A little-known startup has come up with a new app that is making a splash in e-commerce. Recode reports that the startup, Ibotta, has found a way to pay users for shopping on other apps.
“The startup, which is based in Denver, lets shoppers get cash back via the Ibotta app when they buy certain products at participating grocers and retailers,” Recode reports. “It may be unsexy — no ‘on-demand’ or subscription here — but it is currently in the Top 20 free shopping apps in both the Apple and Google app stores.”
Ibotta has had its sights set on e-commerce rebates for a few years. “Two years ago, it tried sending its app users to the mobile websites of retailers to complete purchases, but it killed the experiment because the experience had some kinks,” Recode reports. “Now, it just added a selection of popular shopping apps to its cash rebate program — ones like Groupon, Jet and the Costco-like grocery app Boxed. The app gives rewards — say, 5 or 15 percent cash back — just for shopping on these apps, with the apps giving Ibotta a referral fee for bringing sales to them.”
The company said it drove $1 million in sales to its app partners in the program’s first week, according to Recode.
The report adds: “To make the program function on the tech side, Ibotta is working with deep-linking startup Button, which lets shoppers click from one app to a specific point or product page within another app. After a purchase, the Ibotta user quickly is notified of their cash reward. If an Ibotta user doesn’t have one of the partnering apps on their phone, Button works behind the scenes to help them install it.”