Interview: Holiday e-commerce and trends for 2024 with ClickDealer CSO Jane Ejim by Chris Trayhorn, Publisher of mThink Blue Book, December 11, 2023 In this interview, Jane Ejim, CSO of ClickDealer, discusses the company’s innovative strategies in e-commerce. ClickDealer runs campaigns with many major brands including giants such as Walmart and Tesco, focusing on quality traffic and brand-safe leads. The discussion covers the impact of the holiday season on consumer behavior and the role of AI in e-commerce, while hinting at exciting expansions and technological advancements planned for 2024. Can you provide an overview of ClickDealer and its place in the e-commerce ecosystem? In the context of e-commerce advertising, ClickDealer is an international traffic provider that works across multiple social / content / native platforms and partners with huge retail marketplaces worldwide to reach their KPIs and deliver new loyal users. You were recently acquired by DMS. How has that influenced your e-commerce strategy? The intersection of traffic sources between ClickDealer and DMS is minimal, so the acquisition has brought us access to new traffic sources on email and content platforms. Naturally, newfound capabilities have expanded our e-commerce strategy in terms of the types of engagement and traffic volume we can offer advertisers. For readers who are less familiar with you, tell us a little about your primary e-commerce market segments and perhaps a few of the brands with which you work? The English-speaking market is our bread and butter. The US and UK primarily. Europe is the second biggest market, with Italy, Spain, and Germany being among our top GEOs in the region.The brands we work with include Walmart, Tesco, Squarespace, Vici Collection, Upwork, Allegro, Lebara, Lycamobile, Morrisons, Sam’s Club, Finish Line, as well as a few travel companies such as Trip.com, Headout, Secret Escapes, Hotwire, Caesars Rewards Hotels, Radisson, Marriott, LATAM Airlines What are the main campaign approaches or strategies that you employ to help brands succeed? With affiliate marketing, everything always boils down to providing quality traffic at scale, so most of our strategies revolve around ensuring a steady supply of high-yield brand-safe leads. We have taken many steps to achieve that, which include developing an in-house platform with granular reporting features, implementing market-leading traffic quality control measures, bringing together a world-class team of managers to provide 24/7 campaign support, setting up seamless integration with leading traffic sources and advertising platforms, and countless other improvements to the performance marketing process we have noticed a need for in our 11 years on the market. The holiday season is a worldwide phenomenon. How does ClickDealer approach it in order to maximize the opportunities for brands and partners? Quite positively, as you might imagine. Holiday promos and deals that are ubiquitous in any given Q4 create a massive upswing of activity that is most noticeable in e-commerce, but a number of other consumer verticals like software, travel, and several lead generation niches also benefit greatly from the holiday season. There are huge spikes in conversion rates, revenues, and profit across the board – everything we like to see. Essentially you can view it as a series of the biggest holiday shopping events in the world. That means increased consumer spending driven by special seasonal promotions and the associated online content like gift guides and recommendations, along with tight shipping deadlines. There is also the fact that multiple promotions with various themes follow each other closely during the fall-winter holiday season, so the affiliates and advertisers that can quickly switch their campaign setup between Singles Day, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday will reap the most benefits. Can you provide a memorable example of a successful holiday campaign? Our partnership with Walmart started in early November 2021, which left us with limited time to prepare for the peak e-commerce season that year. The typical preparation period begins in October, with publishers selecting campaigns and merchants sharing special promotions. Motivated to show our full capabilities, we made up for it in 2022 with a comprehensive promotion strategy for the holiday season that grew our total order value from 9 million (January-October 2022) to 50 million during November and December 2022. Are there any bonuses for your partners this year? There are bonuses for our partners every year, especially during the holiday season. We are currently running multiple bonus programs in different verticals rewarding revenue growth during the shopping holidays – something that is pretty easy to achieve, especially for anyone running e-commerce. We have more plans for the winter months, but you will have to tune in to our info channels for the announcements. What are the most lucrative GEOs for the e-commerce vertical, and do you expect any changes on that front in 2024? Currently, the most e-commerce money is in North America and Europe, namely countries like the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, and Italy. They offer large consumer bases and high spending power, making them attractive for affiliate marketers. Some high-potential markets, such as India, Brazil, Indonesia, Australia, and New Zealand have shown substantial e-commerce growth lately. And let’s not forget that consumer behavior, especially post-pandemic, plays a powerful role. The shift to online shopping, preferences for convenience, and the usage of mobile shopping apps continue to trend among customers, so the countries with the infrastructure that allows convenient shipping will pull ahead. What trends do you see in terms of traffic sources for e-commerce? Facebook is still #1, but yes, TikTok has grown a lot and might overtake it someday. Aside from these two, content, display, search, and native take up a large part of the current traffic share. We are currently seeing a 60/40 split between mobile and desktop respectively. Of course, it depends on the marketplace, but mobile is definitely pulling ahead. How is AI influencing e-commerce? AI algorithms analyze customer data to provide perfect product recommendations and content, enhancing the overall shopping experience and increasing conversion rates. AI-based predictive analytics help e-commerce businesses predict trends and customer behavior, allowing them to make proactive marketing and inventory decisions. Generative AI helps e-commerce businesses of all sizes to make creatives that showcase and promote their products at an unprecedented scale. So, the obvious conclusion is that AI is a major growth driver in e-commerce right now. Could you share your thoughts on the coming year? What are your predictions and plans for 2024? The current growth of e-commerce is a little like that of remote work after the pandemic: people have come to recognize the convenience and practicality, and have adjusted their lifestyles accordingly. The steady growth of the market reflects that. We are seeing a number of clients moving from offline to online, and increasing their marketing budgets for affiliate channels, which we couldn’t be happier about. Our prediction for the next year is further growth, and we are confident that doubling our e-commerce revenue is achievable in 2024. In terms of our plans, naturally I can’t reveal everything, but I can say that we are planning to expand into new geos, and the portfolio of our clients is growing. Expect new exclusive deals, unique in-house tech, and expanded capabilities to reach new markets. ClickDealer is one of the Blue Book’s Recommended Networks. Please refer to their network profile for more information. To join their network, please apply here. Filed under: Article, Blue Book, Featured, Mobile Marketing Tagged under: affiliate marketing, affiliate networks, Industry Trends, Interview About the Author Chris Trayhorn, Publisher of mThink Blue Book Chris Trayhorn is the Chairman of the Performance Marketing Industry Blue Ribbon Panel and the CEO of mThink.com, a leading online and content marketing agency. He has founded four successful marketing companies in London and San Francisco in the last 15 years, and is currently the founder and publisher of Revenue+Performance magazine, the magazine of the performance marketing industry since 2002.