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Stuart O'Brien

DOWNLOAD: 5-Stage Blueprint for High-Performance Affiliate Marketing

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It may be too grand a statement to say that affiliate marketing has really come of age over the past year or two, but it certainly seems as though the strategic use of high-performance affiliate marketing models and innovation by publishers has taken a big step forward.

To help inform advertisers and publishers about the strategic role that the affiliate channel is now playing in marketing strategies, Rakuten Advertising has produced a 5-stage blueprint to design high-performance affiliate marketing programmes.

This blueprint is based on input from members of the Rakuten Advertising International Collective (RAIC) – representatives from affiliate marketing specialists around the world – and includes insights from leading advertisers and publishers, including Harvey NicholsMicrosoftRewardBeyond ChinaRetailMeNot and others.

Through mapping out the five stages of the blueprint – from aligning affiliate marketing KPIs to the broader objectives of the business, to analysis and learning – it’s clear that affiliate has genuinely become a central part of a strategic approach to marketing.

Far from the last-click conversion tactic of previous years, new publisher models enable affiliate strategies to be used throughout the customer journey, from research to consideration to conversion and loyalty. What’s telling is how closely advertisers and publishers are now looking to work in partnership, transparently sharing data and developing strategies that meet the commercial objectives of both.

The evidence is that advertisers who have been using affiliate for years have transformed the sophistication of their programmes; those new to affiliate marketing are rapidly realising the benefits; and publishers are broadening their propositions to offer a full-funnel approach to finding, attracting and converting customers.

Wherever you are on your affiliate journey as an advertiser, or if you’re a publisher looking for new ways to monetise your platform and deliver value to advertisers, the 5-Stage Blueprint for High-Performance Affiliate Marketing aims to inspire and inform.

Download Now

Get paid using QR Codes

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By Ordo

QR Codes were once the domain of quirky-can’t-really-see-the-genuinely-needed-gap-in-the-market gimmick. They were invented by Toyota in Japan in the 1990s to improve the process of car manufacturing.

A QR code can store three times the amount of data as a bar code using the same amount of space, and they’re secure, so now, they’ve taken a very different turn with the dawn of another new secure technology: Open Banking, making instant low cost account to account payments a reality.

These two very different technologies are coming together to revolutionise the way we pay on-line, in store and face to face. New open banking enabled QR code payment solutions, like Ordo’s, offer low cost, easy to use and secure ways for businesses to collect payment from their customers breaking the long-held monopoly of the global card schemes.

  • New FCA regulated open banking payments initiation businesses like Ordo, have created innovative request for payment services that provide businesses with individualised secure digital payments tokens that can be passed to your customers when you need to take payment. These tokens can sit behind a ‘Buy’ or ‘Pay Now’ button on your web site for e-commerce, or be embedded in an email, text message, data message and shared across all messaging platforms like WhatsApp and others, for requests to pay an invoice or bill. The customer is immediately notified of your request by email or message, they click the tokenised link and they are taken to the Ordo platform displaying the your specific payment request, which the customer is guided through paying via their own bank for instant payment, and then back to your web site if online.
  • Smartphone readable QR codes now offer a third delivery option for the payment token by embedding it within a QR code. The customer just reads the QR code with their phone, and then simply needs to confirm payment in their mobile or internet banking app which will have been opened and configured for the payment by Ordo. All friction removed.

It’s hard to imagine a simpler or safer use case, and far more widely useful than car manufacturer processing lines! All you as a business has to do is enter the amount to be paid, show the automatically generated QR code to your customer, and in seconds see in your own system or your Point of Sale device (which only needs to be a phone, tablet or PC, no specific reader necessary) that payment has been made and is in your bank account in cleared funds.

For the customer, it also couldn’t be simpler, they just scan the code with their phone camera, select their bank from Ordo’s list of 40 UK banks, and then authorise the payment that has been automatically set up in their banking app in the normal way, e.g. using their fingerprint.

