January 27, 2015

To conquer retail space, Tastebud acquires SocialCrunch

Following a strong year of acquisitions, it appears that there's still a lot of momentum behind technology mergers in the retail space. This week, it was announced that Tastebud, a firm that builds mobile member programs for companies, has acquired SocialCrunch. The company, launched in 2013, identifies trends by conducting quizzes on social media platforms. Both companies are committed to figuring out how consumers interact with brands, what their preferences are and how to reach them for loyalty. The transaction is reported to be all-stock. 

SocialCrunch takes a unique approach to consumer data collection, focusing on how games and other interactive research tools can lend insight to customer attitudes. By extending its surveys to consumers as fun, participatory activities, it stages an informal survey process that people actually want to take part in. Since it was founded, SocialCrunch has raised $785,000, according to TechCrunch. 

Tastebud says it believes the acquisition will help expand its capabilities for physical retail operations, like malls and department stores. Generating data that indicates trends, the company can devise mobile applications that alert shoppers to discounts and other promotions in brick-and-mortar retailers. Its first venture of this nature is a partnership with a mall in Nebraska, where app "coupons" have seen significant traffic over the last year. 

"The two questions that Tastebud faces now is when it will seek additional capital, and how quickly it can grow its customer base," writes Alex Wilhelm of TechCrunch. "It seems reasonable to think that the sales process of landing a large mall isn't short, so how fast the firm can ramp up its sales team will be interesting to watch. And sales isn't cheap, bringing us back to the first question."

With unique methods and common goals, the two companies could make a splash in the retail industry with this step of acquisition strategy