Everyone in ad tech is trying to figure out how to make mobile ads shoppable, but no one has dominated the space just yet. New competitors continue stake a claim, the latest of which is Pixbi.
The in-ad shopping app is announcing its official launch today.
Pixbi integrates with digital publications and works like this: You’re swiping through a magazine and you see some jeans in an ad that you must have. Within the ad is a big white Pixbi ‘P.’ Clicking on it takes you to a portal within the app where you can view the product. The jeans are from Macy’s and cost $59. You then have the choice to go back to the magazine, save the product, or “Buy Now.”
If you choose to buy the product, Macy’s checkout will pop up in the same window. You are never pushed to an Internet browser; the whole checkout process happens in the magazine reading app.
You still have to put in all your credit card, shipping, and billing information. So, while the app does allow you to quickly buy an advertised item, it does not make the process any less tedious. And that seems to be what really deters people from shopping on mobile. No one wants to type out all the information necessary to purchase a product, and this app doesn’t address that problem at all.
There are of course other companies that offer similar services, like ShopAdvisor. But if you click on a ShopAdvisor linked ad, you’ll just get pushed to the retailer’s website in a web browser. With Pixbi, you stay in app the entire time.
So far the company is working with nearly 100 retailers, including Target, Nordstrom, Macy’s, and Sears; as well as eight publications all within parent company American Media Inc.
Like other competitors in the space, Pixbi offers its product for free and takes a commission of sales that happen in app. The company will also offer analytics on consumer buying habits down the line.
“The biggest thing is that we want to provide readers the ability to interact,” says CEO and founder Ryan Jones. The app allows readers to create a Pixbi account so they can save items and purchase them at a later date — much like many retail shopping carts already offer.
During Pixbi’s limited test run, over 15% of consumers who clicked “Buy Now” made a purchase, which is an improvement over traditional push-to-browser ad purchase apps, says Jones.
If a consumer already has an account with a specific retailer, purchasing in-app could be fairly quick and simple. But it’s not likely that an individual consumer has an account with every retailer on Pixbi’s roster. In order to really capture the mobile ad market, Pixbi will have to ensure easy purchasing, and it’s not there quite yet.