It’s easy to love a brand that supports a cause you care about, and even easier if that cause is your daughter’s field hockey team. FlipGive is the shopping rewards app for families that unlocks sales and shopper loyalty through community givebacks.
Here’s how it works. A youth sports, dance, or chess team, for example, can set up a FlipGive account and invite parents and supporters to join. Those supporters earn givebacks on everyday shopping with their favorite brands, and givebacks are pooled to reduce team expenses and player fees. It’s an interesting spin on the charity partnership model. We wanted to know more about it, so impact.com’s Richa Dani spoke with Amy Halpenny, VP of Business Development at FlipGive, to get the score.
Richa Dani: This is an interesting pathway to a specific demographic. Can you tell us a bit about the kinds of consumers brands can connect with via FlipGive and why they’re so valuable?
Amy Halpenny: We work with over 700+ brand partners across North America, mapping against every major consumer category from grocery, general retail, fashion, beauty, sports, electronics, home, travel, entertainment, financial services, and more. We connect brands to highly-coveted customers (80 percent moms) shopping for themselves and their families. We have a very engaged, premium audience motivated to spend more with brands that give back.
Richa: Can you tell us how the impact.com platform fits into your partnerships program?
Amy: FlipGive and impact.com have had a long-standing, valuable partnership. We connect with close to 200 brand partners via impact.com, including some of our highest volume programs. Our sports and outdoor, home, electronics, and general retail have driven close to $50M in sales and over $2M in community givebacks via impact.com.
Richa: App-based partnerships are notoriously complex; can you talk about how you’ve addressed that complexity with impact.com and if you leverage deep linking at all to increase conversions?
Amy: Over 75 percent of our audience actively shop from our mobile app so working with partners like impact.com who help to optimize our mobile traffic and provide a seamless customer journey from intent to completed purchase is incredibly valuable. By deep-linking our promotions to our advertisers’ category and product-level pages, FlipGive users simply click once to purchase, helping us maintain a very high average conversion rate relative to industry comparables.
Richa: We’ve seen that one of the benefits of partnerships based on social good is that people spend more with brands that give back. Do you find that to be the case, and what kind of lift are you seeing vs. industry benchmarks?
Amy: FlipGive shoppers are different from other traditional loyalty publisher audiences. Our customers are not deal-seekers chasing discounts or coupon codes. Instead, our shoppers seek brand givebacks that directly support their kids, helping to fund the high cost of their sports and activities. Our team shopping model incentivizes an extended group of shoppers to rally their support together by spending more with our brands. This unique motive helps our brand partners unlock more meaningful, grassroots customer connections and deep-rooted loyalty with premium customers across North America.
Richa: Community youth sports, in particular, have a definite seasonality to them. How do you help your retail partners address events like Black Friday or back-to-school sales opportunities?
Amy: We have a small but mighty merchandising team that punches way above their weight, pulling off beautifully curated promotions 365 days/year. We generate year-round sales for our partners by helping them connect during key moments in both the retail calendar and sports calendar. We offer cross-channel seasonal placements in traditional retail shopping events like Black Friday or back-to-school. We also help our brands get in front of coaches, managers, athletes, and parents across all youth sports aligned with their sport seasonality. Key omnichannel placements from pre-season to end-of-season gameplay and tournaments help our brand partners drive sales with this highly targeted audience.
Richa: You seem to have a variety of activations available to your partners, from curated sponsored feeds to email. Can you talk about the different options, how impact.com helps you manage those channels, and how you are able to tie into in-store traffic and sales?
Amy: Our flexible marketing plans are designed to help our brand partners generate more meaningful engagement across the entire funnel delivering against key business priorities. We offer multi-level sponsorship opportunities in flagship marketing programs designed to drive awareness, sales, and grassroots goodwill, combined with performance-based seasonal shopping placements directly tied to sales. We offer cross-channel marketing promotions, including placements in our web and app event landing pages, email newsletters, direct push notifications to our app users, as well as sponsored editorial content. Especially since the pandemic, we’ve worked with impact.com to run targeted BOPIS promotions to help our brand partners scale their pick-up and/or delivery programs to integrate online sales to increase in-store traffic and sales seamlessly. We’ve also launched 1:1 targeting capabilities enabling our brand partners to push personalized givebacks to targeted audience cohorts based on their behavior, demographic, or geo-location.
