A Brand New Affiliate Model: What is ‘Shareback’?

Celebrating 18 years of excellence, the Performance Marketing Awards (PMAs) returns to London’s glamorous Grosvenor House tonight to honour the outstanding achievements in affiliate marketing and performance media.This year’s PMAs are in association with WeShop, the world’s first community-owned social e-commerce platform. WeShop is revolutionising online shopping by creating a fully shoppable community. As the world’s first shoppable social network, 90% community-owned, it connects customers with trusted individuals—shoppers, reviewers, trendsetters—across various interests. Users can share knowledge, get rewarded, and find inspiration in home decor, fashion, electronics, health, beauty, and more.The platform is also innovating a whole new affiliate model, disrupting the space, which we love to see. More on that in a minute.We sat down with James Fox, Head of Commercial at WeShop, to learn more about the company’s unique offering, the challenges of bringing a new model to market, what affiliate trends are catching his eye, and why WeShop chose to sponsor the PMAs this year.Let’s get into it.HP: WeShop is boldly introducing a brand-new affiliate model to the market. Can you explain what ‘shareback’ is? JF: WeShop’s ShareBack™️ is a pioneering loyalty programme that empowers every member to be a part of our success story. It revolutionises traditional affiliate models by rewarding every engagement-shopping, sharing, or inviting others with shares in the company. This unique approach not only benefits our users but also makes them stakeholders in our platform’s success. By incentivising community engagement and fostering a sense of ownership, ShareBack creates a bond of loyalty that is truly empowering. HP: What are the challenges and opportunities involved in bringing a new model to the market, as We Shop has done? JF: Introducing a new affiliate model like ShareBack has challenges and opportunities. On the one hand, WeShop must navigate consumer awareness and understanding of this novel concept. Education and communication are crucial to ensuring users grasp the value proposition and mechanics of ShareBack. Additionally, establishing trust and credibility in the market, especially against established players, requires strategic positioning and marketing efforts. However, the opportunity lies in disrupting the affiliate landscape by offering a unique value proposition that resonates with modern consumers’ desire for meaningful engagement and ownership. WeShop can carve out a niche and attract a dedicated user base by delivering on its promise of innovative rewards and community involvement. We are aware of the risks associated with this strategy, such as potential resistance from traditional affiliate models or regulatory challenges. To mitigate these risks, we are implementing a comprehensive communication and education plan, and we are proactively engaging with regulatory bodies to ensure compliance and foster a supportive regulatory environment. HP: You mentioned a focus on stocks and shares. How does WeShop navigate this aspect of the market, and what strategies are in place to capitalise on it? JF: WeShop’s approach to the stocks and shares aspect of the market involves careful navigation and strategic planning. By integrating stock ownership into its loyalty program, WeShop creates a compelling incentive for users to participate actively. Strategies such as transparent communication about the value of shares earned, regular updates on company performance, and even exclusive shareholder benefits can enhance member engagement and retention. Furthermore, leveraging partnerships with financial institutions or investment platforms could offer additional avenues for users to capitalise on their accumulated shares. HP: With plans for US expansion, could you elaborate on WeShop’s approach to entering and growing in this market?JF: WeShop’s approach to entering and growing in the US market is a well-thought-out strategy. It involves thorough market research, understanding consumer behaviour and preferences, and adapting our value proposition accordingly. We are tailoring our marketing strategies to resonate with American audiences, building strategic partnerships with local brands or influencers, and ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements. Our UK success serves as a testament to our model’s viability and attractiveness, giving us the confidence to expand and succeed in the US market. HP: What other exciting developments or initiatives does WeShop have in store for the year ahead? JF: While specifics may vary, WeShop likely has several exciting developments and initiatives planned for the year ahead. These could include expanding its partner network to offer a broader range of products and services, enhancing the user experience through technological innovations or platform improvements, launching targeted marketing campaigns to increase brand awareness and user acquisition, and exploring potential collaborations or strategic acquisitions to fuel growth and innovation. HP: What are some of the affiliate trends that are really standing out to you at the moment? Has anything in particular attracted your interest? JF: Some affiliate trends that obviously remain to stand out currently include influencer marketing, the growing importance of content-driven affiliate strategies, the emergence of niche affiliate networks catering to specific industries or demographics, and the increasing adoption of AI and data analytics for personalised marketing and performance optimisation. These trends reflect a shift towards more targeted, authentic, and data-driven approaches to affiliate marketing, aligning with evolving consumer preferences and market dynamics. HP: Why did you choose to sponsor the PMAs? JF: WeShop’s decision to sponsor the Performance Marketing Awards aligns with its commitment to recognising and rewarding excellence, innovation, and creativity in the partner and performance marketing industry. By supporting an esteemed event like the PMAs, WeShop showcases its dedication to industry advancement and reinforces its brand presence and credibility among marketing professionals and key stakeholders. Additionally, sponsoring the PMAs provides valuable networking opportunities, brand exposure, and industry recognition, further solidifying WeShop’s position as a leading innovator in the affiliate space.


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