Former Google commerce executive Nitin Mangtani has launched PredictSpring, a platform that aims to smooth the current tension in web vs. app shopping on smartphones. The venture has attracted $2 million in funding.
Founder-CEO Mangtani is aiming squarely for shoppers who spend a lot of time on their phones, but end up jumping from retailers' apps to their websites, sometimes from computers. He notes that 60% of “shopping” happens on phones, but only 15% of dollars are spent there, according to comScore.
The company allows retailers — the likes of Cole Haan, Eddie Bauer, Bluefly, and others are already using the platform — to smooth purchases from apps without writing code, shorten load times and path to purchase, and enable buy buttons from social media, among other features.
Loads of research has found that shoppers are consistenly somehow diverted from retailers’ apps, and are more likely to buy from websites, whether on the phone or from their computers.
There’s a lot of friction, in other words, and those diversions are no doubt resulting in lost sales. PredictSpring attempts to smooth that out.
Cole Haan in particular uses PredictSpring's "Commerce Gateway" to leverage Apple Pay's “Shop the Look” feature, where its consumers can shop directly from the Instagram feed in Cole Haan’s mobile app. Cole Haan is testing PredictSpring’s Commerce Gateway to power “Buy buttons’’ on social media and publication apps.
One question that remains to be answered, though, is how much room there is on consumers’ phones for all those apps. It turns out there’s a limit to the number of apps a consumer will use. On average, according to Forrester Research, smartphone users spend 85% of the time on their phones using native apps, but the majority of that time is dedicated to just five apps—and breaking into that top five is a challenge for any app dedicated to a single brand.
But Mangtani says the technology simply hasn’t caught up to consumers.
“The technology hadn’t yet existed to make it a seamless buying experience,” he said in a statement. “For the past 15 years, brands and retailers have focused on ad formats to promote products, but these strategies were designed for desktop and have largely failed on mobile. We have arrived at a time when every form of mobile content will be ‘shoppable’ – whether via a retailer’s own app, social media platforms, or publisher apps. PredictSpring is in the business of providing that gateway to commerce.”