Catalina Acquires Cellfire To Tie Mobile Offers To In-Store Sales

CatalinaCatalina, a purveyor of consumer purchase insights for CPGs, has acquired digital coupon company and “instant savings” application Cellfire for an undisclosed sum.

Cellfire bridges the gap between digital coupons and store loyalty systems, first launching its service with grocer Kroger in 2008; additional roll-outs with Safeway, CouponLink, ShopRite, Giant Eagle and Stop ‘n Save followed.

Catalina’s motive for the deal was to invest in and expand its mobile and digital audience for CPG marketers, according to Todd Morris, president of Catalina. Cellfire will retain its brand name while operating under the Catalina umbrella.

“Consumers want to engage across channels,” Morris explained. “The acquisition enables our retail brands and partners to engage shoppers anywhere and anytime with the largest pool of CPG offers available.”

The basis of Cellfire’s technology is as such – the Cellfire Digital Offer Network partnered with brands and grocers like P&G and Safeway to develop an end-to-end platform to promote in-store offers which consumers could automatically load to their loyalty savings cards via web or mobile. More than 22,000 stores participate in the network, which to date has delivered more than $500 million worth of discounts to shoppers, Cellfire claimed.

Conversely, on the brand side, Catalina separately developed a number of mobile commerce apps for major grocers and brands, such as SCAN IT! Mobile, a mobile check-out app that’s live in 400 Stop & Shop and Giant-Landover stores. Catalina, for instance, prototyped the SCAN-IT app with IPG Mediabrand’s IPG Media Lab to determine what triggers and threshold of content and offers influence people to use in-store apps.

In addition to the in-aisle shopper “R&D” mobile developments afford, as a result of the Cellfire buy, Catalina can now “extend the same level of accountability to the mobile space [by] tying offers directly back to in-store sales,” according to Morris.

Catalina and Cellfire is another notch in the belt of the brick-and-mortar and digital/mobile hook up. Tesco-owned Dunnhumby notably acquired digital retargeter Sociomantic while WalmartLabs recently picked up product discovery platform Luvocracy and Stylr mobile for “local” store discovery. Datalogix, too, snapped up loyalty and shopper marketing data company Spire to parse offline and online shopper data.


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