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There are a number of myths that are associated with cashback sites portraying them in a negative light.
One of the myths that has seen a lot of debate in the affiliate community is that cashback sites do not play a crucial part in the customer journey, they merely “steal” the sale from a content affiliate who has done all the hard work to initially attract the customer.
Our research highlights that this is not actually the case; in most instances the cashback site is the only referring affiliate in the sales journey and where there are multiple affiliate clicks in a sale, they are most likely to originate from other cashback affiliates.
Many loyalty and reward sites do not explicitly encourage users to delete cookies and seasoned cashback users will know how to click through and purchase to avoid overwriting their cookies. Therefore the chances of a significant amount of cookies being deleted from consumers’ machines is likely to be reduced, although there is no evidence to currently back this up.
Our research on cookie overwriting was presented recently at the A4U Expo and findings have been summarised here.
Cashback sites are becoming brands in their own right, so rather than being an afterthought to see if cashback is available for a particular merchant, they are now becoming the first port of call and should be seen as a valuable affinity or brand partner in much the same way a large publisher or portal would be.
New Customer Acquisition
There is a common perception that cashback sites do not deliver new customers, rather it is existing customers of the merchant using cashback sites to get an additional discount from their purchase. However, cashback sites are able to deliver new customers to a merchant. A consumer that regularly searches for cashback that may not know your brand has the opportunity to find it when browsing these sites.
We looked at new customer data and has the following findings for two merchants, one in the fashion sector, the other in telecoms:
Typical Cashback Customers
Another myth is that cashback members are consumers with a low income who are looking to get some money back and are unlikely to be spending vast amounts. On the contrary, research shows that the typical cashback member is an internet savvy consumer with high disposable incomes, looking for the best deal available.
Data from one of the leading cashback sites indicates that almost 50% of members earn £50k or over per year and just over half of all members are within the A and B socio economic groups.
Merchants who have decided against working with cashback sites because of one of the aforementioned myths, may wish to work with them on a trial basis to see if they can add value to their campaign.