By adaptive - November 23rd, 2015
As mobile commerce companies are seeking better ways to monetize search and discovery, one startup is angling to improve the conversion rate of turning app visitors into paying customers literally with the touch of its “Button”.
The aptly-named New York-based company calls itself “the leading contextual commerce marketplace powering the mobile app economy”; in other words its deep linking platform allows people to complete a task or purchase by matching the search or transaction intent with apps or services.
Button co-founder and CEO Michael Jaconi shares more about the company’s operations with OMM’s Robert Gray…
OMM: For the uninitiated, how does Button work?
Jaconi: Button’s Marketplace enables brands and developers to monetize their mobile experiences through commerce, matching user intent with the apps and services that satisfy it through proprietary deep linking technology.
Button’s platform is used by the world’s leading mobile commerce companies including Uber, Airbnb, OpenTable and Ticketmaster. When users show intent for a service, Button’s platform invokes a “button” that connects them to the app that provides that service. Whether booking a flight and needing a place to stay with Airbnb, looking at a restaurant and booking an Uber, or listening to your favorite artist and seamlessly connecting into Ticketmaster.
This type of "Contextual Commerce” is ushering in a new form of monetization for mobile publishers. Rather than relying solely on ads that have seen pushback due to lack of efficacy and poor experiences, Button’s platform is providing a better way to do that. This sentiment alongside the growing popularity of mobile ad blocking is providing a lot of enthusiasm for this new opportunity.
OMM: How does Button fit into the deep linking process?
Jaconi: Deep linking, in our view, is something that the platforms will solve for developers. Today, Button’s platform supports our developer partners’ needs – and we create value through helping accelerate their adoption. From there, we help them accelerate partnerships through our marketplace – whether those partnerships are delivered via Button or secured on their own.
What Button is trying to do is create the fastest and easiest way for developers to create and support partnerships on top of this new protocol. In short, our goal is to connect the places where consumers spend time with those where they spend money.
OMM: What size are the companies you are working with, and where are they mostly located?
Jaconi: The Button Marketplace is two-sided; made up of Publishers and Commerce Partners. A majority of our initial partners are international – and Button’s platform has seen activity in 50 countries around the world.
OMM: Are you primarily working with consumer-facing companies or is there an opportunity with B2B or suppliers as well?
Jaconi: Right now, we are working with consumer-facing companies, but our technology can serve many implications for the B2B market as we expand.
OMM: What are your client companies expecting in terms of mobile activity this holiday vis a vis last year?
Jaconi: This year, we’ve seen every major platform launch a Contextual Commerce strategy via “buy buttons”. Google, Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram are all pursuing interesting paths. Checkout is a difficult process – and app switching via deep linking wasn’t mature enough for these platforms this holiday season – so you won’t see the largest retail companies jumping on board yet. The largest retailers’ preference is to maintain relationships with their customers versus being disintermediated by the platforms. In my estimation, deep linking will be the solution used by them.
OMM: How does Button generate revenue?
Jaconi: Our standard model is performance based – with Button generating revenue from transactions and user acquisition.
OMM: What’s next along the connected mobile journey—wearables? And how does Button capitalize on it?
Jaconi: Button and third-party developers are exploring a variety of ways to use the technology we have developed; it can be used in alternative ways. One of the most exciting areas for us is voice technology.
Button’s a platform connects consumers to the goods and services they want and the companies that fulfill them. We are agnostic as to whether that intent is shown via the tap of a button made of hardware or software, via a query, or prompted by a voice.