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Branding Brand acquires Waysay, bringing chat feeds to retailers’ apps

With interest in conversational commerce growing, mcommerce solutions provider Branding Brand has acquired Waysay, which helps retailers engage application users throughout the shopping journey.

The deal, Branding Brand’s first acquisition, brings new capabilities to the company, including in-app messaging, customer engagement tools and marketing automation technology. In reflection of the growing importance of mobile engagement strategies to marketers, Syniverse recently invested $45 million in messaging and mobile wallet marketing company Vibes.

“The deal is significant for us because it is allowing for our technology to go places where nobody is in the market right now,” said Chris Mason, CEO of Branding Brand. “We are now able to create a really transcendent effort for conversational commerce that is not present in the market but customers are looking for it.”

Teaming up
Waysay, which was founded by was founded ExactTarget and Salesforce veterans a year ago, will join Branding Brand’s product team. Branding Brand powers mobile shopping experiences for more than 200 enterprise brands.

The two companies had already been working closely together on several projects.

As part of the deal, Branding Brand will open a third office in Indianapolis. The company also plans to open a fourth office in London later this year.

Waysay helps marketers create a social network-like experience

In the SyniverseVibes deal, the former has taken a minority stake in the latter. Syniverse is adding the mobile-first CRM platform to its end-to-end enterprise solutions while Vibes gets support for expanding its software into new global markets.

Personalized experiences
Mobile consumers are looking for more personalized brand experiences and Branding Brand hopes to help retailers address this need with the Waysay deal.

Consumers who download a retailer’s app are typically among the brand’s most loyal customers. However, using the app to assist with shopping can be a fractured experience if users need to ask someone a question or want to browse online at home before coming into a store.

Currently, brands mostly use apps to blast out messages to numerous users. However, connecting with users on a one-to-one basis is more challenging.

Branding Brand expects retailers to begin rolling out app updates with the new features in the next couple of months.

“On an app, with conversational commerce, you can have a non-fractured experience,” Mr. Mason said. “You can ask a question, continue shopping and be alerted when it’s been answered. Or, you buy something from in a conversational thread.

“The technology can enable retailers to have the same functionality that is only now available on Facebook,” he said. “Now retailers can really extend the experience in a way that is cutting edge.

“From a store level, stores have not really had a way to interact with online customers. Now, store associates can have a conversation that starts with you while you are browsing at home and follow you all the way to the store.”