This month, David Vince, Senior Partner Development Manager EMEA, at Acceleration Partners, caught up with Clement Labbe, Head of Account Management at Pouch.
Welcome, Clement! Can you introduce yourself and your role to our readers?
Thank you! I'm Clement Labbe, Head of Account Management at Pouch. I joined the company in January 2021, and I'm in charge of helping accelerate our growth by taking Pouch's key commercial partner relationships to the next level. Within the client-facing team, we are responsible for building and maintaining excellent business relationships with our merchants, networks, and agencies, and are constantly looking for opportunities to grow mutual revenue via increased exposure in various on-site placements and newsletters.
Firstly, can you tell us about how Pouch works and how you help advertisers generate sales?
Pouch is a free UK browser extension that saves time and money when shopping online. It was created in 2016 and acquired by Global Savings Group in 2019. When customers shop for the best deals online, they visit multiple websites. Our extension helps to convert purchases in various ways and contains valuable tools that prevent users from site-hopping. Retailers working with Pouch benefit from sharing promotional content directly through the extension to a unique audience. Last year we launched Pouch Points, our free loyalty solution, offering retail partners an efficient way to convert users without traditional discount codes. Providing users with an incentive to complete a purchase increases conversion and overall sales for our partners. Pouch Points also helps to safeguard against disappointment when discount codes are not available to users, as we always strive to deliver a positive user experience at checkout.
What do you look for in an advertiser when exploring a potential partnership?
We usually look to partner with brands working with an established affiliate network and who are aiming to grow their brand exposure and sales. Ideally, we prefer to secure a voucher code for our users. However, we are happy to work together via our loyalty solution, Pouch Points, meaning advertisers are not limited to working with us. After that, we look for transparency, honesty, good CPA, fair payment and cookie rules, and reliable tracking. We work with a wide range of advertisers across all verticals, from small start-ups to large e-commerce brands and are always looking for new partnerships to provide the best coverage for our users when shopping online. There is no technology integration, and once accepted onto a programme, we can be up and running quickly!
What does a typical Pouch user look like?
Our research shows that users tend to differ from those visiting traditional discount code sites. Pouch has an entirely different audience base of discount-savvy consumers, who typically have a higher AOV than those of our retail partners. Usually, our users download Pouch to save time and access the best savings, while enjoying their everyday shopping experience. Pouch users are still more likely to check out than abandon a website to search for a non-existent or expired voucher code. We have worked hard to build trust with users, which helps reduce abandonment rates.
When working with voucher sites, there is always a discussion to be had regarding incrementality, and even more so with toolbar partners. How has Pouch successfully developed a strategy that provides incremental value for advertisers?
As a soft-click publisher, Pouch does not override any other affiliate cookies at the last click. We are rewarded for users who genuinely use Pouch as their first choice for finding discounts when shopping online. We also have features to avoid unfair last-click attribution, such as our stand-down feature. This can be triggered if the referring traffic comes from another publisher or channel. Over the past few years, Pouch has been running various incrementality split tests to measure KPIs for retailers working with our browser extension. Tests across multiple merchants in different retail verticals and results from incremental studies show that Pouch boosts AOV and increases conversions for retailers. We currently work with over 3,000 merchants in the UK alone, including some of the most established retailers.
What do you feel you do at Pouch that separates you from competitors in the voucher and toolbar space?
We offer advertisers a large, unique, and highly motivated consumer base actively looking for a discount, who typically do not interact with voucher code publishers. Advertisers are also provided with a platform to communicate their incentives. While few publishers offer a money-saving browser extension, they are not all built in the way same, and some of the core elements to our offering make us truly unique. At Pouch, we don't allow our users to publish community codes, ensuring that only affiliate-approved promotions are displayed within the extension, giving our retail partners continued reassurance that only valid content will be published. We are also proud to be flexible in the way we work and are always ready to offer promotional strategies that accommodate the offer.
Another differentiator is our cross-promotional targeting solution. We offer advertisers the ability to put their advertising message on any website in the world, even on competitor websites. It's a great tool to leverage when brands have new events, product launches or sales, and it's incredibly effective in driving highly engaged users to a brand's site!
What do you envisage being the main challenge for Pouch in 2022? And where do you see the biggest opportunity for growth?
We've certainly seen significant changes in consumer attitudes and purchasing habits over the lockdown periods. I anticipate many of these new behaviours will remain long-term, with consumers actively seeking inspiration online. The factors influencing brand decisions are also shifting, and shoppers' expectations are becoming more complex. The affiliate industry in the UK has changed a lot in the last couple of years too, with the publisher mix becoming more diversified. Extensions continue to make big waves, with affiliates across numerous verticals investing in their own browser extensions to continue delivering value to advertisers.
This year, we will continue to work closely with our retailer partners, offering them even more efficient ways to attract buyers, from discovery to checkout with personalised recommendations and exclusive promotional content. I'm confident that we will continue to see strong growth for Pouch throughout 2022.
Lastly, if you could wave a magic wand and have any job in the world, what would you choose to be?
That's a hard one! I've always been keen to get stuck into an exciting start-up in the tech space. Still, having started my career at an affiliate network and now working on the publisher side at Global Savings, I suppose a client-side or agency role would help me broaden my knowledge in the e-commerce industry. I'm content to be working for Europe's largest shopping rewards company, and for now, I'm happy and satisfied with what we're doing at Pouch!