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Best Buy drives repeat visits during holidays with Ibotta app

Best Buy is driving holiday shoppers back to its stores for repeat visits through exclusive cash-back offers in the Ibotta mobile savings application.

The electronics retailer is the first to offer exclusive cash back offers on Black Friday via Ibotta, which rewards consumers with cash for interacting with brands and making purchases. Best Buy first started working with the app last December.

“For the first time ever, Ibotta and Best Buy have teamed up on Black Friday to deliver a full-scale national mobile media campaign designed to educate shoppers about the benefits of shopping in Best Buy and reward them with cash back for making in-store purchases,” said Bryan Leach, CEO of Ibotta. “Unlike other programs, which focus purely on discounting, Ibotta delivers rich, interactive media campaigns that allow its 4.5 MM consumers to learn more about Best Buy through facts, videos and other games.

“The more consumers learn about Best Buy, the more they stand to earn in the form of cash back rewards – up to $15 during Black Friday and Cyber Week,” he said.

“Never before has Ibotta run a ‘bounce back’ offer of this kind, which rewards users for redeeming an offer and then plusses up that offer if shoppers will come back a second time during Cyber Week.”

Mobile shopping
The exclusive Black Friday promotion will offer shoppers cash back – up to $15 – for their electronics purchases on Black Friday.

On Thanksgiving or Black Friday, shoppers will receive $5 in their Ibotta account when they spend $100 or more at Best Buy, either in-store or online.

Once the first $5 has been earned, shoppers will unlock a bonus offer to earn an additional $10 on a minimum of $10 spend in store at Best Buy through the weekend of December 6.

The strategy is an example of how retailers can leverage mobile to drive traffic into their stores and encourage purchases during the crucial holiday shopping season.

Incremental sales
Ibotta reports it has 5 million users who use the app on average 25 out of every 30 days in the month. Users can save up to hundreds of dollars on a range of purchases.

Earlier this year, Ibotta reported that Best Buy was driving incremental sales by offering rebates through the application. For example, one deal that let consumers earn back $10 when they spent $100 was only in the app for 48 hours because of how well it performed.

Since then, Best Buy has been focusing on segmenting the offers it serves in Ibotta (see story).

Best Buy has long been a leading mobile retailer.

Last fall, the chain revamped its rewards program to have a bigger mobile focus, including enabling members to earn points for checking-in (see story).

Expanding reach
In January, Best Buy linked together email and mobile with an interactive Web-based game as to support the recently revamped loyalty program (see story).

Ibotta, which was first rolled out to grocery stores, has lined up a number of big name marketers.

Last fall, Burger King, Chili’s and Smashburger were the first restaurants to leverage Ibotta to let consumers earn cash rewards in an effort to drive repeat visits and loyalty (see story).

A recent survey of the app’s users revealed that most of the top savers using the app are women and also tend to be well-educated (see story).

“A recent study by Deloitte projects that there will be $689 billion in mobile-influenced in-store sales by 2016, which is larger than the total size of the e-commerce and m-commerce markets, combined,” Mr. Leach said. “Retailer leaders like Best Buy are capitalizing on this trend with at-scale mobile platforms like Ibotta, to gain critical first mover advantages and reap the rewards.

“For millennial audiences in particular, it is the mobile medium – and not television – that serves as screen number one,” he said. “Therefore, reaching consumers early in the path to purchase and influencing their purchase behavior on Black Friday has become a bigger priority than ever before.

“As mobile becomes an ever-bigger part of influencing sales, Ibotta is positioned to continue leading the industry in driving mobile influenced sales, something we’re extremely excited about this season, and into 2015 and beyond.”

Final Take
Chantal Tode is senior editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York