Swipely, the startup led by TellMe Founder Angus Davis, is doubling down on its credit card-based loyalty strategy.
The company first launched as a way to share your credit card purchases with your friends, but when that idea (as deployed by Swipely and others) failed to take off, Swipely shifted its focus to helping merchants with their loyalty programs. Today, it’s launching the Main Street Marketing Manager, which includes the existing loyalty tools as well as more detailed analytics and a way to launch campaigns that target lapsed customers.
Now, when a business signs up, Swipely can look at the credit card data and break down their recent versus lapsed customers. For example, Swipely might point out that two-thirds of their customers haven’t come in during the last 60 days. If that adds up to 200 people, and if the average customer spends $50 during a visit, then Swipely will say that there’s a $10,000 “win back” opportunity, and it will allow the business to pitch discounts and other offers directly at those lapsed customers.
Businesses can import their customer contact information into Swipely, and the startup can also create a tab for loyalty program sign ups on a company’s Facebook page. Davis says Swipely also tries to make the process as easy as possible, offering templates for things like “we miss you” offers and “thank you” messages. Businesses can also automate the process, so they send a message to lapsed customers once a month, without having to return to the site. And of course there’s data on how much revenue these campaigns are actually bringing in.
It’s kind of funny to see Swipely pivot from a model with lots of questions (most importantly, do people actually want to share their purchase information with their friends?) and limited competition to merchant loyalty, where a new competitor seems to emerge every day. When I ask about the market, Davis admits that the field is getting crowded, but he says that’s because the opportunity is huge. He also points out that Swipely has the advantage of tying in directly to the credit card, rather than trying to build some sort of mobile technology or app.
“We think the mobile device is the credit card,” he says. “We don’t think that paying with your plastic credit card is broken.”
Interested businesses can sign up here.
Swipely is a simple way for local merchants to accept payments, understand customers and grow revenue. It works with every credit and debit card customers already have, and there are no new costs and no new equipment for merchants. Founded in 2009 by Angus Davis, the Providence, Rhode Island based company includes veterans of Tellme, Microsoft, Netscape, and Paypal.
Angus Davis is an entrepreneur. He is the Founder and CEO of Swipely. Prior, Angus co-founded Tellme, a speech recognition and mobile search start-up that grew to more than $100 million in sales and over 300 employees with $238 million in backing from Kleiner Perkins and Benchmark Capital, among other investors. In 2007, Microsoft acquired Tellme in its largest-ever acquisition of a private company. Angus left Microsoft in May 2009 to start Swipely in August. Prior...