Rebel has been helping marketers do more with their emails — so that those emails become interactive experiences (with capabilities like galleries and quizzes) in and of themselves. Now the startup is adding the ability for consumers to complete their purchase from an email.
The company was previously known as Rebelmail, but as part of today’s launch, it’s rebranding as Rebel. Co-founder Joe Teplow told me that while Rebel’s current capabilities are centered on email, its ambitions are broader — he wants to bring an “immersive, interactive experience” to a range of channels that businesses use to connect with their customers.
As for the new Rebel Shop product, it seems to fulfill Rebel’s promise of turning emails into mobile storefronts. Before this, users could browse and customize different products from a retailer and then add them to their cart, all from an email on their smartphone, but they’d have to click through to the website to actually make the purchase. With these new capabilities, consumers can just hit the Purchase Now button and their whole transaction is completed via email.
For example, a retailer could send a message to a shopper asking if they meant to abandon their online cart, and the shopper could then complete their purchase from that email, no website required.
In order to get access to one-click checkout, the customers need to have previously provided their payment information to the retailer, or to another retailer in the Rebel network. (Customers who haven’t shared this information will be directed to a mobile checkout page, where they can save the info for future use.) This means consumers are never asked to share credit card information in the email itself. The company also says that its payments system is “fully PCI compliant.”
Teplow suggested that email has become “the last owned channel” for retailers, where they have direct access to customers without having to worry about news feed algorithms or promoting themselves through ads. By adding one-click payments to the process, he’s hoping to offer “the most frictionless experience” possible.