Ibotta announced new partnerships and technological capabilities on Wednesday, powered by a partnership with deep-linking software-producer Button, that its co-founder and CEO, Bryan Leach, hopes will make it the “front door” for in-app mobile commerce.
Up until now, Ibotta, based in Denver and launched in 2012, has offered its users cash back on offline purchases conducted at its partners’ locations. Consumers could see which companies partner with Ibotta, go to their brick-and-mortar stores, make purchases, and get cash back by sending Ibotta their receipts.
Now, Ibotta supports in-app purchases at a range of newly announced partner companies including Jet, Groupon, Hotels.com, delivery.com, Drizly, Spring, DoorDash, and Boxed.
Button is supplying the technological infrastructure for this next step in Ibotta’s business. Previously, Ibotta lacked the tech to allow consumers to navigate from its own app to those of its partners in a seamless way that would not deter purchases.
“Discovery … is one of the biggest challenges out there” for any consumer-facing app hoping to sell goods on mobile, said Button Founder and CEO Mike Jaconi. What Button and Ibotta both believe in, he said, is providing mobile shoppers a way to locate the best deals in mobile commerce from one universal starting point.
At its core, Jaconi said, Button asks itself the following question: “Whatever intent originates, how can we find the simplest way for a consumer to fulfill that intent?” He argues that, when it comes to the intent to shop on mobile, the simplest path is through app-to-app discovery and purchasing.
Jaconi and Leach say the numbers back up their vision. “Mobile commerce is the fastest growing kind of commerce in the U.S. It’s grown 70 percent year over year compared to ecommerce on the web growing about 15 percent,” Leach said, adding that native mobile commerce just surpassed mobile web commerce in the first quarter of this year.
Jaconi also pointed to the power of Button and Ibotta’s partnership to keep consumers going back to specific consumer-facing apps. Because Button is powering a consumer’s mobile shopping experience that starts with Ibotta, it can immediately establish attribution to Ibotta when a purchase in another app is made. This keeps customers, who are getting nearly instant rewards, happy. And a Button case study showed publishers could boost revenue by more than 450 percent by using Button-enabled app-to-app channels.
Ibotta recently conducted an online survey via SurveyMonkey to assess how interested consumers might be in making in-app purchases were rewards waiting for them on the other end.
The survey, which yielded 1,040 responses, found that 62 percent of respondents would be more willing to make in-app purchases if rewards were offered, and 75 percent would be more willing to try a new app if they earned cash back on a first purchase.
Publishers working with Ibotta are hoping that Ibotta users find their apps, download them, and are encouraged by Ibotta’s loyalty offerings to go back to those same apps. Leach and Jaconi say Ibotta’s latest changes can aid in consumer discovery and retention.
“I think the focus of virtually every CMO is how do we have a more performance-based strategy where our interests align with our partners’?” Leach said.
Joseph Zappa is Street Fight’s news editor.