The latest study from Tradedoubler shows consumers are now starting their purchase journey at performance marketing websites such as cash-back, voucher and price comparison websites.

The recession and rising costs has made us more price conscious than ever before, trying to save as much as possible on every single transaction.

It used to be that we only visited these discount offering websites when we were ready to complete the purchase, checking to see if we could save some money on your favorite brand of jeans for example.

However according to the latest research of 2,500 European respondents by Tradedoubler, that behavior is now changing and we are starting our purchase journey on these websites.

Performance marketing channels use92% of consumers surveyed said these performance marketing websites are now their first port of call when researching what to buy.

Retail owned websites are now in second place (87%).

Consumers surveyed are also now almost as likely to complete their purchase using a Performance Marketing site (82 per cent) as on a retailer-owned website (83 per cent).

“This is a wake-up call for marketers and high street retailers,” said Dan Cohen, Regional Director, Tradedoubler.

“Mobile and the rise of performance marketing sites are massively disrupting shopping patterns. Consumers’ quest for value is driving them to research and browse the best possible offers on performance marketing sites at the very beginning of their purchase journey.

“Brands without a performance marketing presence risk being locked out of a consumer’s consideration set at the very first hurdle,” continued Cohen.

The impact of Showrooming

Use of smartphones in store‘Showrooming’ continues to be a challenge for retailers.

Consumers are researching products in-store and then buying them online, usually driven by cheaper prices elsewhere.

60% of connected consumers use their smartphones whilst out shopping.

Of those, three quarters use their mobile to look-up information on a product they see in a store, with 70% checking for a better price elsewhere and 60% going home to buy the product online after checking the price on their phone.

Retailers can take this opportunity to offer free Wi-Fi in-store and engage those consumers using their mobile devices in their stores.

However recent research by mobile marketing agency Sponge, shows three quarters of the major UK retailers are currently not offering Wi-Fi in their stores.

“There’s an increasing amount of evidence that wi-fi is becoming an important part of the omni-channel service proposition for retailers,” said Dan Parker, CEO of Sponge.

“It creates rich marketing opportunities, but hardly any are offering wi-fi and even less are telling customers and benefiting from its full potential. Encouraging people to register when they’re in-store opens up a huge opportunity to offer something of value, increase shopper loyalty and repeat custom.”

Brand loyalty is shifting

Brand loyalty is shifting. These performance marketing channels have become increasingly popular and they are beginning to command their own brand loyalty driving repeat purchases themselves.

Over a quarter of customers make additional purchases every month as a result of receiving emails from Performance Marketing sites – almost as many as a result of an email from a brand.

Sandeep Vadgama

Sandeep Vadgama


Editor of Fourth Source and freelance SEO/Digital Marketer based in London.