Results 1 to 15 of 15
  1. #1
    Newbie
    Join Date
    September 19th, 2011
    Posts
    6
    Is it possible to find/buy performance data from existing loyalty/cashback sites?
    This is my first post, so first of all "Hello" to everyone...I've done a lot of reading here over the past few days and this is a great site!

    I am putting together a business plan for a site that operates based on a slight twist of the cash back model that as far as I can tell, is not yet utilized by anyone. I am in the research/feasibility phase and really would like to obtain data from established cashback sites regarding these major areas:

    • Number of members
    • Number of active members and frequency of site use for these members
    • Historical member loss/growth numbers
    • Average amount spent/commission generated by active members
    • Average lag time between a member's order and the site owner receiving cleared funds for the commission
    • Frequency of member product returns
    • Average commission amount lost due to member product returns
    • Average length of time between commission earned and commission being forfeited due to return
    • Frequency of member tracking errors


    I'm sure there are more items I have not yet thought to name, but I think that list pretty well covers my current areas of concern. I'd like this info for the 5 leaders in the field, 5 mid-size sites, and 5 smaller sites. Is it possible to obtain this data? My guess would be that most, if not all of the above, would be private business records unavailable to anyone outside of the company, but the world of online data mining/selling is pretty vast so I figured I would ask. I'll take anything I can get, but obviously the more detailed the information, the more valuable, and I am definitely willing to pay for it if necessary. And of course I only want legally and ethically obtained data.

    Thank you in advance to anyone who can point me in the right direction.

  2. #2
    Moderator
    Join Date
    April 6th, 2006
    Posts
    2,689
    First of all, welcome to ABW!

    Personally I don't run a cashback site, but the data you want - ie. sales, commission, growth and traffic (ie. user statistics) is very confidential. I just don't think you will find these numbers anywhere - it also doesn't help that you're a potential competitor.

    I'll let others chime in, but as a full-time affiliate, I would never release that kind of data, not even for a price. You could certainly try to approach the sites you have targeted, but even then you won't know the top players.

  3. #3
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 13th, 2006
    Posts
    9,578
    Bill, I do not run a cash back/loyalty website but I am good at research.
    It's late but you mentioned an interesting topic so I looked around a little.

    You should research some companies yourself & see what you find.
    It appears that you would like to be privy to proprietary information that I don't think will be made available to you easily.

    I think FatWallet is a famous one, so research that company.
    I believe FatWallet is on Twitter -- there might be some info there that you might find interesting.

    I found a Cashback Comparison Tool that might be of interest:
    E Commerce Cashback Comparison - Compare Cash Back Rebate Rates For E Commerce

    I learned that Loyalty is considered to be a marketing channel and found this statement interesting:
    Loyalty is obviously different than personalization and is probably better described as a marketing channel, but I feel it’s more appropriate to put it in this section for now. Loyalty is a slew of measures to get that customer coming back. Couponing and rewards are two of the best known loyalty programs. I could highlight a ton of loyalty businesses that merchants can work with, but I’m going to mention just two for now: Microsoft Live Search cashback and Webloyalty. When Microsoft said in May 2008 that it was serious about ecommerce, it’s first initiative in the area was Cashback shopping (through its acquisition of Jellyfish). Microsoft is putting significant marketing muscle behind Cashback shopping.
    Comparison Engines ComparisonEngines
    Microsoft acquired Jellyfish to enter the arena of cashback as a major player but then it was abandoned:
    From Jellyfish To Bing CashBack To Nothing
    From Jellyfish To Bing CashBack To Nothing - eCommerceCircle

    As part of this “test-and-learn” mentality, we will be retiring the Bing cashback feature, which means that the last day you can earn cashback will be July 30, 2010.

    Why are we doing this? When we originally began to offer the cashback feature, it was designed to help advertisers reach you with compelling offers, and to provide a new type of shopping experience that would change user behavior and attract a bunch of new users to Bing.

    In lots of ways, this was a great feature – we had over a thousand merchant partners delivering great offers to customers and seeing great ROI on their campaigns, and we were taking some of the advertising revenue and giving it back to customers. But after a couple of years of trying, we did not see the broad adoption that we had hoped for.
    From Jellyfish To Bing CashBack To Nothing - eCommerceCircle
    The ecommercecircle.com publication seems to be a serious website with lots of good related information so you might want to search that site.

    Most cashback/cash back articles I found in other periodicals were about banks using cashback enticements to lure costumers.

