The Green Sheet Online Edition
August 10, 2009 • Issue 09:08:01
Advertise for free processing
UpClick, a new product from a company of the same name, is an online processing platform that works symbiotically with its merchant users: they agree to advertise (though there's no work involved) for other companies and get free processing in return.
"We have basically a simple business model, which is that we process credit card transactions for free," said Daniel Assouline, the company's Chief Operating Officer and co-founder. (The company's other founder is Michael Dadoun.)
"And in exchange, what we get is the ability to cross-sell customers post-checkout," Assouline added. "So once the customer has actually completed his transaction online and bought the software from the merchant, we get an opportunity to come out and place one, two or three offers that are complementary to the product that was just purchased."
Assouline stressed that the advertisements appear only on the checkout page after a purchase has been made, "because we didn't want to interfere in our customers' sales processes in any way, shape or form.
We want to secure that sale on their behalf first and foremost, and once we've secured that sale and got the authorization from the bank, only then do we go out and try to find the best possible cross-sale for them."
That said, a second feature of UpClick is it gives merchants the option of doing their own cross-selling with the same companies that make up the affiliate advertising base.
Assouline said those partnerships are negotiated entirely between the merchant and the company for which it cross-sells, who also enjoy all the revenue.
Assouline noted that with the advertising program, UpClick chooses certain products that it feels will best complement what the merchant is selling and "maximize every sale." However, merchants have "veto rights" and may choose not to advertise for a particular product.
Assouline added that because UpClick is an online platform, where processing fees tend to be higher than in brick-and-mortar stores, merchant savings are particularly substantial.
"We basically manage absolutely everything for them," he said. "All they have to do is when calling our checkout page, which is branded with their logo, is choose which other product they'd like to offer their consumers."
Assouline noted that advertisers don't decide where their brand name goes, but UpClick "tries to do a lot of rotation so that everybody gets a fair chance." He added that the advertising side, like everything else within the platform, is a totally commission-based arrangement. Advertisers pay nothing up front.
"We're not a typical advertising network where we make money by letting advertisers display their ads on our pages," he said. "We're only paid when a sale is actually made. So only when we've successfully cross-sold that customer ... does the provider of that [product] actually pay something."
Any online merchant can participate in UpClick, regardless of size or client base, Assouline said. He added that the platform is used internationally and includes an automatic currency and language conversion option, which users in foreign countries can use by simply clicking a button.
"Typically what we've found and our merchants have found is in the software space our merchants have one, two or five different products, and there aren't always complementary products, so the attached rates - the number of buyers who actually buy the cross-sell - is greatly diminished.
"If they're able to pool from a much larger marketplace where they can choose other products from other companies, their attach rate significantly goes up."
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