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Performance Marketing Success Threatens High Street

Performance Marketing Success Threatens High Street


More than 90% of technology savvy European consumers research and browse purchases on performance marketing sites, and footfall is now an ‘irrelevant’ indicator of retail success, according to Tradedoubler’s latest survey.

The Swedish-founded internet marketing company’s ‘Insight Unit’, carried out the research on 2,500 smartphone users, who shop at least once a month online – a target audience known as ‘connected consumers’.

Those polled for the ‘performance marketing from first impression to last click’ study came from across the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and Poland. The countries covered by the research account for 89% of the retail e-commerce market in Europe.

Smartphone Dictates Shopping Behaviour

According to the study, the combination of the growing smartphone invasion and widespread economic pressure is having a profound effect on consumer shopping behaviour across Europe.

From price comparison sites through to loyalty and reward schemes, coupon, voucher code and cashback sites, the survey found that a whopping 92% of connected consumers are making these performance marketing websites and apps their first port of call when researching what to buy, rather than browsing on the high street.

“These shoppers are now more likely to complete a purchase using a performance marketing site than any other channel, knocking retailer-owned websites into second place, and even threatening to oust high-street stores from the top spot when it comes to the shopping experience in categories such as fashion,” the report said.

The report also strongly suggests that high street retailers’ traditional metric of footfall, is no longer a guarantee of success.

Price Check on the Move

A total of 60% of the connected consumers surveyed use their smartphones while 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 in- store.

Tradedoubler’s regional director, Dan Cohen, said the results are a wake-up call for marketers and high street retailers.

“Retailers’ traditional metric; footfall, is now an irrelevant indicator of retail success and they need to embrace performance marketing strategies now that 51% of mobile shoppers are searching for vouchers or discounts for products they have seen in-store and 44% are using vouchers sent to their mobile,” Cohen said.

“Retailers need defensive and offensive strategies to protect and grow their revenues and indeed, to even remain relevant in this intense multichannel world.”

Follow-up Communication

A total of 44% of those planning a holiday will use a performance marketing site to help choose where they go; 45% will select a hotel in the same way, and 47% of fashion shoppers use performance marketing sites for browsing fashion purchases.

Tradedoubler, which creates multi-channel performance marketing programs for clients on a payment by results basis, said the research also suggests that once performance marketing channels become a feature of shopper behaviour, they command their own loyalty, driving repeat purchases with as much claim on that loyalty as brands themselves.

The survey also found that more than 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 follow-up brand communication.

According to Tradedoubler, the best solution to prevent potential purchasers from walking out of the door is for retailers to embrace performance marketing strategies themselves – particularly given that 51% of mobile shoppers search online for a voucher or discount for a product they have seen in-store. A total of 44% use a voucher they have received on their mobile.

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Pippa Chambers

Pippa Chambers

Freelance News Journalist at PerformanceIN - working to source the latest and breaking news in performance marketing. 

From newspapers to national B2B magazines and technology reporting, I have covered a variety of genres. NCTJ/NCE qualified.

Please email me at and follow me @PippaC1

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