It’s touted as the #1 hack to save money these days, and if you love your retail therapy, it doesn’t get much better than this: cashback apps. You sign up, you go about your everyday spending and whoosh...you’re rewarded with cash or points. Everyone wins.
In recent years, with the flip-flopping of the economy, increasing house prices, and the fact that millennials have far less disposable income than their parents, cashback apps have exploded in popularity. So much so, in fact, that market-leader Dosh recently celebrated an incredible milestone: they’d doled out over $50 million in savings to shoppers; an effort which subsequently saw them raise an additional $40 million in funding.
With figures like that, you’d think there would be cash back apps popping up left, right and centre. And in a way, you’d be right: a simple search of the Google App Store lists more than 300 cashback apps. But who is the cream of the crop? Here are the top 5 cashback apps that are crushing it...and why there might be more like them soon:
RetailMeNot has a lot to be proud of. A quick glance at their marketing statistics sheds light on exactly how successful an operation they run. For example, they’d facilitated over $4.9 billion USD in sales by the end of 2018. If that wasn’t impressive enough, their website generates 481 million site visits per month (65% site traffic from mobile). They’ve also amassed a cool 6 million email subscribers.
They own a number of sites, including coupon site vouchercodes.co.uk, as well as third-party software. Their success truly knows no bounds.
One nation that loves a bargain just as much - if not more - than us is Germany. So naturally, cashback apps are all the rage over there.
One app that’s crushing it is Shoop.de. They’ve got over 1 million users (which, by the way, is more than 1% of their entire population!) and they’re only growing from there. They’ve also partnered with more than 2,000 stores and have so far paid out in excess of $17 million euro in cash back. Pretty impressive stuff!
Right now, Dosh truly is the darling of the rebates industry. With a valuation now in excess of $300 million, it has repeatedly featured as the US’s #1 shopping app as it continues to grow its partnerships and customer base.
Dosh is proving so popular because it offers a unique cashback model. WIth Dosh, users link their card to the app, and then when they buy something from a Dosh partner, they get their cash back. But the cash they receive back can come in many forms: it can be paid into the user’s bank account, credited to their Paypal account, used towards further purchases or even given to charity.
Created in 2016 (so a relative newcomer to the market), the Drop app is leading the way in enabling you to double - or even triple - dip when it comes to earning points and getting cash back.
Drop has mastered automation. With the app, you link your credit and debit cards and the app automatically allocates points once you’ve purchased from certain merchants, who provide you with up to 1.5% cashback. Once you’ve accrued your cashback, you can trade it in for gift cards with Amazon, Starbucks, Groupon plus much more.
What this effectively means is that you’ll earn points for the purchase itself through the Drop app, plus any other points you’d otherwise earn through the individual retailer plus on your credit card. Bonus!
Haven’t heard of Pepper? We don’t blame you. If you’re not in the Netherlands, Poland, or Russia, their deals sites would be called something else. Names aside though, Pepper’s got something for everyone in an impressive array of countries.
A giant of the cashback industry, brands owned by Pepper.com include Hotukdeals.com, Mydealz.com and Dealabs.com. Pepper’s unique deal websites work by encouraging brands to share their story. Then, the deal community start voting on deals, and they accrue a ‘temperature’ based on their price, quality and desirability. The hottest deals are promoted on the front page of the site, reaching potentially millions of bargain-hunters.
Do these giants own the market, or…?
If you’re a giant in the cashback app market, all signs lead to good times ahead. And there’s a number of reasons for that.
Firstly, consumers are ever-more responsive to the anticipation of being rewarded for their shopping behaviour. In an increasingly complex and distracting world, our subconscious craves things that help us get closer to simplicity: that place in life where we have what we need to survive the daily battle. Rewards help us feel like we’re getting closer to that place.
Secondly, millenials are about to come of age when it comes to their purchasing power - experts predict they’ll be spending $1.4 trillion annually by 2020. And in good news for cashback apps, millennials’ shopping preferences match, exactly, what they’re offering. Millennials shop almost entirely online: 79% of them browse the internet before making retail purchases. When they do so, it’s because they’re looking for speed and convenience.
But they’re also looking for discounts. 73% of millennials say they would try a product from a competitor for as little as a 20% discount - meaning that cashback apps needn’t worry about having all brands - just those willing to give the biggest discounts!
From all accounts, the current cashback apps have it made...their popularity will grow as will their total addressable market. But if you dig deeper into millennials’ shopping habits, you’ll see that there’s room in the market for an app that can do it all, better…
Cashback apps not providing what millennials want most
While millennials might share their love of a discount with previous generations, in one way they’re completely unlike previous generations of shoppers. And that way is the manner in which they shop.
Not called the smartphone generation for nothing, it may not come as a surprise to many that some millennials engage more with their smartphones than they do with actual humans. They also shop more on their smartphone than on a desktop computer, or in-store.
Millennials have embraced this option en-masse for two reasons: because it’s quick and easy. Speedy and convenient. Except, in the majority of cashback apps, it actually isn’t…
Cashback apps rely on outbound links from their site for would-be purchasers to claim discounts. But this creates problems. When a purchaser is taken to a different website, they need to fill in their details at checkout...meaning they’re up against the single biggest barrier to purchase of all time: inputting details on a mobile device (sure, said purchaser might have a browser autofill, but it will be 53% accurate at most).
The problem of mobile conversion really is the thorn in every retailer’s side (and by extension, the biggest issue for cashback apps). Statistics show that the global average for mobile cart abandonment is over 86%, meaning that the average conversion rate on mobile is just 1.55%. Millennials are expecting speed and simplicity to redeem their offers, but they’re just not getting it. 27% of cart abandonments occur due to time restraints, and a further 23% occur as the checkout process is too complex. And once millennials are frustrated, they’re gone: there’s no coming back to grab that abandoned cart. They’ve already moved on to the next deal, or the next app that will provide them with a better experience.
But what does that experience look like?
If cart abandonment is the biggest problem, the only solution is autofill. But not any autofill. Intelligent autofill.
If intelligent autofill was installed at the source (for example, natively in the cashback app), it could autofill details on all partner sites with impressive accuracy (98% accuracy, to be exact). This incredible tool would mean that customers could complete their check out up to 37 times faster, meaning they’d have a much higher chance of converting and receiving their coveted rebate. So the retail store would benefit. And so would the cashback app.
There’s room for cashback apps that provide a premium experience
If there’s one thing we know about millennial shoppers, it’s that they’re not that brand loyal. They’ll switch their loyalties in a heartbeat for a better discount...or a better experience.
So while the current cashback apps might currently have considerable market share, there could be room for new apps that provide a superior experience - especially if they’re willing to integrate intelligent autofill.
Cashback apps, watch out. You might just have competition hot on your heels if you don’t embrace the latest tech.
Fillr has developed ‘Autofill as a Service’, the world’s most intelligent and accurate autofill that seamlessly integrates into your cashback app. With our technology, apps have seen their user spends increase by nearly 20%, and for power shoppers, up to 100%. Contact us today to find out how our technology can help your customers to transact faster and more effectively across millions of merchants sites, boosting your conversions and revenue. Fillr is powering transactions on the world's top ecommerce and meta search apps, software platforms and phone manufacturers.