Clutch, a mobile platform, brings loyalty, shopping and gifting together

There is a paradigm shift towards digital technologies in general and electronic/mobile commerce/payments in particular. Mobile Commerce is estimated to reach $278.9 Bn by 2018 up from $13.8 Bn in 2013, according to PRWeb. Clutch, is a mobile shopping, mobile wallet and loyalty player that aims to simplify mCommerce by providing solutions that embrace emerging technologies and also understand customer behavior.

Clutch was launched in 2012 by Ned Moore (CEO), Dan Guy and Andy O’Dell . The company has received a total funding of $5.3 Mn from investors Safeguard Scientifics and Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania.

Clutch has adopted an ‘Open Federation Model’. There is an increasing competition in the market with NFC (Near Field Communication) enabled devices, SMS based payments, embedded credit cards, web browser enabled payments and other innovations by start ups and large companies. Clutch is implementing multi-tiered integrated approach, thus providing consumers the most number of options under one umbrella.

It is a consumer facing application that is available for both Android and iOS devices. The prime offering to the customer is the non requirement of multiple apps for buying and using their loyalty card programs. It helps customers to manage gift and loyalty cards, browse through daily deals, offer searches, purchases, shopping comparisons, social gifting and mobile payments. The whole nine yards!

Clutch is implementing the concept of ‘customerised marketing’ where they will try to do customized individual marketing to the extent possible. Its recommendation engine provides user with the options to purchase stuff that is tailor made for them which is gauged through time, location and personal data including gift lists, loyalty programs and offers previously availed. It also provides timely shopping offers. Clutch has also integrated with Apple’s Passbook that enables users to buy within the apps.

The company aims to capitalize upon the $484 Bn market of pre-paid retail gift cards. The advantage of implementing the mobile mode of payment is that its not restricted and is open to retail, fast food, mass transit, digital downloads, online purchase, vending machines, etc.

Clutch’s platform competes with other mobile shopping companions and wallet apps like Lemon and Square. Lemon Wallet is a mobile app that allows customers to store a digital copy of all their cards (ID, Insurance, Loyalty and payment cards) in the wallet to access whenever needed. It claims to provide quick checkout and high security. An upgrade to Lemon Wallet plus also enables the users with account monitoring, balance updates, lost wallet service, enhanced security and card expiration alerts.

LTP View: Clutch claims that it is the only one to provide a mobile platform that unites mobile shopping, loyalty and gifting. They definitely seem to have the first-mover advantage. Their app integrates with many platforms and uses analytics to personalize the whole shopping experience for its users, e.g., app integrates with facebook and helps customers remember birthdays and anniversaries.