Ibotta has expanded its Mobile Marketplace with the addition of several brands, including eBags, Booking.com, 1-800-Flowers.com, Atom Tickets and CheapOair.com, all through cooperation with the Button mobile partnership platform, according to a Ibotta press release.
Ibotta launched its Mobile Marketplace several months ago; the app's mobile shopping category has grown to more than 20 brands and is expected to drive $500 million in sales for 2017, according to Ibotta.
The Button platform allows mobile app operators to support one another with in-app buttons for their brand partners and affiliates, helping shoppers discover related products.
The additions to Mobile Marketplace come almost a year after Ibotta recruited its initial group of mobile shopping partners, a group which included Jet.com, Groupon, Boxed and others. Working with Button, Ibotta has quickly made a transition from mobile coupons to playing a central role in the rewards-driven shopping journey.
As the name of its program suggests, Ibotta is also bringing the online marketplace concept to the mobile environment at a time when marketplaces are quickly becoming preferred product destinations. Ibotta is bringing that concept to mobile in a way that makes sense for that channel — by leveraging buttons and linking its app to the mobile apps of its brand partners.
If Ibotta's numbers are accurate, then its model seems to be working. Ibotta and Button as of March claimed to have driven $17 million in purchases made on mobile devices in the first three months of the year. Button itself has said that 22% of users who click on its buttons go on to make a purchase. Ibotta also was "the third most-used shopping app in the United States," over the last six months, according to App Annie's "Total Time Spent" metrics.
In any case, the real value of any marketplace lies in its size, variety and depth. Ibotta has taken an important step in adding more brand partners, but it can't stop there. It needs to keep adding brands, and especially popular brands that will draw more shoppers into the Ibotta Mobile Marketplace.