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First launched in Singapore in 2014, cashback and discovery platform ShopBack has since expanded its footprint to serve consumers and retailers across Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand, Australia, and, most recently, Vietnam and Korea. Shopback has amassed over 30 million users across all markets and has given back $200m+ in cashback since launch!

Our marketing director in APAC, Ayaan Mohamud, posed some questions to Tom Howard (Head of Sales) about ShopBack’s successful start-up, how they use the platform, and their plans for the future. 

Ayaan: Can you tell us a bit about how ShopBack works and the kinds of brands you partner with? What are some of the newer names we can look for in your program?

Tom Howard: Our mission is to deliver the most rewarding shopping experience customers can not live without. We do this by allowing them to discover brands, find promotions, search products and compare prices all within one platform. We work with over 2,000 brands to ensure they are in every stage of this consideration phase from search to sale. Brands work with us to find new customers, drive sales, and increase customer CLV. 

Some of the most recent additions to ShopBack include JB Hi-Fi, Bunnings, IKEA, House, Doordash, and Hoyts.

Ayaan: Last year, you launched a number of new features such as gift cards and product comparison. Can you tell us more about those and how they bring value to consumers and your partners?

Tom: As we’ve grown, our product has become a platform for discovery, with Australians opening the app on average 9.5 times a week. Today, customers start their shopping journey with ShopBack and have the ability to search 50m+ products from top retailers with the click of a button. We simplify shopping for them by allowing them to filter by brand, cashback rate, and even set a price alert. This is super valuable for brands as we’re driving them shoppers with a high product intent and helping them navigate to the best brand.

On top of this, we’ve launched a Gift Card feature in Australia, allowing users to purchase gift cards from Bunnings, IKEA, JB Hi-Fi, and Amazon. The cool thing about this feature is that we’ve turned customers‘ cashback savings into a currency so they can choose to use their cashback balance as a payment method, alongside VISA and Mastercard. 

Ayaan: What has enabled ShopBack to stand out in APAC’s cashback and coupon market? What differentiates you, and how do you get that message across to partners and consumers?

Tom: Our customers, our product, and our brand. When we launched, we knew that we needed to deliver a mobile product that was far superior to anybody else’s. We invested heavily into mobile technology and produced an award-winning app.

Other than things like product search, cashback and discovery, we’re also constantly creating new ways to add value to our brand partners. For example, last year, we rolled out a feature that allows brands to target specific offers to segmented audiences, helping them acquire new customers, increase AOV, and even reactivate lapsed customers. Since we rolled this out, we’ve had almost 5 million challenge opt-ins from customers. 

Ayaan: Can you provide the big picture of how you use the platform? What are the advantages it offers for you and your partners?

Tom: The platform allows us to do so much. The most critical part is that it will enable us to work with over 300 brands and ensure that we can track our users‘ transactions to award them with the correct cashback. 

Ayaan: Which features does your team rely on most and why?

Tom: One of the best features is the Brand Marketplace, as it allows us to connect and talk to hundreds of new potential brand partners. This self-serve style platform allows us the freedom to search and discover brands at scale.

Ayaan: Tell us about your plans for ShopBack In-Store; are those partnerships different from your traditional relationships, and what are some of the management challenges you face with them?

Tom: The In-Store rewards ecosystem is nascent and super fragmented, and we believe we can play a major role in digitizing loyalty for bricks and mortar operators.

Our In-Store rewards program is in beta and focused on the Sydney region and is built with merchants front and center. Customers can earn Cashback via our partnership with VISA and Mastercard, buy deals, and earn progress toward rewards every time they visit a partner location.

Right now, you can open the ShopBack app and see a range of Food and Beverage offers from local Sydney favorites such as XOPP, Coco Fresh Tea and Juice, Chefs Gallery, and hundreds more! 

Ayaan: What plans do you have for the large funding round you received from investors in October?  What’s on the horizon for ShopBack?

Tom: We were thrilled to finally announce a funding round that syndicated in March 2021, had the necessary regulatory filings done in October, and closed. The support from institutional investors is an excellent validation of the work we do for customers and merchants and will fuel further growth in Australia.

In addition to growth, we will be using it to hire great talent to help us continue to build new and impactful features for our brands and customers to interact with. We also recently acquired a leading BNPL player, hoolah. They currently operate in Singapore, Malaysia, and Hong Kong. 

Ayaan: And our final question, what should brands consider when making a partnership successful with Shopback?

Tom: The key to a successful partnership with us is to have really clear goals on what you want to achieve and work with our Account Management team to build a strategy that ensures success. As long as this is in place, then you’re set up for success.

We would love to feature your story! If you would like to learn more about the Publisher Development Team or tell your story on our blog, get in touch here.

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