Q4 client predictions: RevLifter

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Simon Bird, co-founder of RevLifter, discusses the business impact of e-commerce events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and other Q4 predictions.  

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How have Black Friday and Cyber Monday been adopted in your local market? Has it had a big impact upon your own business?

For those that aren’t aware of our technology, RevLifter is an advanced e-commerce platform that serves personalized incentives to customers that are in the market to buy. First, we establish the type of customer that the retailer wants to drive; it could be that they’re after people that are yet to buy with them, or those in a certain territory.

We then go about targeting people that are searching for deals through a suite of proprietary tools. One of our more popular solutions around events like Black Friday is RevPage. Featuring the retailer’s own branding, these dynamic coupon hubs are packed with incentives that are personalized to the user at the other end.

RevLifter is active in all major territories and we have certainly witnessed a global appetite for both deals and discounting from retailers. Our data shows there is particular interest in the US and the UK, as well as in Australia. However, this period really is a worldwide phenomenon and many different markets are seeing a huge lift in sales. 

In the case of RevLifter as a business, each of our campaigns is based around deals, so Black Friday is naturally one of our busier days of the year. Our technology facilitates the delivery of real-time deals, and these have to account for any changes in the user’s circumstances as well as external factors, like the retailer’s own stock levels. It takes months of planning to run through all the potential scenarios that might unfold. 

Due to the platform’s capability, it’s common for a user to change what they do according to the time of day and the performance of certain lines. Our deal pages have to be able to adapt to the frantic nature of days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which is no mean feat. Thankfully, we’re powered by a versatile and flexible technology that utilizes concepts like AI to hand-pick the right deal in every instance.

Tell us how your company is preparing for Black Friday 2018.

Black Friday is important to many of our users and it will often inspire them to launch deals that are unique to that day. Some go even further by offering different deals on a minute-by-minute basis, which we can also facilitate.

I’ll add that most of our preparation for Black Friday was done in 2017 when we were mapping out the RevLifter platform. After recognizing that periods like the holidays would represent something of a test, we developed a technology that could stand up to the rigors of constant tweaking over an indefinite period.

With a view to building on our foundation, there have been some very recent changes that have enabled our users to run deals that really do take everything into account. Our platform can now access data from within a retailer’s warehouse to monitor its stock levels in real time. If a product is selling well, it might not require the extra push that a low-selling item needs.

I’ve worked in affiliate marketing for nearly 15 years and I’ve never seen a “coupon solution” that’s been able to integrate these sorts of data points. We’re just glad we got there first!

What do you think of global retail events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday? Are they a good thing for your business or do they make your job harder?

Naturally, we think they’re great news, but you might have guessed that. Of course our job is made a little harder but there would be no point in our work if we couldn’t rise to the challenge.

The Black Friday period is very competitive and requires both publishers and advertisers to really think outside of the box to cut through all the noise that reverberates around it. For us, it’s our product in action, and we love being able to delve into the data afterwards.

What value can affiliates contribute to an advertiser’s objectives during Black Friday and Cyber Monday?

Most affiliates will have good reach within their area of specialism and that’s always going to be of value to an advertiser whose goal is to drive sales.

In terms of RevLifter, we’re unique in the sense that our deals are personalized according to the individual that sees them. I genuinely feel that the days of the coupon scattergun are coming to an end. Advertisers are demanding more considered methods of incentivizing their customers, and we’re glad to be able to add value by only targeting the business they want to drive.

A separate benefit comes from people like us acting as a one-stop shop for incentives around the Black Friday period. Our pages come with the advertiser’s own branding and can portray any theme they like - from business as usual, across to something that stresses urgency around a bunch of deals. As you’ll see from Amazon’s results during the week, broadcasting the message of time sensitivity really does help when it comes to driving conversions.  

How do you think Black Friday and Cyber Monday are evolving? What do you think these events will look like in the future?

Well they’ve already produced a couple of offshoots that have given us something to think about. We talk a lot about Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but days like Small Business Saturday and Sofa Sunday (the weekend before Cyber Monday) are now serious events for RevLifter. Customers are searching for deals up to two weeks before Black Friday, so there’s been some clear evolution there.

Another trend has seen retailers prolonging the impact of Black Friday by running promotional periods that can last over two weeks. Some will start a full week before Black Friday, while others are revving the engine around early November with teaser deals. I think this is sometimes due to a fear of being drowned out when the weekend arrives, although some retailers are just very active in their discounting.  

The future will see more records being broken (this year will likely be the biggest for revenue) and I can even picture some interest in sales days around other periods. Who knows - perhaps Black Friday will be rivaled by a summer equivalent in the next few years?

What one tip would you give fellow companies participating in Black Friday this year?

Two words: Be adaptable. It’s all well and good planning three months in advance, earmarking precisely which products are going to need discounting, applying a 10% or 20% off on certain lines over the course of the day. When you look at the data and discover that a low-margin item outsold everything else by a huge amount, you’ll probably be wishing for another go at it.

We find that if you can adapt to what’s happening around the day, the basket and the stock levels, you can ensure that every incentive is justified.

To learn more about Black Friday 2018 opportunities on our network, contact your account manager or our publisher management team.