mobile platforms, omnichannel

Synchrony Financial, a consumer financial services company, said today that it acquired GPShopper, a retail mobile app developer. The firm will continue providing mobile solutions for retail partners to enhance customer engagement, analytics and brand loyalty.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The two companies have been collaborating on various initiatives since 2015.

The deal comes as the retail industry shifts investments toward mobile commerce (m-commerce). U.S. retail m-commerce sales reached $123.1 billion in 2016, a 39.1 percent year-over-year gain, according to analysts at eMarketer. Consumers now spend five hours a day on a mobile device, with 92 percent of that time in-app, noted a separate report by TechCrunch.

The joint mobile commerce and payments capabilities born from the acquisition will allow the companies’ retail partners to create customized mobile solutions for their businesses, which include large-national chains and brands from GPShopper’s client-base such as Foot Locker, Steve Madden and True Religion, among others.

GPShopper will merge with Synchrony Financial’s Retail Card sales platform, which creates technology-driven programs for its retail partners.

Growth of mobile technology is forcing retailers to change and transform.

Growth of mobile technology is forcing retailers to change and transform.  Shutterstock /

Tom Quindlen, the executive vice president and chief executive officer of Retail Card at Synchrony Financial, said, “The GPShopper team have built an incredibly dynamic business. As both companies achieved considerable success through our partnership over the past two years, the benefits of bringing them into the Synchrony Financial family became increasingly apparent.”

Synchrony Financial announced its initial partnership with GPShopper in 2015, when the firms first collaborated on creating mobile platforms. Most notably, the companies launched the Synchrony plug-in called SyPi, a mobile app for retailers that enables retailers’ credit cardholders to securely make payments, redeem rewards and shop from mobile devices. “We look forward to the further development of SyPi and other mobile offerings, and we could not be more thrilled to have the GPShopper team join our organization,” Quindlen added.

According to Maya Mikhailov, the cofounder and chief marketing officer of GPShopper, mobile devices have replaced television, as mobile is now the “first screen” of the day. Mikhailov thinks of mobile as the “remote control” of the entire retail experience. “Retailers want to be retailers, not product development shops. We focus on connecting to the end customer and really translating the brand promise into a brand application,” Mikhailov told WWD.

The future of m-commerce lies in personalization and one-to-one offers through in-app loyalty tools. “It’s these types of hooks that are starting to make it [in-app purchasing] more personalized,” Mikhailov said. And, these in-app experiences will eventually translate to in-store experiences. “It’s the idea that ‘We [the brand] know who you are online and off-line and we know that you’re a top shopper.’ This is the future,” she added.

Alex Muller, cofounder and ceo of GPShopper, added, “Mobile commerce is driving the future of retail, and by joining forces with Synchrony, we can put our retail clients at the forefront of this transformation. This is an exciting and logical next step for us given our two companies’ shared commitment to leveraging technology to help retailers better engage with their customers.”

“Additionally, our team will now have broader opportunities and greater resources to develop and deliver innovative mobile solutions for our retail partners,” Muller added.

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