Can analytics add sense to retail marketing campaigns? Yes, says Cartera Commerce

Advertisers in the retail industry are adding clutter to the marketing world. They are exposing customers to multiple discounts, offers, rewards, points etc. Due to the enormity of the clutter, customers’ often end up missing the best ones. With its unique card linking marketing solutions, Cartera claims to provide a solution. The solution is aimed at In-store brands to help merchants create shopping offers, link them to consumer’s credit, debit and loyalty cards and execute marketing campaign strategies.

Headquartered in Lexington, MA, Cartera Commerce also has significant operations in Atlanta, GA. It was set up in the year 2005, co-founded by David Andre with Series A funding led by IDG Ventures. It recently completed $12.2 Mn in Series D funding, bringing its total raise since its inception to $43 Mn.

Card-linked loyalty programs help merchants tap into the marketing muscle of major loyalty programs, opening up their coveted opt-in customer databases to promote shopping offers through email, web sites, mobile apps, social media and other channels. – Tom Beecher, CEO of Cartera Commerce.

Cartera claims that it can identify consumers who are active shoppers in the merchants category with their competitors. They can market the merchant’s offers directly to those consumers. Detailed analytics anonymously track shifts in shopping behavior. Cartera can work with the merchant to create offers, rules and constructs to increase in-store purchase frequency. The merchant can also design offers specifically tailored for existing customers, and analytics can be viewed to see how these offers drive spend and frequency. Cartera claims that the merchant will receive a custom analysis, detailing where the millions of cardholders in their network are spending.

Having a strong foothold in the national and the online space, Cartera now looks toward working with the local merchants as it believes that there is a very big market potential there. They claim to provide a simple platform wherein local merchants can sign up. Cartera in lieu of their expansion plans by adding local merchants in their network they have launched an offering called OfferLink Local.

You’ve got to respect what Groupon has done – they’ve certainly built a big business quickly, but from a local retailer’s perspective, a daily deal has a number of cons that go along with the pros… says Tom Beecher. He further adds You’re typically giving up 75% of your revenue – half to the consumer and half to the deal provider. And second, you know you’re going to get a big rush of customers into the door, and you hope that some of those customers are new. And of those that are new, you hope that some will come back again. But the operative word in both of those sentences is ‘hope’.

Cartera faces competition from others firms developing CLO(Card-linked offer) technology like Womply, Cardlytics, Birdback, Clovr Media and Offermatic and CardSpring. Cardlytics’ patented technology claims to allow advertisers to make a direct connection to customers, through online and mobile banking. The company has partnerships with nearly 400 financial institutions including PNC Bank, Bank of America and Regions Bank. Cardlytics claims to have captured customer spending data across all stores and categories with access to current and historical purchase behavior for around 70% of U.S households.

LTP View: With a reach of 65 Mn active U.S. cardholders and a total customer base of 150 Mn consumers, Cartera has shown significant growth since its launch in 2005. The company has looked to beef up its presence since 2012, in the local markets which may prove to be difficult with players like Groupon providing stiff competition. However, by making use of their existing reach and analytics based offerings, they may be able to tap into the local markets.