For some advertisers, merely being listed on cashback sites is enough for them. For the savvier retailer, planning a strategy around cashback sites involves setting additional targets to sit alongside the sales’ volumes they hope they’ll achieve. 

Increased exposure

One of the key priorities for advertisers in maximising their relationship with cashback sites is increased exposure. By providing cashback affiliates with exclusive deals, advertisers can get their offers featured in “top tips” sections as well as newsletters that go out to members.

To build up solid partnerships with each of the sites that are able to deliver volume, a rotating strategy can be implemented, where each site has the exclusive for a period of time. During the period of the exclusive offer, the cashback sites will give increased exposure to push the offer.

Example cashback promotion

A fashion retailer ran a promotion with a leading cashback site to launch their summer range. Over a 12 day period they doubled their commission as well as taking out promotional spots on the site. They saw the following results:

  • Traffic increased by over 250%
  • Sales more than doubled.
  • Average basket values increased by 25%

The promotion also helped to take market share away from competitors, both as a campaign as a whole, and also through the cashback site. During the promotion, competitor campaigns saw a drop in traffic and also conversions.

Over the period of the increased cashback offering, the percentage of the sales on the campaign that were coming through consumer incentive sites increased by 4% from 15% to 19%. This increase was mainly at the expense of the voucher code sites which decreased from 64% to 57% during the increased cashback period, but then increased to 66% after the promotion.

Sales from other affiliate types such as content sites and price comparison sites were largely unaffected, making up a similar level on the program before, during and after the increased cashback period.

Cashback members are typically savvy internet users who are aware that there are savings to be had online. They might access several reference points so will be aware of where the greatest discount to be had. During the increased cashback period, they were able to make a greater saving by purchasing from the site, rather than from a voucher code site.

When the cashback promotion ended the percentage of sales driven by sites primarily featuring voucher codes increased, while the percentage of cashback/loyalty sites decreased.

The graphs below highlight the impact that the promotion had on the affiliate types driving sales:

Tenancy Opportunities

As well as cashback sites being able to offer their standard listings, advertisers can also benefit from banner placement throughout the site. A well thought out tenancy deal will put your brand in front of the right audience, near the point of purchase.

A beauty advertiser saw the following results when an increase in commission was complemented by additional tenancy slots:

  • Traffic increased by 472%
  • Sales increased by 168%
  • Sales revenue increased by over £4,500.

As part of the increased exposure, the advertiser was featured in a newsletter that was sent out to members. On the day it was sent, traffic to the site rocketed with nearly 300 visitors being driven to their site.

There is no doubt cashback sites can drive considerable sales’ volumes but advertisers should look beyond the top level numbers at additional performance data and advertising exposure to truly understand the full value the cashback sales’ channel can offer.

Matt Swan

Published 30 November, 2010 by Matt Swan

Matt Swan is Client Strategist at Affiliate Window and a contributor to Econsultancy.

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Comments (4)


buyer beware

Savvy shoppers? 250,000 plus cashback customers are creditors if they bought through RPoints, Cashbackking or DMG.

over 7 years ago



The retailers really do make out with cash back sites also the owners of those cash back sites get some and the customer shopping. Its an all around trifecta! I have a free store that I shop on to earn cash back and tell my friends and family to shop there too so they can get cash back from their purchases. I also get a percentage back from their purchases. Its an all around genius idea!

over 7 years ago


Neil Robbins

Cashback sites in a similar vein to voucher code sites do get some bad press so it is good to see a positive post about them! As your example demonstrates tactical use of cashback sites will often generate a spike in sales and this is something we regularly see when conducting such activity on behalf of clients.

over 7 years ago



Cash back sites are the right choice for the marketers as well as the shoppers. It's a win win situation. As an online shopper, I can say that shopping through cash back websites is a great option for saving money when shopping online. Being a thrifty online buyer, I always use cash back websites like ShopAtHome, AAfter Search and Ebates, and MrRebates.

over 7 years ago

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