Punchh is a CRM platform for the brick-and-mortar business world. It provides apps for restaurants that engage people in games and rewards systems that are all hooked into point of sale (POS) systems.

Today, the company has launched a new customer segmentation tool that allows a restaurant to explore customer sales information down to a granular level. This allows a restaurant owner to segment customers that like tequila, for instance, and send them a discount on their next margarita. With the new service, customers get a dashboard view of their customers that they can use as a foundation to build their campaigns.

The small business needs better CRM capabilities but it has been a difficult task to use digital marketing technologies effectively. Until recently, people went online in their homes. Today, they stand in line for a cup of coffee, a computer in their hands, plugged into the Internet. That opens a new world of marketing but the question still becomes one about actually engaging customers with the service.

Punchh is a three-year-old company that started as a virtual punch card service. It is now targeting verticles, starting with the restaurant business. It provides restaurants with apps that integrate with POS systems so customers can scan their receipts, earn points or get rewards. In turn, the owner can ask the customer for a review that will be posted to a social network. Punchh builds private label apps that engage customers with games, campaigns and surveys that are tied to a loyalty program. Here’s a screenshot from a demo the company did last week with me.

The company is now focused on restaurant chains but it still has an app it offers for the iPhone and Android platforms that offers the punch card. I downloaded the app and was provided with a list of local restaurants, including one that is now closed. None are part of the Punchh service. Instead, I was asked to tell the business to sign up for what Punchh offers.

The punch card service seems clunky when compared to the new types of apps it is providing restaurant chains.

I do believe that mobile and ubiquitous connectivity means that there will be more services for brick and mortar businesses that make sense for them to use. Punchh’s older, punch card business seems on target but games are far more relevant when considered in context of the networks that have opened with the advent of moble devices and analytics platofrms like Punchh that are connected to POS systems.

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