That’s it done, there is no entry of amounts, references or card details or receiving account numbers, that’s all done securely between Ordo and their bank.

For businesses, open banking QR code payment services like Ordo means expensive cards are no longer the only option for eCommerce, Point of Sale and Face to Face payments.

Read more, check us out, try for free, book a demo

Register for free to attend Linn Academy Virtual 2021!

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Join us online at Linn Academy Virtual on October 6 & 7 for the latest ecommerce insights & growth strategies – register for free to hear from speakers including eBay, Facebook Shops, Big Commerce, Pinterest Shopping, Payoneer, IMRG, Forrester, Kraft Heinz, Hotel Chocolat, ShipBob, Gorgias, Ruby Has Fulfillment, Inventory Planner and many more.

Experts from ecommerce, shipping, supply chain, performance marketing andmany  more will be joining us to share their expertise and experience on all the key opportunities and issues in retail. Sessions include growth strategies for marketplaces and social commerce, supply chain management and how to mitigate risk, inventory planning in uncertain times, how to successfully expand into multichannel retailing, strategies to drive conversion in the customer journey and much more.

Linn Academy brings together the biggest and brightest industry leaders, innovators and brands to shape the conversations on the future of ecommerce. We’ll share the insights needed to be at the forefront of the fastest moving landscape that vendors and retailers have ever experienced. It’s an exhilarating time in online retailing, full of opportunities as ecommerce growth accelerates beyond all predictions and new selling channels and innovations appear. Linn Academy will arm you with the strategies and expertise you need to succeed in this new retail era. Register for Linn Academy 2021 to be part of the conversation on the future of ecommerce – sign up now for free.

Register for free to attend Linn Academy Virtual 2021 

Secure your place at February’s eTailing Summit – Limited availability

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There are a small number of delegate places left at the eTailing Summit – have you secured yours yet?

8th February 2022 – Hilton London Canary Wharf / Virtual attendance

Your free pass includes; an itinerary of 1-2-1 meetings with budget-saving suppliers, access to a series of seminars led by industry experts, networking with peers who share your challenges, plus lunch and refreshments throughout.

Click here to book via our short booking form. There is also an option to attend virtually.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch!

How Linnworks can help you sell better with a Total Commerce approach

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Commerce is increasingly happening in multiple online environments, wherever consumers are spending their time. Effortless consumption – the growing expectation for convenient shopping experiences  – is a priority for consumers. So for retailers to be competitive and drive growth, they need to be everywhere their customers want to shop – at Linnworks, we call this Total Commerce. Delivering an omnichannel experience through your selling channels and creating a frictionless experience so your customers can create a shopping journey based on their needs is the first step.

But Total Commerce means taking your selling strategy one step further to a complete multichannel retailing strategy where your brand is present in multiple selling environments. This can include marketplaces, social commerce, and any other emerging selling platforms. Rather than expecting your customers to seek you out, you need to be present in the channels where they operate day to day.

The key to successfully implementing Total Commerce is integrating your commerce technologies and multiple selling channels into a single selling and operations platform such as Linnworks. Having full visibility and control by connecting your major carriers and fulfillment services, alongside your own technology stack, will allow you to sync your operations across all selling channels. Automation of tasks across the logistics process, and complete visibility over business information, are essential for demand planning and stock management to ensure maximum profitability.

The effortless economy and evolution of selling platforms offers a huge opportunity for brands and retailers to scale up and grow. To achieve this, brands must commit to a Total Commerce approach both in their selling strategy and right across their operations to ensure they win the sale every time.

Book a demo to find out how Linnworks can help you sell better in 30 minutes 

 

SIBF leads $4 million Seed round for payment orchestration startup BridgerPay

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BridgerPay, payments orchestration software that boosts online businesses’ payments capabilities with one API, dynamic checkout, and a single admin interface to manage all transactions, routes, and rules of the business in real-time, has raised $4 million in a Seed round of funding.

