Voucher code browser extension Pouch has rolled out “cross-promotional recommendations”, an update allowing retail affiliates to poach consumers from competitors’ sites with targeted offers.

In what the company has called “the most incremental sale in digital marketing”, the new feature allows Pouch to recognise e-commerce sites visited by its users and determine what products they are interested in buying. It’s then able to target these with a link to rival deals from enrolled affiliates at the top of the user’s screen.

This would allow a small fashion affiliate, for example, to target competitive, real-time product offers to a consumer browsing Asos with the aim of skimming the sale, where previously the toolbar displayed codes solely for the site a consumer was visiting. 

In its new features sales pack, Pouch assures potential clients that all recommendation messages are designed in-house and are fully customised and split-tested.

“We create bespoke and targeted campaigns for all our partners, based on your core objectives and KPIs,” states Pouch, “We utilise our advanced audience segmentation capabilities and unparalleled insight to speak only to your ideal customers, in the right circumstances.”

In addition to the websites they’ve visited, Pouch can also target consumers with messages based on whether the customer is new or existing, what browser or device they’re using (although it’s not yet available on mobile), time of day, gender, age and geo-location.

“Ruffling feathers”

According to the group’s co-founder and marketing director, Ben Corrigan, certain affiliate networks are already pushing Pouch’s cross-promotional recommendations out to clients, with expectations that the first campaign will be live within two week’s time, when “it’s likely to ruffle a few feathers,” he admits.

Founded just last year by entrepreneurs Corrigan, Vikram Simha, Jonathan Plein, and enrolled on the MassChallenge Accelerator programme, as a pre-revenue startup Pouch is already valued at an alleged “several million”. Its founders now have hopes to ride an anticipated rise in voucher code usage as UK consumers enter a period of potential frugality, abetted by the “economic uncertainty” cast by Brexit and the General Election.

The updated Pouch toolbar could have as many as 200,000 consumers using the updated toolbar by August, predicts Corrigan, and there are plans to add to the already 3,000 e-commerce Pouch partners with, which include such brands as GAP, Hungry House and Dominos.

While the rollout of “cross-promotional recommendations” is likely to be met with controversy from conflicting advertisers and publishers, it certainly adds a new dimension to discussions over the value retailers derive from voucher code partnerships – although it’s likely to do no favours in furthering the industry away from its former association with underhand tactics.