Acceleration Partners’ Publisher Spotlight is an ongoing series where members of our Publisher Development team shine a light on innovative publishers from across the world.
This month, Tim Bruderek, Publisher Development Manager at Acceleration Partners, chatted with Amar Shah, Director of Consumer Business at Affirm.
How did Affirm get its start and how did it get to where it is today?
Affirm was founded in 2012 with a mission to provide honest financial products that empower consumers and improve lives. We wanted to create a simple way to offer consumer financing that is fully aligned with their best interests – enabling shoppers to split their purchase into easy monthly payments. With simple interest and no fees, we built Affirm to be the best alternative to a credit card.
Initially, we partnered with retailers to integrate Affirm at the point of sale in ecommerce, allowing customers to buy now and pay over time. With nearly two-thirds of consumers ditching their credit cards in favor of flexible payment options, shoppers quickly came to love the simplicity and transparency of paying with Affirm. Today, we have more than 4 million users, 3,000 merchants and our network continues to grow at an exponential rate.
In response to customer demands to use Affirm for all of their purchases, in late 2019 we redesigned and launched the Affirm app to allow our customers to discover brands, find great offers, and pay with Affirm virtually anywhere by using a digital card. Additionally, the new app enables merchants to accept Affirm and promote offers via an affiliate partnership, tapping into our robust consumer network with no integration required.
What is Affirm doing in the marketplace to stand out?
The Affirm app is certainly a unique shopping destination, both for our customers and our merchant partners.
Here are a few things we do to stand out from other publishers:
More than driving traffic, Affirm delivers customers with spending power, helping them shop at the brands they love with confidence. For advertisers, this translates into unprecedented lifts in AOV, new-to-file acquisition and up to a 3x lift in onsite conversion relative to other publishers. And with half of our users being Millennials or Gen Z, we help advertisers reach this often-challenging customer segment.
In contrast to the apps that offer coupons, points or cash back, we’re also excited to enable advertisers to offer a unique consumer incentive in the form of exclusive 0% and low-APR offers. And this is the perfect solution for merchants looking for ways to be promotional and drive AOV without heavily discounting.
Lastly, the Affirm app lets you pay over time with Affirm in brick-and-mortar stores as well. Our digital card is compatible with Apple Pay and Google Pay, so our users can shop in-store with purchase power in hand. Advertisers with Apple Pay or Google Pay enabled have also seen up to 14% of transactions driven in-store, making the Affirm app a rare, seamless omnichannel solution for customer acquisition.
What kind of brands/products/deals resonate best with your audience?
We’ve been excited to see that Affirm has become a destination for all kinds of considered purchases including travel, home & furniture, luxury clothing and electronics. This has been a great way for us to expand our advertiser reach across all categories.
Regardless of category, we have found that our 0% APR offers resonate most with our audience. Paying over time with no interest, no fees and no catch is hard to beat! Affirm users not only love these exclusive offers, but in many cases, consumers say they’d prefer flexible payment options to discounted prices. We also find that advertisers that offer this incentive see the largest performance lift.
What is the best way for advertisers to partner with Affirm to fully maximize their partnership and get the most exposure to your customers as possible?
As Affirm is still a relatively new player in the affiliate space, we strive to always be nimble, scrappy and work closely with our advertisers to test and learn into the best performance outcomes.
We love creative ideas, out-of-the-box thinking and partners who are willing to try new things in order to drive growth. Additionally, as our product vision rapidly expands, we enable our partners to contribute and feed into our product roadmaps so we can build lasting performance-driven relationships.
Overall, Affirm is an atypical partner, offering customized ways for advertisers to drive high value acquisition and growth in ways other publishers can’t.
Tell us about some big initiatives or what is coming down the line for 2020.
2020 is shaping up to be a very exciting year for Affirm!
We’ll be offering more personalized experiences and offers, product-level promotions and app features to enable unique shopping experiences while in turn driving even greater value to our retail partners.
These personalized features will allow Affirm and its partners to enable high-intent shoppers to better plan, discover, and pay for the things they love.
What TV show or podcast are you currently binging?
Podcast: “How I Built This” – The Airbnb story is fascinating!
TV Show: I just finished “Schitt’s Creek”