eBay Enterprise Marketing Solutions will announce Monday the acquisition of AffiliateTraction to strengthen its hold on performance marketing and build out programmatic tools to support its affiliate marketing network.
While terms of the deal were not disclosed, eBay Enterprise Marketing Solutions CEO Michael Jones did reveal that the company's focus is now turning to integrating technologies from AffiliateTraction, and Digital Net Agency, another recent acquisition in the past few months.
Jones says the AffiliateTraction acquisition will increase the "size of the business by more than 30%," with operating expenses expected to rise "not more than 10%."
AffiliateTraction's technology manages affiliate programs through a set of tools -- a feature that Jones calls "unique." The software recommends the affiliates with which a retailer should work, and automates attribution and commissions by calculating the amount they should pay each affiliate.
The platform informs publishers about the best advertising partners by bringing in raw data about the retailer's site traffic to determine characteristics such as the number of influencers who frequent the site.
The data serves up profiles of the traffic that might alert affiliates when they have better traffic than what they get credit for receiving. Or the merchant could make decisions on attribution that may not line up with what the traffic is worth.
Tom Barr, e-commerce director at MonkeySports, runs its affiliate program through AffiliateTraction on blogger sites to UPS.com. MonkeySports has become one in about 500 new clients to eBay Enterprise through the acquisition. The company, which sells hockey, baseball and lacrosse equipment online and offline, had been shifting some of its business to eBay Enterprise prior.
"The investment in affiliate marketing for us is between 1% and 2% of total sales," Barr says. "The return is very good because we set the commission and AffiliateTraction has a fixed management fee."
For each $1 MonkeySports invests the company gets back about $15, Barr says. MonkeySports also runs search advertising on engines, shopping ads, retargeting, and email marketing,
Aside from the technology and dedicated clients, eBay Enterprise Marketing gains tons of data, about 100 employees, and an easier route to take its affiliate program global.
While eBay Enterprise Marketing has a small operation in Europe, Greg Shepard, AffiliateTraction founder, who joins the company as chief strategy officer, says it puts "boots on the ground" for eBay Marketing Solutions in London, Toronto, Canada; Sydney Australia; and Santa Cruz, California.
The global position gives it a strong position to compete against affiliate programs rivals such as Conversant's CJ Affiliate, and Rakuten Marketing's LinkShare.