Mobile payments, gifting and loyalty are three subsets of the mCommerce industry that are expanding rapidly right now, but from a mobile app point of view, they represent a fragmented industry. The newly re-launched Clutch app looks to solve that problem, combining all the best mCommerce features in one platform and pushing relevant offers and data to consumers and merchants alike. How much adoption have they seen in a relatively short period of time?
Let’s say you plan on going to a local retailer and want to use your smartphone to search for items, browse offers and ultimately pay using a gift card.
First, you might pull up that specific merchant’s app to scan through items and make sure it’s in stock. Then you might summon up a daily deals aggregator to see what’s on sale. Finally, when you get in the store, you could call up a gift card app in order to make the actual purchase.
Or, you could just use Clutch: a newly re-launched mobile app looking to bring mobile shopping, loyalty and gifting all under one basic platform.
PYMNTS.com spoke with Andy O’Dell, co-founder and COO at Clutch, to discuss why he feels his company is unique, the exploding gift card industry and why targeted offers should appeal to consumers and merchants alike.
“Today, if a consumer wants to try and complete a meaningful mobile transaction, they might have to fumble through several different apps,” O’Dell explains. “I might have a daily deals app, and a coupon app, and a wallet app, and a loyalty app, and a store or merchant app, and I have to navigate through all of these. It’s a very fractured marketplace, and so what we’ve done is create a platform that aggregates that experience into one system.”
According to O’Dell, Clutch is a mobile commerce company that’s been around for four or five years but just launched the retooled version of its Clutch app for iOS in early December. Since then, he says the free app has received tens of thousands of downloads from consumers while the Clutch team continues to build on its merchant relationships through White Label services and the promise of a heavy dose of user data provided to partnered retailers.
While they’re may not be one particular aspect of Clutch that’s particularly unique, that they’re housing so much functionality under one roof is plenty innovative enough. Clutch is also well poised to take advantage of some rapidly growing industry trends, including the booming gift card industry.
“The gift card industry is measured in hundreds of billions of dollars per year, it’s a massive industry and over the past five or six years has continued to grow as the preferred gifting tool,” O’Dell said.
The Clutch co-founder also noted that while gift card’s used to have a stigma attached to them that they were impersonal gifts, they’re generally now preferred by people, as they take “the negativity and anxiety” out of gifting. Clutch takes this a step further, though, allowing consumers to attach video messages and text to gift cards they intend to send to others, bringing back “some of the personalization into what is perceived as an impersonal gift.”
O’Dell also said that his app “extends the purchasing power of gift cards,” by pushing relevant offers and deals to consumers who upload cards onto the app. When you combine a growing industry like gift cards with a growing trend like mobile, O’Dell notes, the receipt for success is apparent.
“We’re just trying to stay ahead of trends and try to skate towards where the puck is going to be, rather than just try to navigate what’s currently available,” O’Dell said.
To hear more O’Dell on Clutch’s relationship with merchants, its White Label plans and its views on the mobile payments industry, listen to the full podcast here.
*If you have trouble with the audio player above, click here.
Co-Founder and Chief Commercial Officer, Clutch
As chief commercial officer, Andy is responsible for the commercial strategy and development of an organization. He is responsible for marketing, sales, product development and customer service to drive business growth and market share. He brings with him a proven track record of identifying, cultivating and maintaining new business partnerships, opportunities and emerging markets in both small and large enterprises.
Prior to co-founding Clutch, Andy spent five years as co-founder and CEO of SKEPSU LLC, the company that developed the business strategy and technology that was merged into Clutch in 2012. Previously, he was chief operations officer and vice president of sales for a regional real estate development firm. He was also responsible for $10M of high profile Fortune 500 clients while serving as director of sales at a marketing services firm. He has spent nearly a decade in the technology and telecommunications sectors as a progressive senior business development professional, focused on hardware and network architecture.
Andy earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with a focus on Entrepreneurship from Lynn University.