Richa: You can see in your business model that loyalty goes both ways. Consumers come back in part because they perceive these brands to be loyal to them and their families. Can you run through some of the metrics your brand partners see in terms of repeat shoppers and retention?
Amy: Our customers are shopping to support their kids playing and growing together. They’re not deal-seekers or discount chasers. They have an entirely different motive to spend, and for that reason, we have high loyalty metrics relative to other publishers. FlipGive has a $125 AOV, 8X Average Repeat Purchase Rate, and 24 percent Average Conversion Rate. We’ve proven that brands loyal to their shoppers’ causes generate more sales. Even throughout the pandemic during one of the most challenging retail and sports environments, the power of givebacks incentivized shoppers on FlipGive, unlocking sales and deep-rooted loyalty through goodwill.
Richa: Who are some of your big brand success stories? Tell us about the partnership and how you achieved success with it. Any unexpected brands or verticals that do surprisingly well with FlipGive?
Amy: People often assume we work with sports-only advertisers. That could not be farther from the truth. With impact.com, some of our highest volume partners include Apple, Old Navy, The Home Depot, Kohl’s, Walmart, and Staples – evidence supporting that FlipGive drives sales for brands across any vertical looking to drive incremental spend with HHI families. We have a particularly close partnership with Fanatics via impact.com, having driven millions in sales for Fanatics through grassroots givebacks to youth sports teams. In addition to placements in our seasonal retail promotions and targeted sports campaigns, this year, we offered Fanatics unique exposure to our audience as a Platinum sponsor of our Return-to-Sport Matching Grant program, helping teams ready to make a comeback post-Covid. Fanatics has also been an early test partner with our new proprietary 1:1 custom targeting capabilities and personalized rewards program.
Richa: How do you find and connect with new brand partners, and how does impact.com facilitate new relationships for you?
Amy: impact.com has been an outstanding partner helping introduce FlipGive to relevant new brand partners who want to reach our premium audience of HHI families. At this stage, we’re looking to connect with new brand partners that provide more value to our families through increased givebacks, as well as helping us tap into more share of wallet via new spend categories or extend coverage in existing categories, including more regional brand partnerships or fast-growing DTC consumer brands.
Richa: What is your ideal brand partner profile? Is there a particular brand you think would be a great fit with FlipGive and that you’d really love to see on your roster?
Amy: An ideal brand partner works with us to leverage community givebacks as a long-term integrated marketing strategy to differentiate in a saturated marketplace and build more meaningful engagement across the full funnel. Instead of seeing us as a last-click discount or coupon site, we want our brand partners to leverage FlipGive as an efficient channel to unlock brand loyalty and goodwill with a highly-coveted customer segment at every stage of the customer journey. We actively recruit more brand partners, especially everyday essentials brands — across delivery, grocery, gas, personal care, household items – and sporting goods manufacturers actively scaling their DTC channels.
Richa: What advice or best practices would you offer brands thinking about building a charity or community-based partnership program?
Amy: Advice we would offer brands is to evaluate performance-based marketing programs like FlipGive against all their marketing, sponsorship, and community-investment spend. We get frustrated when partners decrease commissions or shut down their programs because we exceed budgets for their affiliate channel without taking a broader view of the value FlipGive brings to their overall business objectives. Our turnkey offering allows visionary marketers to bring profit and purpose together while exceeding their revenue targets. The brands on our platform have collectively given back over $28M to shoppers and their communities by generating hundreds of millions of dollars in incremental sales. We’ve partnered with some of the world’s leading brands to double sales year over year, with 70% of sales coming from new premium shoppers, all while generating an endless stream of goodwill community stories for our brands to tell. Our advice is to evaluate FlipGive and similar publishers as impactful and efficient marketing tools, distinct from traditional cashback or coupon-based loyalty publishers.
Richa: Finally, what are some predictions you have for FlipGive in the future?
Amy: In addition to our shopping rewards app, FlipGive has recently launched a free team expense management and payment solution, as well as a no-fee bank app and cashback spend card for teams. This all-in-one solution will help us increase our value to teams and groups and rapidly accelerate growth and expansion across North America. Look for FlipGive to also create more content-based marketing opportunities in 2022 for our brand partners, as well as more sponsorship opportunities in our flagship marketing programs. Equally exciting, we will continue to expand our 1:1 targeting tools, enabling brand partners to extend personalized rewards and offers to targeted shopper cohorts based on custom incremental KPIs.