Last month, Rakuten Advertising launched the Hot Seat Live Interview Series where we ask a publisher partner about their products, new and innovative partnership opportunities for advertisers, and industry hot topics – all while they douse their lunch in progressively hotter hot sauces.

In the first episode, our Publisher Development Manager, Nima Ghaemi, sat down with Angus Muffet and Tom Howard from ShopBack and spoke about all things cash back, what plans they have post-pandemic and, after devouring the hottest sauce in the line-up, which celebrity they would like to be quarantined with.

In case you missed the live interview, you can watch the full episode below. We would like to thank Angus and Tom for their involvement in this fun-filled and educational interview.

Our audiences were given a chance to ask Angus and Tom any burning questions during the interview and while we didn’t get to all of them at the time, we have reached out to Angus for answers.

Q: I’ve seen ShopBack run different styles of campaigns, especially during COVID, that are really interactive with customers. Has that been effective?

We always aim to present customers with highly engaging and innovative campaigns throughout the year, which give brands unique opportunities to be showcased. From a COVID standpoint, it was clear that customers expected companies to continue to market to consumers and not go into hibernation through the pandemic. That said, they expect brands to come from a position of education and entertainment, and not purely conversion.

A great example is our recent Cashback Carnival – the campaign had multiple layers of entertainment and conversion across the three days. We had over 90 brands across multiple categories get involved with strong offers, including 18 flash sales in total. Typically, our brands see a 24x increase in Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) during flash sale periods.

When looking at engagement, we simply wanted to give customers a fun reason to visit ShopBack. Aside from the wildly popular Cashback Troopers game, we ran activities through our social channels including Virtual Pictionary via a Facebook Live with Abby Chatfield from the Bachelor, and the much anticipated, ShopBack Amazing Race!

Q: Do you anticipate customers will become more loyal to third-party loyalty programmes off the back of this pandemic?

It could be true that customers will be looking for new ways to make their money go further. That said, pre-COVID, as many as 80% of Australians were already enrolled in a loyalty programme, with the average customer using between 4-6 different programmes.

I believe pandemic or not, customers will use third-party platforms that deliver value and good user experience. That value comes in different forms – you could help them discover new brands, save time finding the best offer, or in our case, also make it possible for them to earn cash back.

Q: Given the demand for online retail spend, how does ShopBack add value to these brands when demand is at an all-time high?

Australians have changed their shopping behaviour during COVID, evidenced by Australia post reporting an 80% increase in online shopping during April compared to the same period last year. In fact, online sales over Easter are expected to beat the record of Cyber Weekend results in 2019.

In other words, it’s going to continue to be a very noisy and congested shopping experience. It’s our job to help our users understand what to buy and where to buy from. We see ourselves as a digital shopping centre – our marketing efforts are designed to bring customers into our digital mall and connect them with the brands we love. With customers looking to spend in categories they have not bought online previously, we’re enabling brands to cut through the noise and find the right customers.

We have executed campaigns such as the Birthday campaign and Cashback Carnival to help brands efficiently scale their marketing efforts (remember that we work on a performance-based CPA model, not CPM) and we’ll continue to work hard to roll out innovative initiatives that attract new customers, and revive those who have lapsed.

If you would like to participate in the next interview, please contact your Account Manager today. Otherwise, follow us on LinkedIn to be the first to hear about our next episode. Stay tuned.