The bootstrapped company has been active for two years with an impressive and steady growth of subscriptions. This investment will enable BridgerPay to expand its efforts by continuing to build out its sales and R&D teams. The most recent funding round was led by SIBF and Nati Harpaz (former Catch.com.au CEO), with the participation of prominent investors including Oded Edelman, President of www.jamesallen.com, as well as Gabby and Hezi Leibovich, Australian-based investors with multiple successful exits, and several angel investors from the Fintech and eCommerce industry.

BridgerPay provides a single API that integrates with all major payment processing providers and methods used by small, medium, and enterprise businesses. The API enables on-demand connectivity to any payment method globally, reducing the required tech resources and increasing cart conversion with a seamless and dynamic checkout. This Payment-as-a-Service software provides an agnostic, quick, low cost, and personalized solution to manage and optimize any online business’s payments flow, and can be up and running in a matter of hours. BridgerPay solves a universal challenge in online payments which addresses a huge market size of eCommerce, travel, SaaS companies, and more, providing an all-in-one API-based platform to increase approval ratios and reduce cart abandonment.

Ran Cohen, CEO of BridgerPay, said: “We’re really excited to have new partners and funding to continue building the next generation of payments orchestration software. Also, we’re happy and grateful to have such supportive customers to join us on this ride.page1image36719424

We are determined to bring the quality and ease of use to enterprises and SMBs alike. For businesses to effectively improve the way they manage payments, they must love the tools they use, and that is our goal at BridgerPay. The results the platform creates in increasing processing volumes of online businesses are incredible. This, together with the freedom and flexibility it brings to companies, is leading to the widespread adoption of BridgerPay across all verticals.”

BridgerPay’s primary customers at this time are eCommerce and online retail merchants, fintechs, and travel companies looking for a custom PCI Level 1 payments platform to easily connect, manage and optimize their payments. BridgerPay provides a single orchestration layer that harmonizes their entire payments data, reports, and approval ratios. By having up-to-the-minute payments data fed directly into their decision-making systems, online businesses can make more informed and timely decisions to increase revenue and reduce costs.

5 Minutes With… Encoded’s Rob Crutchington

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In the latest instalment of our eCommerce industry executive interview series we spoke to Rob Crutchington, Director at Encoded, about the company, the ongoing challenges of the global pandemic, the implementation of Secure Customer Authentication and frictionless payment methods…

Tell us about your company, products and services.

Encoded offers a range of card payment solutions for all contact centre channels. Our complete payment suite includes IVR Payments, Agent Assisted Payments, eCommerce Payments, Mobile Apps and our latest PayByLink solution. Encoded is also a Payments Gateway.

We work with contact centres and many large brands to provide secure payment solutions that free up valuable agent time, allowing them to focus on customer service, more complex enquiries and revenue generating activities.

What have been the biggest challenges the eCommerce/Payments industry has faced over the past 12 months?

Of course, Covid has been one of the biggest challenges for all businesses. For those contact centres taking payments, the new way of working had serious implications. Suddenly everything changed with people working at home. It became more difficult to maintain a managed environment where security could be controlled and any issues escalated quickly as and when necessary.

With homeworking the environment couldn’t be managed in the same way, compliance became a challenge and we saw a shift towards e-commerce. While a secure link and a ‘soft phone’ could be quickly adopted, the network, an agent’s PC and environment were outside of the organisation’s control. This has led to many companies adopting a ‘Digital First Strategy’ – pushing customers to use digital channels for communication and payments where possible.

And what have been the biggest opportunities?

This ‘perfect storm’ of agents working from home and increased e-commerce has been a fantastic opportunity for some companies. While it has provided a challenge for the MOTO (mail order telephone order) sector, the companies that have been able to implement a digital first strategy and provide their customers with alternative payment choices, have been the ones to prosper.

However, I don’t think contact centres will disappear. The gold standard of customer service will always be the personal touch and talking to people. Companies that adopt a digital first strategy will need to think carefully about their customer service goals before choosing new technologies to be sure that they support and not hinder interactions.

What is the biggest priority for the eCommerce/Payments industry in 2021?

