Performance Channels Gain New Commitments From Advertisers, Publishers As Automation Ramps Up

Pepperjam, a performance marketing and affiliate tech platform, ran its Black Friday shopping data, which shows the average order value (AOV) grew 16% year-over-year (YoY) in 2019, compared with 2018 for same-store advertisers.

Data released Thursday suggests that consumers continue to increase the number of clicks on affiliate links as automation turns the channel into a performance powerhouse. Publishers have realized that ecommerce is a critical piece to increase revenue. 

For advertisers working with Pepperjam in the clothing and apparel industry, traffic grew 20% YoY and the average order value (AOV) jumped 18% YoY on Black Friday 2019 compared with 2018. Some 67% of the revenue for this vertical came from new customers, based on aggregate data of those clients sharing their data.

This year automation kicked in, changing the needs of marketers and publishers, Matt Gilbert, Pepperjam CEO, points out. “Perhaps it’s the cost to acquire customers in other channels like Facebook, Instagram, and Google,” he said. “Or other channels where marketers invest money in a relatively high cost of acquisition. They need to be there and they have to spend, but everyone is looking to subsidize their budgets.”

Until now the lack of visibility and ability to gain customer for life through publisher partners beyond the last click stifled the industry. Affiliate was a one-time model. If they weren't the last click in the customer journey they wouldn't be compensated in their role. The technology opened the performance channel to create new opportunities. 

“If you were willing to focus on discounting or cash-back models and okay with the type of customer acquired through those channels, then affiliate marketing made a lot of sense,” he said. Growth from performance, he said, really came from sites like eBates or Retail Me Not.

The shift to automation seems to have benefited Pepperjam. Gross merchandise sales among Pepperjam clients from its content syndication partners grew 37% YoY on Black Friday 2019, compared with a year ago, demonstrating a shift toward markets and publishers changing strategies and demonstrating the impact of content on the consumer shopping journey during the holiday season.

As one of the original affiliate networks, Pepperjam’s advertiser spend on its Ascend platform this during the first half of 2019 rose 21% year-over-year (YoY).

With that growth, brands and advertisers working with the company also experienced 14% growth in sales during the same time period. Direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands reached 114% revenue growth YoY. 

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