Have you noticed the growing link between commerce and loyalty? Forrester has, and we’ve set out to explore it. Our first deep dive was into promotions and offer management tools, which we define as:

Software that helps businesses personalize, distribute, automate, and track promotions, incentives, and other offers across digital and physical touchpoints.

We included 34 vendors in our recently published Now Tech: Promotions And Offer Management Providers, Q3 2021, and categorized them by revenue and provider category. Here is what we learned:

  • There is significant overlap in how commerce and marketing teams use these tools. While traditional commerce use cases include deciding which products to promote and how, personalization use cases now abound for both commerce and marketing groups. Sending the right offer at the right time through the right channel is a primary goal for brands.
  • Types of providers vary.
    1. Commerce platforms offer embedded promotions engines, but their effective channel is usually limited to the owned website only — and they’re only available as part of the commerce solution. Businesses that require unified, omnichannel promotions and offer management should look elsewhere.
    2. Loyalty platforms include these tools embedded within their greater solutions. Many sell them as stand-alone tools as well, though businesses may derive more value from these systems when using them in conjunction with more tools from the vendor.
    3. There is a small market of specialized promotion and offer management “only” tools. Digital businesses may enable these solutions for omnichannel promotion and offer management, similar to stand-alone solutions from loyalty vendors.
  • Providers cover a wide range of functionalities, depending on the provider type. All categories of providers can deliver on user-defined special pricing by customer/segment, onsite promotional messaging, and built-in reporting dashboards. But you won’t find AI-generated dynamic offers and promotions from commerce or promotions stand-alone providers — these deeper features can be found in loyalty-based systems. And very few providers offer industry or performance benchmarking.

To learn more, request an inquiry or guidance session if you want to dig into our findings or need help creating a vendor shortlist for your project. Request a session with Emily Pfeiffer if your focus is around promotions or Mary Pilecki if your focus is around offers and loyalty.