AffiliateTraction, recognised as one of the biggest US affiliate marketing agencies, has been bought out by eBay’s former performance marketing technology division – eBay Enterprise Marketing Solutions – for an undisclosed fee. 

A specialist in affiliate programme management, AffiliateTraction uses a host of in-house tech to optimise its clients returns from the channel, where publishers are paid commission for delivering on a specific action.

Although AffilliateTraction has strong roots in the strategic side of overseeing an affiliate campaign, words from eBay Enterprise Marketing Solutions CEO Michael Jones hint that its proprietary technology was a big factor in driving the deal.

He said: “This acquisition significantly enhances our performance marketing technology and enables us to better serve the complex, evolving needs of leading brands and retailers.”

EBay Enterprise Marketing Solutions, disparate from eBay inc. after launching as an independent firm last year, has a performance marketing toolset that spans across display, search and social advertising, but the purchase is made to measure for its offering in affiliate marketing, where it also boasts its own network.  

Jones continues: “By incorporating AffiliateTraction’s technology, unparalleled performance marketing talent and actionable insights to our network ecosystem, we’ll be able to connect advertisers, publishers and agencies to drive commerce, true loyalty and growth in key markets around the world.”  

A “new genre” for performance marketing

With offices in the US, UK, Canada and Australia, AffiliateTraction has grown to boast a sizeable client base. It has previously worked with brands including Sketchers, Unicef and Blue Inc in the UK, while its US roster names the likes of Speedo, Jelly Belly and Volcom as partners. 

Aside from general programme management, there is the company’s strength in technology to take into account. The group’s toolset for advertisers includes solutions for unearthing ideal publishers, while its attribution tech allows affiliates to see the quality of the traffic they’re driving to each merchant.

Greg Shepard, AffiliateTraction’s founder, claims to have worked with “virtually every network in the world” since launching the company over 15 years ago. He will now be working hand-in-hand with another – namely as chief strategy officer at eBay Enterprise Marketing Solutions.      

“Publishers will now receive major enhancements, integrated into a single platform that features a massive base of premium brands,” Shepard stated. “Our technical capabilities are second to none, and as our first order of business we will create a new genre in performance marketing.” 

A merging of two

Together with eBay Enterprise Marketing Solutions’ affiliate network, the hybrid of tech and account management from AffiliateTraction will lead to a sizeable entity – enough to rival the likes of CJ Affiliate by Conversant and other networks in the US space.

The pair will face more of a challenge in Europe, where eBay Enterprise Marketing Solutions has launched, but boasts less of a presence than it does Stateside. 

Still, if early impressions from the agency’s clients are anything to go by, AffiliateTraction is moving forward with the right intentions.

“We’ve had great success with AffiliateTraction, and we look forward to working with the wide array of quality publishers who work with eBay Enterprise Marketing Solutions,” commented Tom Barr, e-commerce director at US sporting goods chain MonkeySports.

Also packaged into the deal are approximately 100 employees as well as the chance for the acquiring firm to build a head of steam in AffiliateTraction’s places of operation.