    You can always look at a website to see if it uses a public tracker but many do not. I hope this helps somewhat. Check out ecommercecircle.com because it seems to be a professional online publication.

    Good luck
    Last edited by Rhia7; September 20th, 2011 at 02:27 AM.
    ~Rhia7 -- Remember the 7
    Twitter me

  4. #4
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 13th, 2006
    Posts
    9,578
    Find out everything you can about FatWallet, Ebates, BigCrumbs, and KickItBack: these companies seem to often be in the news and are major players in the loyalty/cashback arena.
    ~Rhia7 -- Remember the 7
    Twitter me

  5. #5
    Newbie
    Join Date
    September 19th, 2011
    Posts
    6
    Teezone and Rhia, thanks for the replies! Like I said before, I had a feeling this was all going to be private business records I will definitely look into your suggestions. I know ebates and fatwallet are industry leaders.

    One of my main concerns in launching the site is building and holding customer attention from the launch phase through the first few payouts, since my model would ideally pay members more often than the 4x/year that ebates pays...once the business is (hopefully) established, bringing in stable cash flow and holding adequate reserves, it should be much easier to deal with lost commissions, commission income lag, customer service complaints, etc.

    But when your membership base is small, you have no cushion, and having payment problems in the beginning(on either the receivable or payable side) can destroy a fragile start-up. Having this data would make planning a whole lot easier, but I guess I may have to make due with what I can find.

  6. #6
    Full Member gcarson's Avatar
    Join Date
    November 13th, 2009
    Posts
    383
    My guess is the only way to get that data is to hire an unethical ex-employee who didn't sign a NDA & non-compete.

    My guess is.. you have to figure out how to distinguish yourself from the others. Paying more frequently seems to be one. I couldn't say for sure as I've never done any cash back myself. Well, not true. I did Bing's when they had it with Ebay and got 15% off my new laptop. That $100 was worth the hassle. Of course, with deals like that, they closed down. As a new site, are you able to offer the same rebates as the big guys?

  7. #7
    Newbie
    Join Date
    September 19th, 2011
    Posts
    6
    Quote Originally Posted by gcarson View Post
    My guess is the only way to get that data is to hire an unethical ex-employee who didn't sign a NDA & non-compete.
    Yea, but I wouldn't do that even if its not technically improper.

    Quote Originally Posted by gcarson View Post
    As a new site, are you able to offer the same rebates as the big guys?
    I don't want to answer specifically, so I will just say yes and no. Once I have an established moderately sized membership base, my business model should allow me to compete on payout incentives with much larger companies. But the big questions are: how do I figure out exactly what membership level will allow that competitive edge, and how do I survive(and grow) while getting there? These are just a few of the things I have to figure out before launching the idea...

  8. #8
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 13th, 2006
    Posts
    9,578
    Quote Originally Posted by BillSPreston View Post
    But the big questions are: how do I figure out exactly what membership level will allow that competitive edge, and how do I survive(and grow) while getting there?
    This of course is a difficult question but I was thing of some type of points valuation system. Not everyone will fall for the points system but some companies use accumulation of points as a customer reward. You need to figure out when and how those points will be converted to something actual: either cash or some type of merchandise.

    If you can't give back the rewards customers expect then they will not only drop you like a hot potato, their complaints will be written in every social media outlet, so you must use caution.
    ~Rhia7 -- Remember the 7
    Twitter me

  9. #9
    Member
    Join Date
    July 11th, 2011
    Location
    Escondido, CA
    Posts
    53
    Very interesting post. Bill - I was also looking for the data you posted in your original post but haven't found anything out there on the net. I'm also in the process of building a loyalty website - I hope things are going well at this point. I noticed you mentioned payables and receivables; I'm a financial analyst/ accountant by trade; I'm guessing you have a similar background?

  10. #10
    Newbie
    Join Date
    September 19th, 2011
    Posts
    6
    I'm a lawyer not an accountant, but I have an undergrad degree in economics.

    Have you run regular(not loyalty based) affiliate sites in the past, or is this cash-back site going to be your first attempt at any type of affiliate marketing? Goodluck.

  11. #11
    Member
    Join Date
    July 11th, 2011
    Location
    Escondido, CA
    Posts
    53
    Bill -

    This is going to be my very first attempt at affiliate marketing but the person I am working with who is building the site is experienced with affiliate marketing. How about you?

  12. #12
    Newbie
    Join Date
    September 19th, 2011
    Posts
    6
    Same, although I am playing around with making a basic affiliate site before I get into the cash-back model.

