[Read the Romanian version here]

You work hard to create your website, your sales funnels, your promotion strategy. You know how to bring “your people” to your website. And they come in droves. Yay! And then 98% of them leave without buying.

Don’t feel bad about that, this is the norm: the medium conversion rate of online shoppers worldwide in the 3rd quarter of 2020 was 2,17%. You can do better than that, with the right strategy and tools. Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is a discipline in and of itself. There’s good news and bad news. Because that means you need knowledge, time, and money to improve your eCommerce conversion rate.

What if we told you there’s a way to do it through affiliate marketing? Affiliate marketers usually bring their own qualified traffic to the advertiser’s ecommerce stores and get paid for each sale they generate. But traffic is not all. Your ecommerce store has to be optimized for conversions. So, a few years ago a bunch of affiliate marketers wanted to challenge the advertisers because they thought they would convert the existing traffic better. And so a new concept was born: conversion rate optimization paid at cost per sale.

SmarterClick is the name of that service and they are one of our rising star affiliates, having only been on the platform for a few months. Here’s the full story below.

Fashion, Home and Garden, Electricals, Beauty tend to be the best performing niches. We aim to achieve at least 10% conversion rates in these verticals, but if we have a good strategy, we can even achieve 30-35% conversion rate.

Giedre Hebadj, Partnerships Manager SmarterClick. All answers below are hers.

What is SmarterClick?

SmarterClick was created in 2014 after a few long standing affiliate marketers saw an opportunity to better improve the conversion flow for retailers. Appetite quickly grew and fast forward to today we are now active in the EMEA, APAC and US markets (UK being our main market) with some great new hires and plans to grow even further this year. We now have over 500 worldwide advertisers from different verticals, among them being SKY, AVON, Currys, Marionnaud, Aosom, Feelunique, Misspap, Boohoo Group and THG Group. 

How does your technology work?

Smarter Click’s proprietary solutions allow retailers the ability to better improve their conversion rate from their existing traffic. Our solutions vary but focus on keeping the user engaged with the checkout flow and on their path to purchase. We also have a range of upsell, product recommendations and stock features that ensure we’re delivering incremental uplift. We only target visitors that want to leave without buying. So, traffic that would otherwise be lost.

What kind of metrics are you looking to improve? Can you share a few results you’ve had?

We are aiming to improve the website’s conversion rate, reduce bounce rates and increase the average order value.

For example, L’Occitane wanted to improve the site-wide conversion rate during a key period. Working closely with them we decided on two campaigns incentivizing customers to convert whilst encouraging upsell. To ensure these were personalised, SmarterClick technology was used to read what was in the customers’ basket and serve overlays with relevant messaging, like the offer below:

The campaign had an engagement rate of 47%, a conversion rate of 28% and generated £200k in revenue. These are the kind of results we can generate for advertisers depending on the site traffic and vertical however where we can we aim to achieve at least 10% overall conversion from our campaigns

Why is it important for an ecommerce business to utilize services like the one you’re providing? Is it not enough to have a well-designed website and bring qualified traffic?

Advertisers invest really big marketing budgets in bringing the traffic to their site, but then they also need a solution how to convert those site browsers/ leavers into buyers. By keeping visitors on the website (through overlays) and reengaging with them having left the site (through email and push notifications) we are able to guide traffic back into the conversion funnel.

Ok, let’s address the elephant in the room 🙂 If I’m an advertiser and I spend good money on bringing traffic, why should I pay you for the sales?

Precisely because you are paying good money to bring in the traffic. If you only convert 1-3% of the visitors then the money spent on bringing them to the website is lost. We help you better convert the traffic and/or increase the value of the basket. You actually save money and time, improve your overall bounce rates, increase AOV.

What kind of on-site targeting can you do? Could you have multiple rules in place?

We target exit-intent traffic through personalisation and dynamically delivering the right message, at the right time, for the right audience. We build all our campaigns bespoke to client needs and encourage A/B testing as well as an almost limitless ability to target users by any requirement (new, existing, geolocation, name, spend, traffic source, session etc). There could be an unlimited amount of rules/ triggering points, the user would only see one overlay that is relevant to their journey.

Can you give us a few examples of implementations?

