Rhode Island-based Swipely, which provides local merchants with tools and data to help them accept payments and better understand their customers, has launched a new marketing tool that allows merchants to track online marketing, in-store revenue, and customer reviews that are tied to specific campaigns. The company also has a new “reputation management tool,” which allows merchants to see customer reviews from various sites and better engage with their customers online. The new tools are aimed at helping merchants to close the gap between online marketing and offline consumers — and better track how the two can connect.
In addition to the update, Swipely also announced that the company’s network of small businesses grew 100% in the first three months of 2013. The company now works with merchants in over 100 cities and towns across the country.
CEO Angus Davis told Street Fight in an email that the features, which will be available to SMBs in May, aren’t really a change in strategy from the company’s original card-connected loyalty program: “It’s not really a shift, as much as filling gaps in realizing our ambitious vision,” Davis said. “Expect to see Swipely add more data and bring more value over time to our merchants. Our vision is an integrated online operating system for local commerce — payments, analytics and marketing tools are only the beginning.”
The introduction of the new analytics tools are driven in large part by a desire to give merchants a real sense of their marketing ROI, Davis said: “Local restaurants, salons and stores don’t care about likes, tweets or fans if they don’t translate into real world sales and loyal customers.”
One big pain point when introducing new digital marketing tools for SMBs comes when tech companies require merchants to change their daily behaviors in order to interact with a new system. According to Davis, all of Swipely’s tools have been designed with this in mind, and have integrations with over 50 common POS systems that merchants already use.
“One of the key ideas behind Swipely is not changing merchant or consumer behavior,” Davis said. “Competing solutions require new hardware and software, new staff operations, and new ways for consumers to pay. With Swipely, merchants accept payments with systems they already have and consumers pay with cards they already use.”
Isa Jones is an editorial assistant at Street Fight.