TellApart + Freshplum: Personalizing the Shopping Experience

Josh McFarland, Co-Founder & CEO

Have you ever searched for a promo code to knock a few bucks off a purchase you were already set to make? Of course you have! As consumers, who among us doesn’t love a discount? And yet, as a marketer (or empathetic shopper), have you also slightly cringed at the thought of shaving precious points of gross margin off of an already guaranteed sale?

The motivation behind promotions is straightforward: to drive sales that otherwise wouldn’t have occurred. However, it turns out that actually focusing these efforts is an insanely hard problem requiring immense data and deep modeling in order to drive net new value. It’s this ability to drive incremental value by way of personalized promotions that attracted us to the Freshplum product and team.

When Sam Odio and I sat down for coffee a few months ago, we bonded immediately over our shared frustration with online offers’ lack of incremental value. This opinion is rapidly gaining mindshare. The Wall Street Journal recently authored a piece which delved into this broken world, and it used Freshplum data to underscore the issue. Meanwhile, Forbes profiled Freshplum in a look at the topic of differential pricing (applied through discounts) and its ability to improve conversion rates and consumer satisfaction.

Together, Sam and I knew there exists a huge market need for the type of technology Freshplum had built. And to catalyze the adoption of their technology, we knew TellApart could offer two key benefits: client scale and distribution. Together, we could take offers from their state as a sledgehammer (wreaking havoc on P&Ls with their unintended overusage) to a scalpel-like instrument of precision (driving incremental revenue through the right offers to the right shoppers). So today, we are jointly proud to announce TellApart has acquired Freshplum.

As TellApart accelerates through significant revenue milestones, our large client base now includes some of the biggest names in retail: household names such as Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom and Sur La Table as well as premier online merchants such as One Kings Lane, Wayfair and ModCloth. And importantly, while Freshplum built expertise for the dynamic offering of discounts while shoppers remained on a retailer’s site, TellApart’s Dynamic Message Service is the key to delivering these same personalized promotions to shoppers after they’ve left — through any channel: display ads, Facebook, mobile web, cross-device applications and email.

Perhaps more importantly, we found in the Freshplum team a group of people who share TellApart’s DNA — indeed, several of our folks used to work together at one of the leading retail pricing companies, DemandTec. Sam, who sold his last company to Facebook and led the creation of Facebook Photos, and Sid Patil, who led the Consumer Products Data Science team at DemandTec (but who is probably more famous for leading part of the MIT Blackjack Team that inspired the book “Bringing Down the House” and the movie “21”) are the kind of people to bet on when trying to solve for an opportunity of this magnitude, and we couldn’t be more proud to have their team as part of TellApart.

We’re excited to announce that the Freshplum product capabilities are available today for all TellApart clients as Dynamic Promotions, the newest application atop our Predictive Marketing Platform. Dynamic Promotions have already been shown to drive conversion rate increases of 13% (site-wide) to 30% (returning-visitors) for clients like Drugstore.com, CafePress and Hayneedle, and we know we are just scratching the surface of this market opportunity.

Dynamic Promotions is another powerful use case toward our goal of providing a more personalized retail experience. As we continue to leverage the capabilities of our machine learning-based models and Customer Value Scores, TellApart and Freshplum will help retailers make the customer experience feel more personal and curated, ensuring shoppers discover the products most delightful to them.