Discount Shopping App Ibotta Opens Its In-Store Sales Visibility To CPGs

ibotta attribution imgThe mobile app Ibotta, which offers users cash back on purchases from retail and brand partners, is turning its receipt verification system into an in-store attribution tool.

Ibotta users can link a loyalty card account or upload a picture of a store receipt to get cash back on products for which it offers discounts. But the company logs every item in the transaction, so it sits on considerable purchase data across its 20 million users.

“There are a lot of CPG attribution providers that use location data to triangulate in-store traffic or that use heavily modeled probabilistic data, but we sit in a unique place where we capture this data on a daily basis,” said Bijal Shah, Ibotta’s VP of data products and analytics.

The service is limited because it tracks only Ibotta users, “but it’s real-time reporting and certainly a better metric we think than a click-through rate,” Shah said.

The service has been pilot tested by 15 CPG brands including Del Monte, and integrated with cross-device ad platform Drawbridge. It’s also in testing with other ad tech partners and some publishers.

“As we build our media plan we consider a vendor’s capability to meet our objectives and all of our KPIs, which now often include sales measurement,” said Jennifer Reiner, Del Monte’s director of marketing activation.

Ibotta’s data stream can also provide insights beyond attribution, Reiner said. By matching ad exposures to Del Monte products captured from customers’ receipts, the company could also split out which audience segments performed best or which stores or times of day generated more sales.

“If a consumer sees an ad of ours and then some days later goes to a store and buys cereal, milk, etc., we can tie that impression to the in-store purchase,” added Justin Civello, Drawbridge’s director of product marketing.

Civello said the partnership isn’t a comprehensive attribution solution, but that it’s a good fit for the increasing number of brands that want to see sales results incorporated into reporting.

Drawbridge also works with data providers such as Foursquare and Cardlytics to tie ad exposures to store visits or transactions, which it can offer as a premium add-on for any CPG or retail campaign.

“We made a strategic point of moving forward on attribution with any partner we can build into our UI and that can tie a cross-device interaction to in-store sales or activity,” Civello said.

And since results are near real-time, they influence on-the-fly campaigns more than other attribution solutions, he added: “Attribution is thought of as confirmation or looking back at a campaign, but in this case if you see results happening in a day it shifts your media.”

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