Velti, Infinian Team For Mobile Coupons

Mobilephone-Shopper-B2Mobile marketing firm Velti is expanding its presence in loyalty marketing through a new partnership with mobile coupon company Infinian Inc. The 2-year-old startup makes software powering mobile coupons and offers to be redeemed at point-of-sale at restaurants and retail stores.

Under their agreement, Velti will create and distribute mobile offers on behalf of brands, while Infinian’s cloud-based system allows quick-serve restaurants, grocery stores and retailers to process and track coupon redemptions at checkout. Velti will use both its own audience data and purchase data collected through the Infinian alliance to target and optimize offers.

“Say you’re McDonald’s or Coke, and looking for new consumers. We can help you find those new consumers, as well as leverage our technology to market to your existing customers,” said Velti CMO Krishna Subramanian. He noted that Velti and Infinian teamed up more formally based on their ties to mutual clients, including McDonald’s, Outback Steakhouse and Burger King.

Infinian’s software is designed to work with a wide range of point-of-sale systems and payment terminals, including those made my Micros, Radiant, Microsoft, Verifone and Gemalto. To redeem coupons, a user or sales associate enters a mobile phone number or coupon code into a given payment system. In other cases, a mobile or printed coupon might be redeemed via a barcode scanner.

With quick serve and casual-dining chains, Subramanian said the focus is on generating repeat business by capitalizing on the immediacy of mobile. “These quick-serve restaurants realize people always have their phone on them, they’re on the go, and these are opportune moments to reach out and incentivize consumers to come in,” he said.

An eMarketer report this week cited data from local search ad company YP in September showing nearly a quarter (24%) of mobile searches on its network were for restaurants, the largest share of any category. It noted mobile is high on the list of technologies both quick serve and casual restaurants plan to adopt.

Among other factors, Velti will tailor opt-in offers based on whether someone is an avid customer or less frequent visitors. Infinian CEO Jonathon Knight said the data it collects through its system “allows Velti to help brands better understand purchase behavior and therefore deliver more relevant offers and promotions to consumers on a true 1-to-1 basis.”

Subramanian said the business model for each campaign will vary depending on whether it’s part of an ongoing loyalty program or a one-off, but that joint efforts by Velti and Infinian would typically involve some type of revenue-sharing.

The two companies join a host of bigger players trying to capitalize on growing demand for getting offers and making purchases via mobile. The push to power in-store mobile payments has attracted companies ranging from Google to PayPal to high-profile startups like Square, which has partnered with Starbucks, among other national retailers.

eMarketer expects the number of Americans redeeming mobile coupons will reach almost 29 million this year, while Forrester has projected the U.S. m-commerce market overall will rise to $31 billion by 2016, up from $6 billion in 2011.

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