V-AAP (Vouchers Always A Pleasure) was a company created by ex-CapitaStar employees working in the digital retail space.
The popularity of shopping vouchers in Singapore has been closely tied to the “Ang Pao” tradition of giving red packets filled with money for Chinese New Year celebrations. The slow and manual process of delivering and redeeming these paper vouchers opened up an opportunity for V-AAP to digitally transform the space and introduce a system which was easier and more efficient for customers to use, provide more savings for shoppers, and develop loyal customers.
V-AAP decided to create a customer-facing app that would give customers a paperless way to use shopping vouchers. The app would be used on its own, or in conjunction with a merchant-specific app.
Buuuk was engaged to design and develop a brand new platform and the two apps, as well as to assist with creating a branding strategy.
The V-AAP team wanted to create an app that would remove the need for traditional paper vouchers for retailers and, as a result, build a strong customer base.
DIRECTOR & HEAD OF DESIGN, BUUUK
Improving upon an old but successful business
The existing paper voucher system had many flaws which V-AAP wanted to fix with the new digital, paperless system.
The new consumer-facing app featured a “digital wallet” where shoppers could access their vouchers, a virtual “ecard” with a barcode and QR code, see loyalty points accrued, and buy, redeem or send vouchers.
A merchant app was developed in conjunction with the consumer-facing app and placed at Merchant Kiosks in stores for customers to scan their app. Consumers could choose to scan their app at the kiosk or with staff at the point of sale to redeem vouchers.
Branding a breed of vouchers
Incidentally, the concept that the team chose was one of the first ones that we came up with.
The idea was a simple V folding out to reveal layers — like traditional vouchers folded into a wallet.
Again, we didn’t want to draw attention to the typeface as the center-stage needed to be with the vouchers. After playing around with the idea of system fonts on the different platforms, we went with OpenSans — to maintain consistency across the various channels.
We chose a colour palette that could let the vouchers & the associated brands stand out. A muted colour palette that still looking vibrant when the various shades were put together.
Wireframing + Exploration
Buuuk managed the creation of the two apps from the design phase through requirement gathering, wireframing, prototyping and backend development, to the deployment of apps for both iOS and Android platforms.
The consumer-facing app integrated with the DBS payment gateway for seamless, secure transactions.
A “discover” feature shared nearby merchants’ most recent promotions with the customer to encourage further shopping, with a click on the voucher bringing up the entire range of promotions on offer.
Points for purchases made collected in the app for future redemption for cash and special offers. Customers could use the QR code on the ecard to redeem loyalty points in stores or vouchers online.
This new digital system cut out the need for paper vouchers entirely, while still maintaining the spirit of giving and receiving “Ang Pao” gifts.
Listing the merchants featured in the app assisted shoppers in finding retailers nearby, with a handy map showing retailer locations and contact information to make calls directly through the app.
Localisation across 3 regions
The apps were released in English and Chinese, as well as Burmese for the app released in Myanmar
Buuuk designed the entire voucher process from initial purchase to redemption at the merchant.
EVouchers provided the perfect solution to removing paper from the process. With a new, efficient and seamless process, customers were encouraged to shop more with the merchants advertised in the app, and both V-AAP and retail merchants saw an increase in sales.
The 'gifting vouchers' section of the app made it easy for customers to buy and send vouchers, just like handing over a paper Ang Pao. The similarity in the process to the familiar custom made it a favourite feature and encouraged the sale of gift vouchers.
An additional feature was later added to include car parking vouchers, which connected with ERP cash cards and could be used in car parking lots.
A timely launch
After a successful pilot in the Singapore Central District, the app was launched island-wide. This was soon followed by collaborations with mall owners to get retailers on board.
Quickly after the initial launch, the platform partnered with Malls beyond Singapore. We created brand-specific apps for use under the Great Wall Mall City brand in Singapore and then again for Junction Malls in Myanmar.