Ibotta + Button: The Beginning of App-to-App Commerce in the Affiliate Model

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The first large-scale app-to-app affiliate relationship has arrived this week, thanks to Ibotta’s partnership with Button.

Ibotta is leveraging technology from Button for app-to-app affiliate marketing with several top brands, including Jet, Caviar, Boxed, Groupon, Hotels.com, Handy, delivery.com, Spring, TicketMaster, DoorDash, and Drizly.

Button is a New York-based company that powers deep-linking – the connections between the apps you use. Their app-to-app technology provides the navigation and tracking from Ibotta to their partner’s apps.

The App-to-App Connection: How it Works

The Ibotta mobile app lets users earn cash-back rewards when they buy certain products at participating grocers and retailers. By integrating their app with Button’s deep linking technology, the user is taken directly to the brand’s native app that they selected within Ibotta’s app. There, they can shop for goods and services through the app as opposed to a mobile website. Once a purchase is complete, Button verifies the reward and then attributes Ibotta if the connection resulted in a sale.

For example, if a shopper purchases anything on the Jet app after connecting to it via Ibotta, they will receive 5% cash-back through Ibotta and Jet will pay Ibotta a commission fee for delivering the shopper to their app. Retailers only pay Ibotta a commission when a transaction through the app results in a sale. Commission fees vary by retailer.

With more than 18 million downloads, Ibotta’s shopping app is a very effective way for brands to get their products in front of more mobile shoppers.

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Button’s technology offers a unique solution in both the mobile marketing and the affiliate marketing worlds, which are growing ever connected. It provides affiliates like Ibotta with a very specific type of mobile affiliate strategy; by adding a “button” to their mobile apps and Web inventory driven by users data and actions, it enables the app user to easily connect to a relevant offer. Plus, everything is trackable and attributable.

Potential of the App-to-App Economy

Button estimates that using its app-to-app channels could allow publishers to boost revenue by more than 450 percent.

Ibotta recently conducted an online survey via SurveyMonkey to assess how interested consumers might be in making in-app purchases to receive rewards.

The survey garnered 1,040 responses, and found that:

  • 62 percent of respondents would be more willing to make in-app purchases if rewards were offered, and
  • 75 percent would be more willing to try a new app if they earned cash back on a first purchase.

These responses definitely seem to be holding true in real life. Button is seeing an install rate of Ibotta’s app north of 59 percent, according to Button CEO, Mike Jaconi. The industry average is 15 to 20 percent. What’s more is that, after the install, a significant number of these new users end up purchasing and becoming repeat purchasers.

The Ibotta/Button partnership is the very first implementation of Button’s app-to-app reward technology and the first large-scale use of app-to-app rewards in the US. Previously, Button offered deep-linking, such as booking an Uber ride from inside the OpenTable restaurant reservation app, just without the rewards attribution component.

In the past few years, the focus of virtually every CMO is figuring out how to have a more performance-based strategy where their brand’s interest aligns with their partners.

With Ibotta and Button working together, they may just have the answer.

App-to-app commerce is here. Are you ready?

To learn more about performance-based marketing strategies and working with top affiliates and partners like Ibotta and Button, contact our Affiliate Marketing team.

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