Offers linked to credit and debit cards allow retailers to connect sales and deals directly with shoppers’ accounts, allowing seamless buying processes and encouraging loyalty. By 2015, retail companies leveraging card-linked offers will be able to access at least 467 million different consumer accounts, according to research from Aite Group. In response to the growth of these discount offers in the retail space, card-linked offer provider CLOVR has announced its name change to Linkable Networks, Inc., and new investment from Citi Ventures.
Linkable Networks provides a closed-loop service which allows retailers to link store- and item-level offers directly with marketing efforts. These include banner and text ads, mobile initiatives, print media, radio and TV. In turn, shoppers can synch their credit and/or debit cards with the ads to automatically receive the advertised savings at point of sale.
To participate, consumers enter their credit/debit card information into the Linkable Networks database. Once a card is opted in, shoppers click, text in a code or scan a linkable advertisement. Offers are immediately stored on the designated account, allowing shoppers to receive savings and rebates quickly and easily.
Card-linked offers allow retailers to integrate their media spend with deal initiatives seamlessly and in a cost-efficient way, according to Tom Burgess, CEO of Linkable Networks. The technology also encourages easy deal redemption for shoppers. “Card-linked offers allow retailers to turn all of their ad buying into loyalty-based initiatives,” Burgess said. “It’s an enhancement that increases exposure and encourages engagement. By linking branding and marketing efforts, retailers can extend their outreach in a cost-efficient manner.”
Linkable Networks’ name change from CLOVR Media was a strategic move to make the company’s initiative more clear and concise, Burgess explained. “We noticed some of our customers use the term ‘linkables’ as a concept,” he said. “We decided this new name would be more descriptive of what we do and what we can provide to merchants.”
Funding received from Citi Ventures will allow Linkable Networks to boost market penetration and help increase awareness of card-linked offers, noted Burgess. The investment also is expected to accelerate the solution’s growth and improve its infrastructure. “Since Linkable Networks is in the very early stages of development, and other firms are providing card-linked offers, our company’s funding from Citi Ventures is an incredible validation for the marketplace,” he said. “It also is significant that a company of Citi Ventures’ stature is investing and partnering with us in this project.”
Linkable Networks currently is piloting its solution with a portion of an unnamed bank’s cardholders. If the trial period is successful, the vendor will continue with a bank-wide rollout, according to Burgess. “It’s a very short pilot that’s going extremely well,” he said. “Over the last three weeks, we’ve been running live programs across the U.S., outside of the beta, and results have far exceeded our expectations. It’s a very exciting time for card-linked offers and Linkable Networks.”