Ad-tech startup ifeelgoods has unearthed a big secret about success in e‑commerce: people prefer getting something for free more than they like money off discounts.
E‑commerce analysts, web content managers and e‑commerce managers alike might want to sit up and take note: ifeelgoods discovered that people are three times more likely to click their way through an ad and 30 per cent more likely to buy when they’re offered a digital reward instead of a straight discount.
Gifts just work better than discounts
Co-founder and CEO Michael Amar explains:
“When an online retailer tests a 10 percent off and free shipping offer against an ifeelgoods digital reward offer of equivalent cash value, they are seeing double and triple the CTR, 30 percent or more improvement in conversion rate, and a significant earned media channel from the 60 percent or more of shoppers that share their success with the offer.”
The two-year-old startup spurns traditional promotions like discounts and coupons in favor of digital alternatives, cleverly tailoring its promotional gifts to customer preferences. If you’re looking at child-friendly X‑Box games for the kids this Christmas, for example, an ifeelgoods ad might appear offering a free copy of the latest Angry Birds game, whereupon you might just go on to make an in-app purchase and benefit the developer in the process. Or if a customer is surfing for T‑shirts featuring a favorite rock band, he or she might be presented with an iTunes gift card.
Supple targeting translates into major success
Amar’s fellow co-founder, Suchit Dash, says that ifeelgoods’ whole approach is much suppler (and subtler) than simply shoving fixed rewards at consumers. The firm targets consumers with what they’re already showing an interest in. For example, it’s found that iTunes gift card offers generate more clicks when they’re featured on Apple’s iAd platform, reaching Apple device users who will be more likely to take up the offer of a few extra songs.
And the company’s clearly going from strength to strength: it raised $9.5 million in Series A funding (taking its total to $11 million) and now has offices in New York, Silicon Valley, and Paris, handling 150 reward providers and 100 advertisers. Advertisers include Coca Cola, Groupon, Wal-Mart, Meijer, Renault and Universal Pictures and gift card distributors include Amazon, iTunes, Skype and Zynga. And the list is growing.