Our overlays are produced based on the advertiser’s main KPIs and objectives, which can vary from improving the conversion rate to increasing the basket value or reducing basket bounce rate or site bounce rate. Based on these we create a strategy and overlays to suit the objectives.

You can experience our overlays in our overlays showcase.

Since you target existing traffic, what happens with visitors sent by the other affiliates who work with the same advertiser?

We never show overlays to the user if they are coming via Network UTM, so we would never jeopardize the existing affiliate relationships. 

Can you do other exclusions, too?

Yes, if the advertiser is doing internal newsletter campaigns, social advertising like Facebook, we can blacklist/ block any UTM source to prevent the user seeing our overlays.

Is it complicated for an advertiser to start a collaboration with you? What do they need to do? Does it matter what eCommerce platform the advertiser is on?

Integrating the Smarter Click tag into advertisers’ websites is quick and simple, we have one step integration with GTM as well as a very easy implementation guidance with all other platforms. In most cases it’s a two minutes job for any advertiser.

How does a typical collaboration between you and an advertiser work?

Once the tag is live on the site all we need from the advertiser is their KPIs and asset requirements. We will then build the strategy  and share the assets designed by our team for your approval. The next step would be for our tech team to ensure the tech is set up as it should be and ready for us to live test. Finally we will confirm all is working as it should be and set the campaigns live to generate conversions which are paid on a CPA basis.

Talking about strategy, do you have clear-cut models you implement, or do you do a deep dive into the advertiser’s business and create something specific to them?

Absolutely, we have many great advertisers on-board and many best-case scenarios, however every advertiser gets a bespoke approach with a strategy built for them, every website is a completely new project to our team!

How long does it usually take to create a campaign? And how long does it need to run to be able to analyze the results?

To build, create and launch a campaign can take up to 24h, we have an in-house tech and design team, so it’s a super swift process. We recommend advertisers to keep the same campaigns for a month or so in order to understand the performance. But we can also work according to the advertisers marketing calendar. Every advertiser would have a completely different approach.

When do you know it’s time to make changes?

We always analyze daily, weekly and monthly performance, if we see any changes or other possibilities, we will always recommend them to the advertiser.

What was your favorite campaign and why?

I personally love fun campaigns, like Wheel of fortune, gift finders, and any other campaign that requires creativity and out-of-the-box thinking. See below a few of my favorite overlays:

What kind of advertisers are you looking to work with? Do you have certain requirements in terms of traffic & number of sales?

We are open to work with any advertiser from any vertical, the only requirement we have is to stay with us for 3 months in order to see the true effect of the incrementality.

What are the key advantages of working with you?

We have great knowledge and examples of different verticals, we can suggest different strategies based on the individual advertiser’s needs, all innovative creatives are made by our design team, the campaigns go live super swiftly. The advertiser gets full optimization support from our team. 

What are the industries where you have had the best results so far?

Although we work with all verticals, e-commerce sites have the best conversion results. Among them Fashion, Home and Garden, Electricals, Beauty tend to be the best performing niches. We aim to achieve at least 10% conversion rates in these verticals, but if we have a good strategy, we can even achieve 30-35% conversion rate.

Are there differences between the Romanian market and the other European markets?

Romania is currently going via the growth stage and I can see this as a massive advantage for advertisers to use our solutions. We have great expertise with all international markets, so we can recommend best-case practices from around the world to the Romanian advertisers.

Can you share a few findings about consumer behavior that you’ve uncovered throughout the years?

Consumers are becoming very aware of promotions, voucher codes. They are also looking for the easiest way to shop – easy sales funnel, they are busy and trying to find what they are looking for very quickly.

I know that you already started some collaborations with advertisers on 2Performant. How is it going? 

We just built a strategy for a well known Romanian furniture brand and hearing them giving feedback that we have improved their basket abandonment rates by 10% in two weeks and by 25% in one month. To see such positive results makes us understand the importance of our work!

You can reach out to Giedre on the platform to start a collaboration with SmarterClick.

Do you have an online shop and you want to increase your online sales? Come join our affiliate marketing platform!

Do you want to earn money by promoting your favorite online brands? Find out how affiliate marketing can help you monetize your audience!

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