Interview: Turning 'thyngs' into checkouts
Interview with Thyngs' CEO, Neil Garner
"IN 60 SECONDS, WHAT DOES THYNGS DO?"
"Using built-in tap-and-go mobile technology we turn physical objects into opportunities to engage or transact with people via their smartphone. We’ve transformed objects like wrist bands, donation buckets, even fluffy toys into mobile optimised digital experiences.
Marketing and fundraising teams around the world use our platform to take payments, deepen customer loyalty, and fundraise via campaigns, competitions and promotions. You can have as many enabled objects as you like, and each experience can be measured and optimised within the system."
"WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO LAUNCH THYNGS?"
"I founded Thyngs following a conversation with Charles Byrne from the Royal British Legion. At the time I was running Proxama, a proximity marketing and payments business. This was pre-Apple Pay.
Charles spoke of the impact the falling use of cash was having on charities and their ability to fundraise. There was no affordable or practical solution on the market.
I wanted to help the sector process cashless payments from anywhere. The solution needed to be flexible and sustainable for charities of any size. We now work with many major global charities and have expanded into other sectors, including hospitality and retail."
"HOW DOES THYNGS COMPARE TO BUSINESSES LAUNCHING THEIR OWN APPS?"
"Thyngs is app-free. This makes it a quick, easy and affordable option, particularly for charities.
Asking people to download another app is a huge barrier so businesses can no longer rely on them. The latest research suggests that the average smartphone has anywhere between 60 and 90 apps installed. Yet, just three of those are used regularly.
Secondly, apps come with a large design and development bill. Once built, if you want to make a change you have to go back to the development team with additional time and cost incurred.
With the Thyngs platform, you don’t need specialist skills such as design or coding. We provide a number of standard customisable templates for common use cases, but also design bespoke experiences."
"WHAT'S BEEN YOUR FAVOURITE USE OF YOUR TECH?"
"To promote the Wonder Woman movie. This was the world’s largest deployment of its kind and a use of our platform by Warner Bros Pictures to drive fan engagement.
We enabled access to exclusive digital fan content from physical merchandise to drive long-term value for fans. Merchandise included over 240,000 wristbands, temporary tattoos and cinema stands.
What was interesting was that fans were still interacting with the objects three months later."
"WITH THE RECENT COVID GUIDELINES, HOW CAN THYNGS SUPPORT BUSINESSES IN HOSPITALITY?"
"Business owners are thinking about the practicalities of social distancing when it comes to taking orders and payments. They’re also thinking about how to encourage people back into their restaurant, bar, or hotel.
We can quickly deploy a range of touchless solutions including secure table ordering and contactless payments. Thyngs can also help encourage customers back in with solutions such as customer loyalty rewards and competitions.
In addition, these solutions can be joined seamlessly together. For example, a customer could place a secure order and continue the experience with a reward, such as a loyalty stamp or competition entry.
Wasabi for instance wanted to increase takeaway sales in Sainsbury stores. They used the Thyngs platform to run a competition for customers to win a trip to Japan. Each Wasabi box contained an interactive card which enabled 40,000 competition entries with marketing opt- in."
"WHAT TRACKING AND REPORTING CAN BUSINESSES GET FROM THYNGS?"
"The Thyngs platform provides real-time intelligence about how consumers are engaging with any enabled object. Our customers use this information to adjust and optimise campaigns to improve messaging and conversion rates."
"WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD FOR THYNGS?"
"I think we’ll look back on 2020 as the year that charities truly embraced digital. Those charities that have been slower to adopt digital have been forced to change at speed. We’re continuing to help charities to implement cashless giving and engage with donors in new ways.
We’re also exploring new applications for the technology outside of charity and payments. In addition, our development team are testing new technologies and developing new customer experiences on the platform."