    But I am finding that there are SO many dishonest people in the world of online marketing, and its difficult to sort through the BS and figure out what actually works. It seems like the majority of sites are basically fraudulent garbage filled wastelands with nothing but fake "about us" sections, fake reviews and fake articles, either written by the website owner with no real references, or worse yet, outsourced to India/China/Philippines. This is a result of the mistaken belief that anyone can make money online without doing any real work....just make a website in 5 mins on wordpress, outsource the content to India, add some links and ads, wait a few weeks and buy a porsche!

    Its no wonder that most of these sites fail to generate any significant income...they are junk! But this is also what gives me some confidence...if these low quality sites are making even a few hundred dollars per month, surely with some real effort a PROFESSIONAL site can pull in significantly more.

  13. #13
    Member
    Join Date
    July 11th, 2011
    Location
    Escondido, CA
    Posts
    53
    I feel the same way you do, Bill. Out of curiosity what got you interested in affiliate marketing to begin with? For me, I hosted a presentation at my house for Xtraplan; it's pretty much a cash-back website with an MLM element. Another entrepreneurial minded friend of mine was at the presentation and afterwards he told me how affiliate marketing worked (I was curious how Xtraplan was able to offer people ~5% cash back on their purchases and luckily my friend was able to explain the whole process to me). After I found out about it and did some research on my own I've been fascinated with it ever since.

  14. #14
    Newbie
    Join Date
    October 4th, 2011
    Posts
    5
    Talking Performance data
    Seems there are a lot of us who see the potential value in the loyalty/incentive-type site (count me a 3rd looking at a similar model)...

    I remember seeing an article recently about ebates.com buying out fatwallet.com and anycoupons.com - in the article, one of the bigwigs at ebates.com was quoted as saying he expected the network of loyalty sites the company owns to drive $1.1 BIL in sales this year.

    Correct me if I'm a little off (I came to this number through only a small sample of merchants I'm partnered with), but I've been running with the assumption that an average commission rate of 5% would be a mostly reliable starting point if we're talking an average of all merchants (I do have a lingering fear 5% might even be high considering some of the largest volume merchants offer less than 5% and could easily drag that overall average down).

    But, if 5% is on and the ebates network will drive $1.1 BIL in sales over the holidays alone, that means about $50 MIL in commission revenues generated, subtract the portion given back to members of said network and you have your gross for the busiest quarter of the year.

    Again, correct me if wrong, but it seems the stats I've found relating to year round online purchases seem to indicate that there really isn't THAT much upswing online during the holidays. If I remember correctly, the range for quarterly gross revenue in online retail for 2010 was between about $33 BIL and $45 BIL for a grand total of about $150BIL (US market only).

    I'll grant this: All sources of info list different results. I tend to rely more on government published statistics resources like the BLS and Census, however.

  15. #15
    Newbie
    Join Date
    September 19th, 2011
    Posts
    6
    Quote Originally Posted by ir_dizzle View Post
    I feel the same way you do, Bill. Out of curiosity what got you interested in affiliate marketing to begin with? For me, I hosted a presentation at my house for Xtraplan; it's pretty much a cash-back website with an MLM element. Another entrepreneurial minded friend of mine was at the presentation and afterwards he told me how affiliate marketing worked (I was curious how Xtraplan was able to offer people ~5% cash back on their purchases and luckily my friend was able to explain the whole process to me). After I found out about it and did some research on my own I've been fascinated with it ever since.
    I'm late to the party because I only recently learned about affiliate marketing. I have experience building and continuing to operate a successful offline business, but affiliate marketing interests me because of the ability to work remotely without the need for many employees or the physical capital required by offline businesses. Basically, I am looking for a better work/life balance without having to sacrifice too much income, and affiliate marketing seems like one of the best ways to get there.

  16. Newsletter Signup

+ Reply to Thread

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 3
    Last Post: September 13th, 2011, 10:42 PM
  2. Featured: Data feed errors = outrage at loyalty shopping sites
    By iolaire in forum Unethical Merchants
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: August 18th, 2011, 11:07 AM
  3. How does cashback sites work?
    By affiliateaholic in forum Midnight Cafe'
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: May 10th, 2010, 07:37 PM
  4. A reminder on loyalty sites
    By Zeus in forum Midnight Cafe'
    Replies: 54
    Last Post: April 23rd, 2008, 12:48 PM
  5. Replies: 0
    Last Post: June 5th, 2006, 12:48 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •