Over the course of the last year, Spark has collaborated with businesses to offer consumers bundled packages that include subscriptions to services they may be interested in. This started in February 2014 when Spark announced that all its $29 Ultra Mobile prepaid customers and $59 monthly Ultra Mobile plan users or higher will qualify for the offer of a free subscription to Spotify Premium. This was then followed with the more recent announcement that all approximately 600,000 of Spark's broadband subscribers would get a year's access to subscription on-demand video (SVOD) service Lightbox.
While these two deals were targeted at individual consumers, Spark has now extended this approach to small- and medium-sized businesses with a new perk that offers business customers 24 months' access to a Putti mobile-responsive website.
And this new deal has been introduced via a TVC loaded with schadenfreude that features a homeowner struggling with a major plumbing malfunction.
Putti offers businesses a simple, step by step process for building mobile responsive sites and apps, which can then be used to sell products, send out special offers or loyalty vouchers, or simply make information (such as product details or store location) easily available to customers no matter where they are.
The Putti interface has already been used by Wendy's, Unitec, Ray White and Craft Kitchen, which were all drawn to it due to its simplicity.
The Putti Platform automatically codes the businesses inputs into a native app for the iOS and Android platforms, and the Putti Team submit the app to the Apple or Google stores for approval. Usually within two weeks of the app being registered and published, it’s in the Android and iOS stores and ready for downloading. Putti then provides ongoing support to ensure the app remains compatible with new smartphone technology and app store requirements.
"What we find is that business owners and managers are generally very clear on their goals – whether it’s building loyalty, selling stuff online or managing stock through special offers at the right time," said Putti chief executive Aaron McDonald. "What they need from us is the technology and expertise to do that through people’s smartphones and tablets."
In a release about the new partnership, Spark Home, Mobile and Business chief executive Chris Quin said that while online purchases, especially through mobile devices, were increasing, businesses were not keeping up.
"There is currently a bit of a mismatch between where customers want to buy products or find information, and how businesses are making that information available," said Quin. "Fewer than 40 percent of small businesses have a website, and of those that do, only a quarter have a website that is mobile responsive. New Zealand businesses are generally very open to new technology – but they are time-poor and cashflow is always an issue. That’s why Putti is such a great option for them. They can build the site or app themselves, and the ongoing costs (which cover maintenance, updates and security) are very affordable.”