Leading up to the iGB Affiliate Exhibition (13-14 April 2022) in London where OrangeBuddies Media will be represented, we interview Gijs de Jager, CCO of OrangeBuddies Media about Cashback and Loyalty Affiliate Marketing. iGB Affiliate connects operators and affiliates in the igaming industry.
1 – Can you tell us a bit more about yourself. Who are you and what kind of company is OrangeBuddies?
I am Gijs de Jager, CCO at OrangeBuddies Media. I started here over 10 years ago, so I’ve fully experienced the growth of the company. OrangeBuddies Media is a dynamic online media company with its headquarters in Harderwijk and a second office in Barcelona.
Since its founding in 2009, OrangeBuddies Media, a provider of cashback and loyalty concepts throughout Europe, has experienced rapid growth. With more than 100 cashback websites in 13 countries, we have become one of the market leaders in cashback.
2 – How did you get the idea to start OrangeBuddies?
We saw the cashback trend from America slowly spreading to Europe and immediately knew that it had potential, also in the Netherlands. After a few months of preparation, we launched our first cashback platform in the Netherlands in 2009: ShopBuddie (now renamed ShopBuddies internationally).
In the years that followed, we expanded further, first in neighboring countries and later to all of Europe, with various cashback concepts. The e-commerce share is still increasing in all countries and we also notice this with our cashback websites.
More and more consumers are finding their way online and we strive to give them the highest cashback with ShopBuddies, which also saves them a lot of money when they store online.
3 – What is your revenue model?
The basis of the cashback earnings model is affiliate marketing, or performance based marketing. In addition, there is additional income, for example by setting up targeted promotional campaigns within our own channels in cooperation with advertisers.
Over the years, our cashback communities have grown so much that we have a huge reach. Within these communities of loyal consumers, far-reaching segmentation is possible, allowing us to target the audience of advertisers.
4 – How have you been able to build such a large membership base?
From the beginning we have used various channels, both online and offline, to recruit members. Because of this you can see pretty quickly what works and what doesn’t. Incidentally, this can differ per country. What works in the Netherlands does not necessarily work in other European countries. It is therefore important to draw up a plan for each country and test what works.
5 – You are active in 13 countries with a wide variaty of platforms. How do you manage it?
We manage the countries from 2 offices, in the Netherlands and Spain. From Harderwijk we cover the Dutch, Belgian (Flemish), German and UK markets and the other countries from our office in Barcelona. For each country we have a team with different disciplines, such as sales, content, marketing and native speakers. Through good training, frequent meetings and communication moments and continuous optimization of our systems (which we have developed and maintained in-house), it is possible to establish and scale our concept in multiple countries.
6 – Are there many differences in online behavior or e-commerce landscape between the different countries?
As I just mentioned in relation to membership recruitment, there are indeed differences per country. This also applies to the online behavior of consumers, which is reflected for example in the (differences in) successful webshops per country and the discount offers that people are interested in. That is why it is a must to work with native speakers, from the country concerned. They know the culture, the needs of the consumers and what else is going on.
7 – Do you have a lot of competition in the Netherlands / abroad?
We sail our own course and I believe that competition only keeps you on your toes. We also discuss developments in the market on a regular basis. Cashback is still relatively unknown in many countries, and with several players operating in the market, awareness of cashback is only increasing. We see that as a positive thing.
8 – Why is it interesting for advertisers/webshop owners to work with you?
Advertisers are looking for reach, and even more specifically for consumers who shop online. The cashback websites of OrangeBuddies Media have built up a huge reach in recent years. These are loyal members who frequently store online and come back for repeat purchases.
For advertisers and webshops that are active in multiple countries, we can also set up a promotion in multiple countries so that they do not have to use different channels. They also often use the segmentation possibilities that our systems offer to target the right audience.
9 – How do you see the future of cashback within affiliate marketing?
Very positive. Cashback will only continue to grow in the coming years. If you look at the US and the UK, the forerunners in this field, cashback is by far the biggest channel for generating sales within affiliate marketing. This is certainly going to happen in Europe too and we are doing our part.
10 – What do you consider important in a partnership with a web shop/merchant?
We are open to collaborate with any webshop, of course the commissions should be in line with similar advertisers. It is important for us that the available promotional material is refreshed regularly. We see that action-based promotions work best.
With our top 100 advertisers we often have direct contact to discuss collaborations in detail, this switches very nicely for both the advertiser and our sales team, communication is the key.
11- Do you have a preference for an affiliate network?
We do not have a preferred network and work with most affiliate networks. A spread of affiliate networks is a conscious decision not to be dependent on one network. Each network has its strengths and weaknesses. To achieve the maximum result for advertisers, the cooperation between affiliate network and publisher is of great importance. After all, you are jointly responsible for success.
12- Do you use affiliate programs which apply conversion attribution?
Through TradeTracker, we run quite a few programs where the attribution model is applied. At the introduction of this model, we were curious about the impact it would have, but in the end it turned out to be better than we expected. The percentage of attribution sales is very low for us. Because our members are faithful and loyal, they only shop online via our platforms.