CareZone, a Dubai-based donation platform, launched a new iPhone application yesterday, which makes donating to charities an easy- and indulgent- part of your regular shopping.
The location-based app, developed by mobile marketing company Innoventa, alerts you to stores nearby that have partnered with CareZone. Every time you make a purchase in one of these stores, a percentage of the sale is returned to you in the form of CareCoins, which you can then donate to a charity of your choice, including Dubai Autism Centre and the U.N. World Food Programme. CareZone also gives you an equal number of MyCoins, which you can redeem for extra bonuses, such as spa treatments or accessories.
One of the best aspects of the app, aside from the fact that it’s easy to use, is that it allows you to donate- and redeem benefits- on the spot, making the whole process especially easy for tourists and travelers. If you shop for shoes for awhile, and get hungry for a cupcake (yes- a girly predicament), you can get it as soon as you reach their partner Kitsch Cupcakes. And you can even reap benefits without buying, according to founder Ritesh Tilani.
“Shoppers can get benefits just for checking into places. The reason CareZone works is because it builds a retailer’s customer base, while also creating positive associations with their brand that brings shoppers back,” said Tilani.
Another good feature is that, rather than spam you with emails or push notifications, CareZone’s app retains all of its deal information inside the app, so you can use it whenever you choose. Yet this quality could also be a weakness; CareZone’s ability to build a steady userbase will depend upon whether the app becomes addictive to use.
Tilani- who also explained his business model to us at Arabnet- has a plan for growth however. “Over time, we'll be exploring other ways of delivering the service as well- this could very easily translate into other mediums, such as visiting a website,” he says. Indeed, merging e-commerce with a socially conscious mission might be another great way to reduce buyer’s guilt.
The app is free and now live in the App Store here.