Acceleration Partners' Partner Spotlight is an ongoing series where members of our Publisher Development team highlight different partners from across the region.
This month, Sari Palumbo, Senior Associate at Acceleration Partners, caught up with Daniel Baum, co-founder of Sleek.
Tell us a bit about yourself and the inspiration for Sleek.
My name is Daniel Baum, and I'm the co-founder of Sleek. Sleek was founded by myself and two of my college roommates, Adam and Palmer. During Covid lockdowns, we couldn't help but wonder why the same tool—the browser—would be used for working, watching Netflix, transacting, and everything in between.
We set out to add financial rails to the browser and make it more suitable for transactions. After speaking with hundreds of friends and family, it became clear that checkout was a problem for everyone. So, we decided to fix checkout.
What sets Sleek apart from other publishers in the affiliate marketing space, and in particular, what sets it apart from other browser extensions?
Sleek wants to revolutionize e-commerce. Today, it's far more cumbersome to buy something online than in person—when was the last time a cashier asked you 23 questions, such as your zip code or CVV? These high-friction events are all over e-commerce, but they don't have to be.
With Sleek's universal one-click checkout, we can eliminate cart friction and increase cart conversion. But to deliver one-click checkout to any retailer without embedding any tech, we need to use a medium that can work on any site. Thus, we use a browser extension. Our browser extension ensures the most seamless checkout for users and retailers; it truly is a win-win.
There is always a lot of talk about incrementality in affiliate marketing, especially as it applies to browser extensions. How do you address those concerns?
We see cashback incrementality as a top-of-funnel event, because it drives traffic to partners' sites. Seamless checkout is a lower-funnel event, as it converts the interested traffic.
Whenever you can improve an area in the funnel, it's going to improve your bottom line, but typically the lower-funnel improvements have an outsized impact. Only 30% of carts convert today. If we can double that with seamless checkout, now your marketing dollars spent driving traffic are more efficiently translating to your bottom line, as the users you're driving are twice as likely to convert!
For users, we never want them to have to decide between cashback and seamless checkout. So why not offer both! However, we understand that some brands are adamant about not offering cashback. For such brands, we still partner on a checkout-only basis, but do strongly encourage cashback.
What are some of your future plans for Sleek? Any new capabilities on the horizon?
We think of checkout as just one pain-point in the e-commerce experience, but there are many we'd like to fix. To give an example, email ads bother us; why is a potential customer getting bothered by a generic ad when they're trying to productively work on their computer? This can turn a customer off from a brand. Instead, maybe we can reach potential customers with a personal deal at the exact moment they're shopping for your category of product. We're bullish on possibly leveraging timely notifications to make this happen. But I'll leave it there.
Who is Sleek's key demographic? Are there any verticals that seem to resonate best with your users?
Sleek serves mostly Millennials and Gen Z. Many of our users tell us a similar story: they used to go to the mall and easily shop at 15 different brands. They're trying to replicate that experience online, and it's nearly impossible to do so because every website wants a profile creation or 23 fields of information.
Only Sleek brings the ease of in-person shopping to e-commerce. Our users are high-intent shoppers who want the easiest, fastest and most rewarding experience possible. That said, we're really a mass-market, vertical-agnostic solution—if you're tired of online checkouts, we're here to help!
What are the top 3 things you would want any new brands looking to partner with Sleek to know?
- We're a cart conversion tool, first and foremost. Loyalty is an added benefit.
- We use a browser extension so that you can finally offer seamless checkout without any integration.
- Early adopters get access to Sleek with NO integration fees, NO monthly minimum, and NO hassle—we make it easy!
How can brands get onboarded with Sleek and what does that timeline look like?
If it isn't obvious by now, we strive to be seamless. Onboarding is no exception. Just a simple insertion order through a network of your choosing, and we take care of the rest on our end! It's a very quick turnaround.