Why Plexure is eyeing the Australian supermarket wars

The outfit from across the ditch sees rich pickings in the local competitive supermarket space for its mobile engagement technology

Mobile engagement platform, Plexure, which was recently named in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for mobile marketing platforms, is eyeing an Australian ASX listing and a move into the competitive supermarket space.

The New Zealand-based business already operates in 60 countries around the world, yet Australia is not one of them. Plexure CEO, Craig Herbison, described the competition in supermarkets as “ruthless” among the established players like Woolworths and Coles, disrupters such as Costco and Aldi, and niche players like IGA, Metcash and Foodworks. “We’ve seen the results we get overseas and believe similar approaches will resonate with Australians,” Herbison told CMO.

The platform gives brands a constant-stream of data-driven insights that helps deliver one-to-one offers at scale to consumers by anticipating their needs to incentivise them to visit stores and increase spend once there.

“Using artificial intelligence [AI] and machine learning, these marketing campaigns get results like increasing average basket size up to 55 per cent, doubling customers in-store during campaigns and increasing transactions by 60 per cent within seasonal campaigns,” he said. 

Looking to grow and scale the platform, Plexure decided a capital raise and foreign exchange listing on the ASX, while keeping its main ticker on the New Zealand exchange, was the most suitable way to access funds and maintaining shareholder value at this point of its growth.

“The decision enables us to deploy more staff into sales, marketing, technology and product innovation with the benefit of having immediate access to a larger pool of investors, capital and analysts,” Herbison said.

The outfit has ambitious plans to scale up from 214 million users to 500 million users. “As a software company, investing in proficiencies that will advance the product is extremely important to the success of the company. We’re a digital business – so it’s all about our software development, AI, machine learning and UX expertise coming together to create a solution that marketers can utilise as effectively as possible,” he said.  

“We are at the point where we are heavily reinvesting our revenue into advancing our AI and ML capabilities that will ultimately help our clients create highly targeted marketing campaigns that produce results.”

Plexure’s recent partnership with US burger chain, White Castle, working to develop an app for the rollout of its Craver Nation loyalty program, is one example of how its technology can be deployed. White Castle used its app to target users based on individual purchase history, preferences and store proximity at its restaurants.

It offered mobile phone-based loyalty activations personalised to the individual preferences of their most loyal customers such as discounts and special offers. The fast food chain increased customer lifetime value by increasing in-store visits, increased average transaction size and reduced churn.

Herbison said the platform is now in elite company figuring in the Gartner list. “However, because we’re competing against the world’s best, we must continue to keep increasing our R&D and product innovation so that we can leverage that advantage,” he said.

Encouraging return to stores in Covid-normal


“While COVID has deterred customers from visiting stores, smart phones have delivered the holy grail to marketers – the ability to deliver location-based, targeted messages while consumers are on the go,” Herbison explained to CMO.

Plexure aims to take it up a level. “By helping brands to harness the power of their data sets coupled with contextual data, businesses in high frequency environments like quick service restaurants and supermarkets can influence consumer behaviour with personalised push notifications,” he said.

Driving traffic through push notifications, generating relevant, timely and personalised offers that convert a customer and uplift sales with loyalty constructs to reward, and the ability to order, pay and fulfil via the mobile device is a complete customer experience set that Plexure offers.

Plexure uses AI and ML to target individuals based on millions of data points including purchase history, preferences, demographic, store proximity as well as contextual data such as weather, local events, loyalty activities, app interactions and learned attributes. This helps generate individual customer profiles and enables one-to-one consumer targeting at the right time and place to motivate purchase decisions.   

“We use advanced segmentation and targeting tools to create custom segments based on the most relevant data available to drive specific actions across the customer lifecycle. Those actions might be winning back valuable and lapsed customers, incentivising first-time buyers to return, encouraging repeat buyers to increase basket size and incentivising dwindling customers,” he said.

“What it all boils down to is Plexure helps marketers address key customer growth and retention challenges to increase customer lifetime value by increasing visits and average transaction size, establishing greater brand loyalty, achieving larger share of wallet and reducing churn.” 

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, follow our regular updates via CMO Australia's Linkedin company page, or join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia.

 

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