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FreeMonee Finds Little Fidelity in Fashion: Helps Retailers Win Back Cheating Hearts With Gifts

Analysis of $8 Billion of Consumer Spend Shows How to Easily Find Incremental Sales

SAN MATEO, CA -- (Marketwire) -- 11/12/12 -- For retailers, this final quarter of the calendar year is when sales targets are made or missed. Marketers try every method in the book to entice shoppers into stores, from BOGO (buy-one-get-one) and couponing to Santa's visits and puppies in the windows -- and for good reason. But to what return?

Not a particularly measurable one, often -- and certainly not one that's easy to predict or scale when successful. Until the FreeMonee Network: the world's first and only provider of consumer gift incentives. FreeMonee today released findings from an in-depth look at 'customer loyalty,' and found that even retailers' most loyal customers are cheating on them.

Using its patented Gift Underwriting Engine, FreeMonee analyzed the spending patterns of more than one million U.S. cardholders over two years, totaling more than 200 million transactions and $8 billion. The analysis included clothing stores ranging from big box retailers like Target and Sears to malls' anchors like Macy's and Kohl's, all the way up to the high-end department stores like Neiman Marcus and Bloomingdales, and uncovered:

  • Even the most loyal shoppers cheat: A retailer's most loyal customers (those visiting at least nine times a year), spend $1.44 with competitors for every $1.00 spent with them.
  • The most loyal aren't necessarily the most valuable: Low frequency visitors (those coming 2-3 times per year) make up on average 26 percent of revenue, higher than the contribution from the most loyal (24 percent). Just one more visit from these less frequent shoppers would fundamentally change revenue numbers.
  • Retailers fight for same slice of the wallet: On average, customers spend the same amount per visit at each retailer, regardless of how frequently they shop there. Across a nationally-representative competitive set of department store retailers, the average spend per visit was the same -- whether they shopped at a particular store once or more than nine times each year.

"The retailer with most foot traffic wins; this holiday season, and in general," said Jim Taschetta, chief marketing officer at FreeMonee. "Since there seems to be no fidelity in fashion, retail marketers need new ways to entice their existing customer base -- whether frequent or occasional shoppers -- to reach revenue goals at this vital time of the year. People like to shop in store; we help retail partners make sure they're the ones earning the valuable visit, by delivering a hard to resist incentive, the FreeMonee Gift."

With Black Friday just around the corner, there is not time to develop programs to reach consumers through the traditional marketing efforts retailers rely on to seduce shoppers into their stores. With no set-up required by the merchant, there's still plenty of time to launch a FreeMonee campaign that will impact sales in Q4.

The FreeMonee Gift arrives as an email or text from the consumer's card issuer, enticing them to shop. The consumer uses their credit or debit card to make a purchase at the retailer and the gift amount is automatically credited to their account.

Made possible through proprietary underwriting science, FreeMonee gives businesses the ability to do something very powerful: to directly connect with millions of customers through no-strings attached gifts that work just like cash. FreeMonee's Gift Underwriting Engine engages in complex predictive science to determine what gift amount to give to which potential customer, making certain that gifts result in increased foot traffic and profitable sales for the merchant.

About FreeMonee
FreeMonee is changing the economics of advertising by enabling stores and restaurants to attract Customers On-Demand using FreeMonee Gifts. With its unique new consumer incentive, FreeMonee delivers gifts of money directly to cardholders of the largest financial institutions. Customized to precisely match consumer interest, gifts allow consumers to purchase anything they want at designated stores or restaurants -- no strings attached. The gifts are made possible by FreeMonee's proprietary Gift Underwriting Engine, which accurately determines the right gift to ensure the highest level of consumer interest and the best return on ad spend for a merchant. Unlike traditional coupons or offers, FreeMonee Gifts feel like a gift card from a friend -- money to spend at places consumers like. For retail marketers, FreeMonee Gifts enable brands to attract large volumes of profitable, incremental customer visits -- without discounting. For banks and credit card companies, FreeMonee provides the opportunity to positively engage customers and strengthen loyalty.

Founded in 2009 and located in San Mateo, California, FreeMonee is led by former executives of Google, Visa, Oracle, Cisco, Procter & Gamble and Coca-Cola. To date, FreeMonee has raised $45 million in funding with investments from Charles E. Ryan, Opus Capital Ventures, Redpoint Ventures and Sutter Hill Ventures, among others. Through continued partnerships with the top U.S. financial institutions, the company expects 50 million households to have access to FreeMonee Gifts in 2012. For more information, please visit www.freemonee.com.

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Chelsea Boudreaux
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