Special offer websites have proven impossible to ignore for online retailers and membership programs. They act as both drivers of growth and catalysts for traffic, making a concrete impact on online sales. 53% of users abandon their shopping cart if they haven’t found a promo code when they confirm their purchase (CPA French Association of Digital Marketing ‘s study). Ignoring special offer websites for branded items means potentially missing out on a category of affiliates capable of making a real impact on your sales targets. Allow us to explain.
What is behind special offer websites?
The term “special offer website” covers a vast range of offers and approaches. The most well-known are cashback, promo codes, and special offers.
The idea here is to reward customers purchasing from your site via an intermediary. In order to accomplish this, the cashback website mainly works alongside affiliate marketing platforms which provide rewards when purchases are made thanks to their partnerships with advertisers. The cashback website then shares this compensation with the customer. For each purchase, the customer receives a sum which goes towards an accumulated total, which can then be transferred to their bank account or used once beyond a certain threshold.
Promo codes or discount vouchers
These are unique, time-limited codes which grant a discount on the final total of the shopping cart. A code can also be used to receive a free service (delivery or a warranty extension, for example) or for an offer such as “buy one get one free”. The retail website negotiates with the website promoting the codes, allowing them to reach a much broader customer base than they could have managed alone.
Deals and special offers
These are special discounts which are only available from specific sites or intermediaries. By using a specific link and subscribing to the special offer website, the customer can access the seller’s offer.
The CPA’s study highlights that these websites bring a significant amount of traffic to online retailers, as 50% of users do not come from the advertiser’s retail website when ordering, but rather prefer to go through a number of other websites such as blogs, price comparison sites, cashback websites and so on.
As for promo code websites, these are responsible for 37% of advertisers’ total sales.
Why should online retailers take an interest in special offer websites?
Advertisers often take a rather dim view of special offer websites. The reasons for this are typically linked to a fear of undermining the image of the product or service. On the other hand, there are in fact rather prestigious brands which do integrate special offer websites into their sales strategy: Apple, Canon, Galeries Lafayette, Lancôme, Clarins, and Emirates, to give but a few examples.
By addressing the greatest number of customers, special offer websites do an enormous amount of marketing work for online retailers. They are capable of reaching an expansive, loyal community which is keen to share useful information online and comment on their experiences. This is an important driver of growth for brands.
The trick for advertisers is finding the right balance between offers made available on special offer websites and offers which should remain within the conventional sales channel. Clearance and end of season sales, airline and hotel flash sales, banking deals to draw new customers into the ecosystem, overstock sales – there are many different strategies, but the results are worth it has given the large volumes in question.
Your offers benefit from increased visibility, you can gain and retain new customers, you increase the average shopping cart and you can also take advantage of upselling and cross-selling. While they can’t do everything, these websites are nonetheless an important part of your commercial dynamic.
Finding success with special offer websites requires a consistent approach and a certain regularity: when the number of promotional offers for your brand falls below two, 81% of visits end up on another retailer’s page, according to the CPA’s study. Regular renewal of cashback and special offers, as well as promotional codes, allows you to increase your visibility and retain a specific customer base which is sensitive to the financial efforts of the advertiser.
In most cases, special offer websites should not host everything that you have to offer. A careful approach is required in order to generate value in the eyes of your new customers. It is a specific kind of sales and distribution channel which should work alongside any others you might have and which can open up new opportunities to optimize your ROI and boost your online sales.
Our Kwanko team can help you set up an affiliate marketing and of course work with special offer and promo code websites. Take a look at our offers and contact our team for more information.