Simply Declare is a travel App that has been designed to help the savvy traveller. The App allows users to add purchase items to their list so users can declare all purchases made in foreign countries back in their home country. The App also includes a very scintillating real-time currency update feature that automatically updates all different input currencies into your desired home currency. In this interview, we talk to Rae Mapey of Simply Declare to take a behind-the-scenes look and to see how the App was converted from ambition to achievement.
1. How did you conceive the idea for the App?
As an avid traveler I am out of my home country for extended periods of time; I couldn’t find an app on the market that would keep track of my own purchases to be declare back to my home border So I went from the position of “I can’t do this” to “why can’t I do this”. The most fearful question a traveler is asked is “What have you to declare?” by the border agent. Most people have a hard time keeping receipts, knowing what the exchange rate was on their purchase, and figuring out how much more they have to spend before they hit their maximum dollars allowable. My goal was to make that simplistically easier for the traveler. I also wanted the app to be never limited from one country to another country. Simply Declare is opened up to over 30+ currencies and they are multi-directional. The app also allows the traveler to move from country to country still updating their purchases to the home currency. I wanted to make an app that truly helped the traveler on their trip, and I think that I accomplished my goal with Simply Declare.
2. Do you think Apple’s offerings for developers for developing Apps is good? Are there any changes required?
Apple is the best company to deal with. They have great customer service and I have had excellent help from people inside, as I was waiting for the approval process to be completed.
3. What is your marketing strategy? What marketing techniques do you use to promote your App in this heavily competitive application space?
The process is definitely two-fold. First is getting the app into the market place so that it can get exposure from app review sites. Apps need to be critically analyzed. App sites like www.TheAppleGoogle.com is a great start. Second is getting the app into the hands of the user,and having the app reviewed on the websites and more importantly in the iTunes store. Social Media is instrumental in getting the word out about Simply Declare. The analogy is the favorite restaurant in your neighborhood that closes. When the door to the restaurant closes and you say “but it was one of my favorites”, even though you rarely ate there. If you like an app, tell people, and recommend the app to others.
4. Can you describe your “Eureka” moment while developing the App?
My Eureka moment was when the final Beta Test on the app was finished. It was sheer pride realizing nine months of work looked and moved so crisply and cleanly.
5. How did you come to decide the price that you would be charging users to purchase your App?
The technology behind the app, although the user doesn’t see it, warranted that the app be priced that the user would appreciate how easily it updated their purchase roster no matter how many currencies they have purchased goods from. The apps ability to photograph receipts for safekeeping, and emailing a list for print to make your border crossing stress free. I also didn’t want the app opened up to advertising, so for that reason I would never put it into the ad-network.
6. What gave you the kick to convert your idea into reality? What kept you awake all night long?
I spent many sleepless nights, making sure that the app was simple and easy to use. The app had to move seamlessly. It had to be a tool for the traveler, not a cumbersome application that was going to add more stress. Our world is full of stress, and my goal was make someone’s trip just that little bit less stressful.