The biggest priority has definitely been the implementation of Secure Customer Authentication (SCA) for transactions to comply with the latest version of PSD2. It has been put back slightly, again because of Covid, but is due to be enforced by next March 2022. I think the FCA will expect companies to continue to take robust action to reduce the risk of fraud. If organisations can apply SCA to an e-commerce transaction – they should do so now.

What are the main trends you are expecting to see in the market in 2021?

I think we will continue to see a shift towards e-commerce. Frictionless payment methods will definitely also increase – Alternative Payment Methods (APMs) such as Apple Pay and Google Pay will become more commonplace. We’ve already seen PayPal become more mainstream, particularly in Europe. The increase in the contactless payment amount to £100 in October will support this trend.

With this greater payment flexibility, I also think that we will see a necessary step-up in security, with more two factor authentication processes in place to validate cardholders’ details across all payment channels.

What technology is going to have the biggest impact on the market this coming year?

From my viewpoint I think a blend of services like pay-by-link options and open banking will have a big impact. Open banking has already brought financial and consumer policies into the 21st century and created a competitive environment in both banking and payment technology.

Open banking helps customers manage and make more of their money by allowing secure access to their banking and other financial data. Opting into the new apps and services gives people more control over their finances.  The security and speed of these technologies will drive adoption. We have already seen younger customers, familiar with using their phone and apps see the benefits and flexibility that they offer.

In 2025 we’ll all be talking about…?

Having a Digital First Strategy will be top of the agenda. If a company is processing or accepting a customer’s card data, they will opt for a digital first solution.  This approach will go beyond the ability to check balances and make payments to more complex tasks and the entire customer journey.  For example, fintech companies such as Monzo, Starling and Revolut have digital only propositions offering services through digital channels without manual intervention.    The traditional ways of accepting payments will disappear as digitally secure forms of payment take precedence with new apps and open banking. Open banking has already given customers and SMEs greater market choice and greater control over their money and data in a secure environment, which will only continue to increase in popularity.

Which person in, or associated with, the eCommerce/Payments industry would you most like to meet?

Mark Carney ex-Governor of the Bank of England. I suspect he has many stories to tell and no longer being Governor, he might feel more inclined to tell them.

What’s the most surprising thing you’ve learnt about the eCommerce/Payments sector?

I am always impressed by the way the payment industry continues to work together to tackle fraud.  The landscape is constantly changing, but the payments industry is always introducing innovations, adopting new technologies and ways to combat criminal activity to prevent customers having their card data and personal identity information stolen.

What’s the most exciting thing about your job?

For me it is signing a new customer and developing a long-term relationship with them. I always remember where I was when we first got the go ahead from new customers – from the smaller ones to some of the larger brands like BMW, Toyota and Samsung Electronics. Whoever the customer, I still get a thrill when working with them to help solve their payment challenges.

And what’s the most challenging?

With the payment industry constantly changing and new legislation, it certainly keeps us on our toes.  This year, however, I think dealing with the Covid pandemic has been the most challenging. I worked in the office alone for a lot of the time and really missed the energy of having colleagues in the same room. There is normally a real buzz working alongside bright people and it has just not been the same with everyone working remotely.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

The saying “Always surround yourself with people better than yourself”, attributed to Henry Ford, resonates with me. At Encoded we have built a brilliant team of people over the years and I really value the different skills and experiences that they bring to their roles. I think I have appreciated this even more over the last twelve months when the team has worked consistently hard under difficult circumstances.

eTailing Summit – Tailor made for eCommerce pros like you

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Would you like to join us at the eTailing Summit – a complimentary event for eCommerce professionals like you?

8th February 2022 – Hilton London Canary Wharf / Virtual attendance

Your free pass includes; an itinerary of 1-2-1 meetings with budget-saving suppliers, access to a series of seminars led by industry experts, networking with peers who share your challenges, plus lunch and refreshments throughout.

Click here to book via our short booking form. There is also an option to attend virtually.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch!