tackle a problem. 

It probably comes as no surprise to you that the vast majority of online shoppers have used a promo code to receive a discount from a digital retailer. In fact, you’ve probably used a promo code yourself. For years, most brands focused their strategy on building campaigns around generic codes. We’ve all seen these kinds of codes before: ‘BOGO241’ or ‘FREESHIPPING’. Customers loved the simplicity. Retailers appreciated the lessened administrative burden. Sounds like a win-win, right? Not exactly.

Promo code misuse

In 2013, I attended a conference and was fascinated by all the worried ‘discount code’ chatter he heard. Sure, customers might love the convenience and the savings, but retailers were deeply concerned about an ever-growing problem with standard-issue promo codes: abuse and misuse. How big of a problem is this? Well, in 2018, Forter recorded more than 200,000 instances of promo code misuse. 

Although promo code misuse/abuse isn’t quite as sinister as it sounds, it can certainly be costly. ‘Misuse’ often just means a promo code has gone viral on a voucher sharing site like hotukdeals.com or vouchercodes.co.uk. In eCommerce, going viral can often be a good thing, but not here. A promo code going viral can become a significant liability to a company.

A solution to promo code misuse

Everyone wanted to stop their discounts from leaking online. And although we heard people discussing the possibility of single-use codes instead of generic ones, we quickly realised that no one else was jumping on this solution. The lack of action was likely due to a lack of appropriate and capable technology. As tech guys, we saw an opportunity. Shortly after that, we got to work developing the tech necessary to build a unique-code-generating platform for eCommerce brands. 

Uniqodo simplifies the manual process and gives brands the power to distribute new unique codes more easily than they distributed the old generic ones. Our software automatically generates, authorises, distributes, and validates single-use codes. It also eliminates the risk of promo code abuse. Our tools make it easy for brands to engage with coupon distributors and retain in-house control of promo codes. Uniqodo also comes equipped with data analytics tools to help users build the best promotion marketing campaigns possible.

We founded Uniqodo because we wanted to replace problematic broad campaign-level codes with unique codes. To us, this solution just made sense. Using unique codes enables brands to reward loyal customers, reduce shopping cart abandonment and drive repeat visits. Unique codes also open new doors and provide endless possibilities for brands to use their promo codes to attract, surprise and satisfy their customers.

Unique promo codes create exciting promotion marketing possibilities

In the past, brands were understandably wary about using promotional marketing for fear of promo code misuse. But single-use codes offer security, which means that marketing teams can finally feel comfortable getting more creative. With the help of our easy-to-use software, many of our clients have made promotions a central pillar of their broader marketing strategy.

Simply put, promo codes become far more powerful when they’re unique. Single-use codes allow brands to avoid misuse, customise promotions for specific shoppers and bring ‘digital flexibility’ to marketing campaigns. Brands can use unique promo codes in email marketing, mobile marketing, on-site promotions, customer acquisition, loyalty campaigns, and new product launches. Single-use codes lend themselves to focused, time-limited campaigns, and they can help brands increase online sales and achieve specific goals. 

Personalising and gamifying your promo codes

With unique codes, brands can personalise not only their promotional messaging but also the promotion itself. For instance, a retailer might tailor offers based on a customer’s past purchase patterns. Or perhaps a brand would prefer to offer its customers a fun experience through ‘gamifying’ their promotions. For example: ‘For each item purchased, receive a percentage off your next purchase’. Gamification also works for referral strategies, such as: ‘Refer a friend and get 50% off your next order’.

A/B test your promo campaigns

Another thing we love about single-use codes is that they allow companies to perform A/B testing and launch new, more specific promo campaigns. With unique promo codes, you can track outcomes and gain more in-depth insight into the most effective strategies. Our software doubles as an analytics tool, which means you can use the data you collect to maximise results and make smarter strategic moves.

Leverage affiliate and influencer marketing

Unique codes are also an excellent choice for brands looking to create or improve affiliate and influencer marketing campaigns. Customers tend to trust personal recommendations over traditional advertising, which is why running campaigns with trusted digital personalities (YouTubers, social media influencers, podcasts, and others) can be so effective. By using unique codes, your affiliates can better entice their audience, and you can more easily track the results. 

In sum, unique codes lend themselves to more creative marketing strategies by enabling companies to hone in on more successful and sophisticated campaigns. If you’d like to learn more about these strategies, check out our free guide to advanced promo code marketing.

Uniting the high-street and eCommerce with promotions 

We’ve already explained how Uniqodo can be valuable in eCommerce, but it’s also a useful tool for high street retailers. As a company, we care about the health of the high street, and we hope to deploy our technology locally within Croydon to these ends. 

More and more people are choosing to shop online, but the vast majority of retail sales still happen offline. Running promotions with unique promo codes can help unite the high street and eCommerce. Modern consumers love it when brands provide them with a seamless shopping experience across platforms. Ensuring a cohesive online-offline experience, called ‘omnichannel’ in marketing jargon, can ensure that the high street remains relevant in today’s digital age. 

For high-street retailers, promo codes are an excellent way to increase sales and draw potential customers into their physical stores. One savvy way that high-street retailers can use our technology to their advantage is to offer customers a mobile coupon that must be redeemed in-store. Enticing customers to visit your physical shop can help build brand loyalty, as well as increase the likelihood of impulse buys.

Offer a digital discount and give the customer a satisfying in-store experience, and you’ve just taken a massive step towards building that essential omnichannel experience.

Croydon’s tech centre is helping Uniqodo be ambitious

We believe that providing value is the future of eCommerce, and promo codes deliver that value to both businesses and customers. We started with a problem and developed a solution. 

Along the way, the tech heart of Croydon has supported us by providing the assets and community we needed to drive our success. Over the past few years, Uniqodo has grown and become an exciting part of both the Croydon community and the online community. Uniqodo is proud to call Croydon home.

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