Mobile Shopping Companion Clutch Raises $5M Series B, Acquires Gift & Loyalty Platform Provider ProfitPoint (Tech Crunch)
“Clutch, a mobile application for iPhone and Android which aims to combine gift cards, coupons, comparison shopping, gifting, and personalized recommendations all under one roof, has raised $5 million in Series B funding, the startup is announcing today. In addition, Clutch is also acquiring ProfitPoint, a provider of gift card and loyalty platforms for merchants.
The funding round was led by Safeguard Scientifics, Inc., an investor in technology companies like Beyond.com, as well as in healthcare, as with its recent funding of Medivo, for example. Clutch’s previous investor Ben Franklin Technology Partners also contributed to the new round.
Unlike many of today’s mobile shopping apps, which generally focus on one piece of the shopping experiences – like mobile couponing, deals alerts, or personalized shopping feeds (as with services like Wish or Wanelo, for instance) – Clutch instead has a different vision which involves it replacing a number of services with one app that does it all. Users can download the Clutch app from Google Play or the iTunes App Store, then load it up with their gift cards, loyalty cards, tickets, coupons, and more – sort of like an expanded version of Apple’s Passbook, but one that can also integrate with Passbook, if users choose.”
Online Spending Swells 15% in Q2 (Internet Retailer)
“Online sales growth outpaced store sales growth once again in the second quarter, new research from IBM Corp.’s online retail index shows. Online spending increased 15% in Q2 compared with Q2 2012, IBM says. Store sales grew 4.6%, according to the U.S. Commerce Department.
Mobile growth was strong, with 19.4% of online sales being conducted with a mobile device in Q2, up from 15.2% in the same period a year earlier. 27% of all visits to retail sites stemmed from a mobile device in Q2, up from 20% in Q2 2012, IBM says. Apple devices continue to dominate mobile retail traffic, with the iPad generating more traffic than any other mobile device at close to 11% of total traffic to retail sites—compared with 6.9% in Q2 2012. The iPhone closely follows, generating 10.5% of total traffic to retail sites, with Android devices trailing.”
eBay Global Shipping Program — Is it Opt In or Opt Out? (Ecommerce Bytes)
“When EcommerceBytes followed up with eBay spokesperson Ryan Moore at the end of July, he said, “We have begun to roll out the new user agreement interstitial to select sellers. Upon agreeing to the new user agreement, sellers will have their eligible listings enrolled into the Global Shipping Program. Sellers have the choice to not accept the user agreement interstitial, in which case they will not be able to benefit from the Global Shipping Program. Sellers can also opt out of the program at the listing level or completely opt out of the program by going to the “site preferences” link and clicking on “shipping.””
Since people usually assume they have to accept updated user agreements, we asked Moore if it was clear in this case that there were no negative repercussions if users did not accept the user agreement?
Moore replied, “Regarding your inquiry, the User Agreement interstitial is presented to sellers, along with the User Agreement verbiage in a scrollable format. Within the verbiage, it states “if you do not accept the electronic click-through, you will not be able to take advantage of the Global Shipping Program, but you will still be bound by all other provisions of this User Agreement.”