“Time is money.” Life is always on a fast lane these days. Going by this, GoPago claims to help users to order food or beverage through their mobile app on the go and pick it up from the store.
Leo Rocco, the founder & CEO of GoPago got this idea in 2007 when he missed Barry Bond's record-breaking home run while standing in line at a concession stand. The cloud-based m-commerce company ‘GoPago’ was established in 2009 that claims to transform the way merchants and consumers connect and transact.
GoPago launched their first mobile app in August 2011, as Pago, in Mountain View, CA. After this, Pago rebranded it as GoPago and went live in San Francisco in 2012. GoPago unveiled their ‘GoPago Live’ service in April, 2012. They have been financially backed by JP Morgan and are headquartered in San Francisco with offices in Dallas and New York. Currently they have around 70 employees. They were recognized as one of San Francisco's most innovative companies by the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce in October 2012 and also received an innovation award at the ‘21st Annual Ebbies Award Gala’ in 2012. Right now, this service is primarily used by quick-serve restaurants and small/medium retail stores like Macy`s & Walgreens. GoPago is a paradigm shift from ‘Software as a service’ to ‘Solution as service’.
You can see a video below highlighting how the GoPago app works:
GoPago’s offerings include mPOS, mobile store, front app and a cloud based PoS software called GoPago Live. Their mPOS service includes offering merchants a credit card reader, smartphone and a protective rugged case. GoPago Live is a cloud based point of sale software for merchants offered to them at a subscription fee of $99/month. If we look at other competitors of GoPago the subscription fee is higher. It is easy to install and can be easily adopted by merchants for their use. The also claim to provide 24*7 support through phone. GoPago’s mobile app allows users to access directory of merchants in their area, browse through their offerings, order required items and pay from the mobile. Their app is available on android and iPhone as of now.
GoPago has also built a "Community" feature that they claim to benefit both customers and shop owners. Owners have access to a database of GoPago users who have ordered and browsed through their menu. Through this, they can specifically target customers and offer various schemes & discounts to customers. GoPago also provides cool "time of day" feature where merchants can restrict products or categories to availability within a certain time window such as a happy hour meal.
Some of the main competitors of GoPago are players like LevelUp. LevelUp is accepted at 5000+ locations in the US and there are new locations that are getting added everyday. Currently the user base of LevelUp stands at 200k users across the U.S and the total spend at $2M per month.
Some of the concern areas for merchants to tie up with GoPago include:
- GoPago solutions lack inventory management feature and doesn't have any appointment & delivery scheduling features. Thus it becomes difficult to use it for large retail stores.
- Merchants cannot buy any device like scanner on his own, they have to subscribe for a whole bundle provided by GoPago.
- Higher subscription cost and commitment of 24 months for new merchants may make it difficult for small restaurants and retailers to implement these solutions. Some of GoPago’s competitors do not have any such contract policies.
LTP View: Through its offerings GoPago provides both ease of use and security features for merchants and their customers. However the high subscription fee, contract period and bundle package may work against them in the longer run. If we take the case of LevelUp their no transaction fee, no hardware cost model has been a hit and is a talk of the town among merchants and users. But freebies can go only so far to convince a customer and keep them happy. Litmus test is the total cost of ownership, complexity reduced and value brought through automation.
GoPago’s services are available only in limited cities as of now like other players. Expansion to multiple cities and merchant tie ups would be some of the key factors for their success in the longer run.