Loyalty Startup Belly Builds On Opportunities Of Apple Partnership, Launches New Marketing Suite

Fresh off of Apple’s WWDC announcement earlier this summer that they would be partnering with loyalty rewards program Belly as one of their “mobility partners,” Belly announced today that it will be rolling out a major product update to its merchant partners.

The update focuses on Belly Complete, a “cohesive suite of loyalty, email, social media, mobile and customer acquisition tools,” and is aimed at allowing merchants access to palatable data that shows them the successes of their previous campaigns and identifies areas where there could stand to be a little improvement.

“Most people either think of us as a consumer app or just a loyalty program, but retailers really use loyalty programs to drive their communications,” Belly CEO Logan LaHive told me.

Specifically, the new marketing suite allows merchants to further keep in touch with customers. According to a company press release, with the company’s Auto-Engage tool, merchants are able to “incentivize customers to come back by setting up triggered offers that will automatically send based on their buying history.” And with Campaigns, Belly is able to offer merchants enhanced analytics capabilities through email marketing created within the suite that measures the time between a message arriving in a customer’s inbox and their next trip to the business.

Belly has experienced some significant growth over its past four years in business. The Chicago-based company currently has 6 million users that have made over 60 million transactions with Belly at the over 11,000 merchants that currently utilize the technology. Belly has also raised over $25 million in investments from partners like 7-Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz and others.

Belly has continued to quickly scale, and recently began a major partnership with Apple as the sole loyalty rewards program in its list of “mobility partners.”

Regarding the company’s new products and Apple partnership, a company press release said:

During the company’s July 21st earnings call, Apple CFO Luca Maestri mentioned that they are working with select mobility partners, which Belly is part of, to drive business transformation across iOS devices. Belly’s integration with the other included technology companies will enable businesses to put the unique capabilities of iPad to work within their organizations quicker and easier. As a signed partner, Belly will provide its expanded product to an even wider network of retail businesses.

LaHive also chatted with me about how the integration of Belly into Apple’s recently rebranded Apple Wallet meant the opportunity to reach out to more customers and make the product even more visible.

“With Apple Wallet they’ve talked about loyalty and rewards being in [it], but I think what most people confuse is that Apple doesn’t have a loyalty program and Apple isn’t providing rewards,” LaHive said. “Most physical retailers don’t have the technology and infrastructure to build their own Wallet functionality. With Belly, we are working with physical retailers to provide them with loyalty programs that work seamlessly with Wallet and can work seamlessly with Apple Pay.”

Belly has maintained a close relationship with Apple and was one of their earliest partners when Passbook was launched in 2012.

For LaHive, the close relationship with Apple is just another aspect that Belly can build on to better serve customers. “We’re excited to work with Apple to transform how retailers use their iOS devices to drive their business forward.”