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Catalina, Modiv deal reflects mobile’s growing role in grocery shopping

May 7, 2012

A grocery shopper scans an item for purchase

In a sign of the growing importance of mobile for reaching grocery store shoppers, Catalina Marketing Corp., which delivers coupons to shoppers at checkout, has acquired mobile commerce solutions provider Modiv Media.

Modiv has been working with grocery chains such as Stop & Shop on in-store mobile solutions that enable shoppers to scan items and check themselves out. The deal extends Catalina’s reach into mobile and exposes its many large retail clients to new ways to use mobile in store.

“This is way beyond mobile coupons,” said John Caron, vice president of marketing at Catalina Marketing, St. Petersburg, FL. “This is about personalizing the experience for the shopper in a way that saves her time and money.

“Time through a faster, more intuitive shopping experience,” he said. “Money by presenting the most relevant offer to her while she’s in the store and in the aisle.

“For the retailer, this solution has been proven to increase shopper loyalty and sales because of those same consumer benefits.  Catalina Mobile is unmatched in this capability.”

Mobile at scale
Catalina’s goal in acquiring Modiv is to enable brands and retailers to engage shoppers, influence their behavior and boost loyalty via mobile.

Catalina currently works with many top consumer products goods manufacturers and large-scale retailers to offer in-store and online marketing platforms.

There are a growing number of mobile solutions designed to enhance the in-store shopping experience. What a combined Catalina Marketing/Modiv Media solution potentially brings to the market is scale and deep integration.

“No other solution works at the scale of the large retailer like Catalina Mobile,” Mr. Caron said.

“Second, we have the only solution that’s integrated to the retailer’s environment from loyalty programs to CRM and POS systems,” he said.

“It is the only solution that can engage the shopper in context regardless of channel – mobile, digital, Web, print, etc. By engaging the shopper in context of her interests, purchases and behavior, it drives a much more personalized experience for the shopper who, in return, will spend more with that retailer.”

Purchase path
Modiv has spent the last several years building in-store mobile solutions that are integrated with POS systems and leverage retailers’ loyalty and CRM programs. Retail-branded solutions from Modiv are in over 350 locations and influence over one million shopping trips per month, per the company

For example, last fall, Stop & Shop expanded the pilot of the Scan It! Mobile app developed with Modiv Media that enables shoppers to use their mobile phones to scan, tally and bag their groceries.

Modiv also recently introduced Modiv Social which aggregates coupons from different sources such as Web, retailer and mobile and enables users to share them via Facebook. The solution enables retailers and brands to track, monitor, manage and analyze the lifecycle of a socially shared coupon and identify “shopping influencers.”

The entire Modiv team will remain in the Boston area and will be the foundation of Catalina’s mobile efforts.

“Catalina has always looked at the shopper and how she wants to engage with brands and retailers,” Mr. Caron said. “Mobile is a massively powerful part of that engagement.

“The people and technology we acquired with Modiv are the foundation of our strategy to provide a seamless and integrated experience along the entire path to purchase with mobile being a key driver,” he said.

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

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