Interview with Giacomo Lorioli, CEO of GengiScan

Interview with Giacomo Lorioli, CEO of GengiScan

By Rosy Chianese

Interview with Giacomo Lorioli, CEO of GengiScan, the app to collect stamps and discount coupons directly on your smartphone. 

“Excuse me, do you have the card?” How many times we have happened to be asked this question during the payment phase. Following the request began the endless search between receipts and loyalty cards, of which we did not even remember the existence, which often turned out to be also unsuccessful denying us the opportunity to accumulate points or have a price reduction. Now we can say that this problem, thanks to a simple app, has been finally solved. Thanks to GengiScan the wallets full of cards will be just a memory; it is given the possibility to collect points, receive discounts and access much more benefits using a single and simple smartphone app. 

How GengiScan work

As you can easily guess from the name, everything revolves around the use of a scan, a QR reader that uses the smartphone’s camera to get new stamps on the cards, promotions and many other advantages with the convenience of always having everything just a tap. The app is totally free and available for users, business partners and sponsors using Android or iOS devices. A new tool for digital marketing transmuted into a gaming environment with the aim of being accessible to everyone.

For the companies

The GengiScan app allows all customers of your store to have a fully digital points card, with the freedom to access a potentially endless series of discounts and promotions designed to increase the brand image. Through the interactive panel it will be possible to check the performance of each marketing strategy in order to evaluate whether it is actually bringing the desired results, and in case change it to their own advantage. GengiScan aims to involve a growing number of partners to create a personal network in which the brands participating in the service have the opportunity to advertise each other focusing on visibility. A whole series of advantages that will bring out the image of the company  also highlighting the green aspect related to the elimination of paper and chemical inks used in traditional point cards, which seems to involve more and more users in the last period. 

For the customers

The key point for consumers is undoubtedly the convenience of use of the app that, in addition to being completely free, allows you to have at hand at all times digital cards and coupons on your phone. Once scanned stamps and coupons, they will be kept in a personal wallet that completely erases the possibility of their loss or wear. A real hunt for convenience that favored by the interactive map that shows all the shops and partners that are using the service. The same partners that upon completion of the points card, will give away prizes, freebies or discounts that can also be received effortlessly at home.

Did the app make you curious? If so, you just have to read the interview below to find out more details deriving directly from the words of those who have dedicated time and commitment to the project: Giacomo Lorioli, CEO of GengiScan.      

Hello Giacomo, nice to meet you and thank you for your time. GengiScan: tell us more about this beautiful story 

My pleasure, thank you for the space and attention expressed to me. GengiScan was born, like many other ideas then evolved into real products or services, thanks to an exchange of ideas between friends. Ideas that became the concept of GengiScan  right in the places that are now actually hosting its practical use: pizzerias, pubs, hairdressers etc. I am happy to say that many friends, including my girlfriend, supported me and believed in what I was doing; this gave me the strength to go on and for this reason I can only thank them.

How and when was the idea of GengiScan born?

The first idea was born in the fall of 2019, going through various different forms at the beginning. Confronting me with different entrepreneurial, legal, commercial realities, and adapting the idea to the needs that gradually emerged, we finally arrived at what is now GengiScan… but its transformation is not over here, we will continue to evolve this digital tool: you will see!

Thanks to the background of design and product development that I gained during my studies at Politecnico di Milano, and during my work experiences, especially at Giochi Preziosi Spa and Studio Volpi Srl, I was able to structure and complete what had been imagined.

GengiScan Srl was established at the Chamber of Commerce of Milan in August 2020, in a not very lucky year for our history. Despite many difficulties, we were able to develop all the parts of UX and UI and complete its software implementation within 12 months. Finally, in July 2021 the mobile application is published and the first release lands on the main digital stores: Google Play and Apple Store. At the same time, the web platform is launched on the respective domains.

How did you launch GengiScan? Did you use crowdfunding campaigns?

 GengiScan was published and field tested during summer 2021. Once the first improvement feedback and a first debugging phase have been implemented, between October and December 2021 we have concentrated the marketing efforts on the localized territory between Milan, Varese and Como, to verify its solidity and stress its reliability. Today we are ready to extend our market to all Italy and the European Union.

For the first market launch of this digital service I did not have to resort to crowdfunding campaigns. Californian startup guru and father of Y Combinator, Paul Graham, explains in his book Hackers & Painters, that if you strongly believe in an idea and you have the opportunity to develop it on your own, it is much more efficient and quick to try to do it as much as possible without involving too many external actors. Although these types of financial support are certainly viable and potentially very useful tools, they would have been very energy-intensive in my case. I do not exclude that I can choose to use them in the future.  

Until now I have managed to support the costs of development and launch while maintaining my work as an employee, devoting a large part of my income to this enterprise. Having also personally worked on the interface and design part, I had to face the “only” costs of software development and publishing. I want to highlight that the development costs of an application like GengiScan, are “relatively low” compared to, for example, the production of a physical product or the opening of a new business in the catering industry. That’s why we see thousands of apps developed and published every day in stores around the world.

Why should a company become your partner?

The advantages offered by GengiScan to its business customers are many, as already explained by you above: in addition to the obvious convenience in making available to all the possibility of creating and collecting cards and digital coupons, tools that until now were only paper, you are inserted in the true strength of the service: its Network.

Having a network of entrepreneurs who support each other generates a situation of shared well-being: the more businesses join GengiScan, the more users will become part of the community. The larger the community, the more visibility our business partners will receive.

Moreover, having immediately a universal application for this type of initiative, allows companies not to have to bear the costs of designing and developing a digital service “ad hoc” (we talk about tens of thousands of euros). This opens the GengiScan market also to all small and micro-enterprises interested in this type of services, penetrating the territory.

Another huge benefit for companies is not having to invest huge resources or time for the difficult creation of their community, as well as for its maintenance. Usually this activity is also very expensive and difficult to implement by a single company: for a private user it is much more convenient and easy to have a single application than having to create an account for each place of interest.

Lastly GengiScan makes its community move:

  • We greatly increase the engagement of our users by physically bringing them where they will be exposed the QR codes of interest.
  • We valorize the target places and products for our business partners, inserting QR with high appeal on strategic spots.

Ah, we’re also green and contactless.

GengiScan: the naming is already very evocative, some curiosity about the final choice?

My friend and I, in front of some pizza and beer, were looking for a very distinctive name for this idea. It should encompass aspects of gamification, evoke hope of market conquest and communicate the core of its technology: scanning and capturing of QR codes. A friend to joke shouted Gengi-Scan! The next day I designed the logo, and in a few days I founded the company and registered the brand.

Future developments?

We are finally at a turning point for GengiScan: together with a strategic marketing & sales partner we are working on tailor-made campaigns on some large commercial companies present in Italy. Our goal is to make the world around us a gaming environment and our smartphone the means to capture, collect and get prizes of all the active campaigns. This is why we work to fill with initiatives all the hot spots, locations, events that our community will be interested in and encouraged to attend. With GengiScan we will soon be able to search, collect and participate in Sweepstakes and Tickets! I feel like we’re really onto something here.

Curiosity: do you also use GengiScan?

Of course, I always use it thanks to the fact that several businesses around me have chosen to support me and adopt GengiScan for their promotions. It’s really rewarding to see that an idea that was born with them is now being used, improved and appreciated for how we made it. “It could work!” (cit.).


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