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RewardStream’s Shopify deal underlines group’s momentum

Monday, November 14, 2016 13:25
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RewardStream Solutions Inc’s (CVE:REW) latest initiative to integrate its technology with e-commerce platform Shopify underlines the momentum its refer-a-friend software is gaining in the space.

Rob Goehring, chief executive, said he was very excited about the integration with the Canadian group, which powers 340,000 on-line stores and whose growth was underlined in recent third quarter results, which showed revenue up 89%.

Significantly, the value of the goods sold through the merchant (seller) sites on the Shopify platform increased 100% to US$3.8bn.

RewardStream has launched what it calls its ‘innovator program’ for Shopify merchants to allow sites to gain early access to its refer a friend platform, and see what it’s all about, in the hope they will adopt it, prior to RewardStream’s final commercial rollout.

“Our opportunity to simply be discovered by being in Shopify stores is tremendous,” explains Goehring, adding that the incredibly active community in the Shopify app market place is also a boon to adopting a solution like RewardStream.

It is the third such similar integration with an e-commerce platform this year for the company.  First, there was Magento eCommerce stores, followed by Woocommerce and now Shopify.

“Those three platforms alone serve over 2mln businesses around the world and there are additional platforms out there that add millions more that we will over time integrate with,” says Goehring.

Of course, e-commerce is known to be currently huge but how does RewardStream make a ripple in the pool? Well it provides the solution to two of marketeers’ biggest headaches, says the company boss.

One is how to generate new leads, ie, sell to more customers, and secondly how to show a return on an investment on new marketing tools (eg: the RewardStream software).

The RewardStream referral technology, he says,  brings in new customers, and therefore more cash.

On the group’s website, it suggests that for every 10 active referrers, a business can expect eight new customers.

Meanwhile, for the customer, it’s a winner too because the technology cuts through all the advertising noise, in which we are bombarded by thousands of branded messages each day and, shows us what a friend (whom we trust) likes and is willing to recommend.

“For any product or service that requires even a small amount of research or risk in the purchase, consumers trust their friends for advice, and until the advent of social networks and smartphones there was no easy way to get that advice. Conversely, there was no way for brands to make it easy for consumers to share their product with the right friend at the right time,” says Goehring.

The firm’s refer-a- friend customers are a mixed online bag, from sellers of clothes and shoes to information products, courses and eBooks.

The firm’s main client base is in the telecoms sector in North America  and the firm runs the referral programs for many large firms, like Cricket Wireless, Koodo Mobile and WIND. It is also expanding into financial services.

RewardStream was originally founded in 1999 and was focused in the loyalty marketing space for over a decade.

It was then that the group launched one of the first online referral programs for a large telecoms group that begun its journey into its current space.

In the 2015 financial year, revenue was around $1.6 million for the group.

In the e-commerce space,  it earns from customers paying a monthly recurring fee and can benefit from a percentage cut as and when the online business starts to scale up.

But as Goehring points out: “Like many SaaS companies, we are investing in growth and scaling the business, while increasing our gross margins.”

The plan for the forthcoming months and year is to focus on further investment in sales and marketing and to accelerate growth, including internationally, where there has been interest.

If this year is anything to go by, it could be a very interesting period for this emerging young company.

Story by ProactiveInvestors


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