Making it ‘appen

David Keenaghan and Mike Morrissey, founders of MyDealDoc first published BoozeDoc, a new free app that allows the user to see what alcohol special offers are available in their local stores
David Keenaghan and Mike Morrissey, founders of MyDealDoc first published BoozeDoc, a new free app that allows the user to see what alcohol special offers are available in their local stores

While we all come up with great ideas from time to time, not many of us have the courage of our convictions to actually pursue an idea and make it happen. Two brave young men decided to take a gamble on their lightbulb moment and the dedication and hard graft that followed is now starting to pay off. Fionnuala Carolan reports



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15 October 2014 | 0

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There seems to be an app for everything these days. You can literally run your life from your smart phone. While we may download apps without a second thought, it’s interesting to hear how much work goes into creating one. The BoozeDoc app is a new free app that allows the user to see what special offers are available in their local off-licence. It is the brainchild of two 27 year olds, Mike Morrissey from Tipperary and David Keenaghan from Dublin, both former KPMG accountants.

It is important to point out that BoozeDoc is not a price comparison app; it is an added value tool for consumers looking to find their favourite brand on special offer at a location convenient to them. This is the first of a suite of apps published by MyDealDoc, which creates mobile applications that ultimately deliver savings to consumers.

Starting this venture wasn’t easy due to a lack of capital, self-confessed inexperience and even their age. Keenaghan explains: “We contacted every retailer before we launched, which was February 2014.  Some of the retailers took the call, met us and liked the product and where we were going, while others simply saw it as two young lads with an app and automatically weren’t interested.”

However, the guys continued to work hard refining the app and making contacts within the retail industry and now most of the main retailers are on board including SuperValu, Centra, Dunnes Stores, O’Brien’s, Costcutter, Carryout, Molloys and Next Door.

Benefits for retailers

The app has a very clean design and the founders have a four click philosophy so the customer gets the information they want within four clicks on the appBoozeDoc attracts consumers to a store using alcohol special offers and once they are through the door, it allows retailers the opportunity to boost additional sales.

According to Keenaghan: “Research shows that 77% of smartphone owners use their devices during the purchase decision making process* and BoozeDoc allows brands to interrupt that customer decision journey right up to the point of purchase. We show consumers where they can make savings on their off-trade alcohol purchases at a location convenient to them. And who doesn’t want to save a few euro when making such purchases?”

“We noticed the gap in the market for a simple, geo-based application that delivers savings to consumers, but which also is attractive to retailers in reaching those consumers. It’s a win-win scenario for all. Now we’ve added more features to the app so as to give the consumer more power when spending their hard earned cash,” added Morrissey.

Keenaghan said that they realised early on that it couldn’t just be a price comparison app.  “What we realised was that people don’t care what a regular six pack of Heineken costs but they want to know about special offers. We looked at the price comparison route but retailers aren’t really interested in that because it creates that race to the bottom. There’s one winner and 10 losers. We knew we had to shape it around special offer promotions.”

Keenaghan’s own experience as a student was what made him believe the idea would work. “The fact that I lived an equal distance between Centra, SuperValu and O’Briens and at that time I was drinking Coor’s Light and I knew that a six-pack could cost you €15 or if you were lucky it could cost you €8. Most people are brand loyal when it comes to alcohol and everyone likes to get a bargain so this app is saving people time and money.”

The app lists products according to category and ensures that no more than four clicks are required to access the information on the offers available locally. To add value for the consumer, BoozeDoc features tasting notes and suggested food pairing ideas in the wine and craft beer categories.

The app is easy for consumers to use and navigateGetting a mentor

In the early stages Dublin City Enterprise board assessed the idea to see if it was viable and when it got the go ahead the guys were given a mentor to work with. That came in the form of Kevin Bracken, head of new product development at Erickson. Keenaghan explains how the mentorship works. “We met him at different stages in the process over 6-8 weeks. He really forced us to think critically. When we first thought of it, it was aimed at 18-22 year olds but now we don’t want to alienate anyone. It’s probably very valuable to the 35-50 year age group that drinks wine and will appreciate getting a €20 bottle of wine for €10.”

Morrissey says that keeping the information updated is paramount to their success. “The thing with this app is that we live and die by the sword; if people have a bad experience because the product isn’t the right price or it’s not on special offer when they reach a store, then we get a bad reputation. We have to focus on being excellent at what we do and the way to do that is just to narrow down the number of variables. Some of our retailers change prices on a daily basis, or at weekends or even in reaction to good weather. The moment they decide to change the prices, we can proclaim that to the nation.”

Number one in the charts

They are very happy to report that there have been 25,000 downloads since February and it became number one in the food and drink app store charts within a month, out competing Guinesss and another popular app, JustEat. The two guys have fuelled all this by countless early mornings handing out flyers near public transport hotspots and using social media. “It’s pretty inglorious,” says Morrissey. “But it’s gotten us a huge volume of people very quickly so we knew it was absolutely worth sticking at.”

There were spikes in usage and sign ups around the World Cup in June and Electric Picnic in September and this was what they termed organic growth as people recommended it to their friends during these special occasions.

Forward planning

The plan from here is to build a database of registered users, who they can send messages directly to. Keenaghan explains: “In the app you’ll be able to favourite your brands of wine, craft beer or spirits by either searching our database or selecting something within the app. And then when they come on special offer with any retailers you’ll get a notification saying ‘Dunnes Stores are doing Jacob’s Creek Merlot at €10’ or whatever it is. You’ll have your own little inbox in the app. This is an ad for a product that you have chosen to favourite and you’re getting a great deal on it. It creates so much value from the user side as well as the retailer side.”

BoozeDoc was just the start for Keenaghan and Morrissey. They have ideas for numerous other apps and the next app to launch is BabyDoc. This will help parents hear about special offers on nappies, baby food and drinks. Morrissey says: “Young mothers are one of the most valuable shoppers you can get into your store because they control over 85% of purchasing power over any household. We’re looking at other things like Back-to-schoolDoc and ChristmasDoc, any occasion that will add huge value and become footfall drivers for the retailer.”

As a retailer, it’s probably a good idea to keep an eye on what Mydealdoc does next, as like it or not, consumers are signing up to these apps in their droves and if you don’t feature, you may be losing customers before they even leave their homes.

*(Source: Google Think – Understanding the Mobile Consumer, Our Mobile Planet, United States of America, May 2013)

BoozeDoc has worked with the Advisory Service of Drink Aware to ensure adherence to the Code of Practice on Promotion of Alcoholic Drinks. Follow on Twitter @BoozeDoc and Facebook/BoozeDoc. BoozeDoc enjoys a five star rating on Apple App store and a similar rating on the Google Play store.







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