Getting to know buy.at and thanks for the great welcome!
Firstly many thanks for the amazing reception we feel really welcomed and its set the stage for us to explain a little more about who we are, what we stand for, where we have come from and what the future holds.
I'm hoping this thread will spark some discussion , some further questions from the forum and give everyone an insight into what buy.at is all about and how that can benefit you.
Who we are:
buy.at was founded by me and 3 others - Steve Brown, Dave Brown and Paul Fellows
We felt that the network market for affiliates in the UK was poor at that time. Affiliates and merchants alike were not happy and felt that the networks were not adding any real value after initial affiliate and merchant introductions were facilitated.
I can remember back then vividly (2002) and our dream was born. To launch an affiliate network in the UK that could foster and build better relationships between the two main parties in the mix - affiliates and merchants and provide a level of service to both parties that was sorely lacking at that time.
To do this we knew the market needed more transparency, more interaction and a good dose of ethics.
We could see the main issues were more prevalent in the relationships with large corporate companies and their affiliate base so we decided at that stage to make those clients our primary market.
To date we deal with over 170 companies 95% of which are big brands either in the UK or globally.
Clients like T-mobile, Hertz, Capital One, Hutchinson Whampoa, Sky, MBNA, Virgin and many many more.
We want to be a part of helping the affiliate channel mature and are true advocates of the model and industry that we are involved in.
As our business has grown we can truly say that many of our affiliates we would count as our friends and we are hoping we can build our US network with similar results.
I was lucky enough to be interviewed by Haiko a couple of years back and for those who have not listened to this pod cast you can get a feel for how we view our industry - http://www.podcastdirectory.com/podshows/96944
The bottom line is affiliates are our life blood and we try to structure our business to maximize the potential for growing yours.
What we stand for:
A big part of reputation is based on the trust we have built up with our clients and affiliates. We have extremely low merchant churn parting company with only one or two companies in the 5 years we have been in operation.
We have strong views on ethics and believe an affiliate should get paid on what they reasonably expect to get paid for and vice versa a merchant should pay for sales they reasonably expect to pay for.
With this in mind we are very active on policing our network for dubious activity and regularly run checks through our spyware lab which is run out of our solutions team.
In the 5 years we have been running we have not let our affiliates take the hit for our mistakes. Everyone makes mistakes but we do not feel that you the affiliate should bear the brunt for it.
This means we have even paid out commissions to date when companies we have worked with have not paid us - if they have gone bust you do not feel it. Thatís the spirit of partnership in our opinion and is in stark contrast to most of our competition.
We want the affiliate market to be a strong one for new entrants and regularly offer free consultancy to our merchant base to increase their opinion of the channel as a whole.
Where we have come from:
We have been in the network game now for 5 years. We currently punch pound for pound with CJ in the UK for market share of the biggest UK and global brands with a UK presence.
We started off with 4 staff 5 years ago and have grown into one of the big 3 in the UK with offices now in Newcastle and London.
Senior management has been strengthened since we completed a 7.3 million pounds investment deal back in March last year and this puts us in a great position to win more market share both at home and abroad.
We still have our feet on the ground and regularly remind ourselves of why we are in the position we are now - this is due to the loyalty and support of our affiliates.
What the future holds:
We will be creating a leading set of brand name programs for US affiliates to promote
New York will be where we will have our US offices early next year.
Merging of the UK and US networks will create big opportunities for affiliates to geo target traffic and to work across the pond.
Networks that exist now in the US will change for the better to try and compete with us which only means good things for the industry as a whole.
Merchants will become better educated at a corporate level on dubious activity which costs them and you money.
I hope this gives a better insight into buy.at and who we are.
If anyone has any comments or questions or feedback Iíd love to hear.