Ebates: A Rising Star in the Coupon and Bargain Space


Image from: Frugal Living

When I first heard of Ebates.com, I was skeptical. I thought to myself, “it pays to shop, really?!” Well the joke was pleasantly on me when I received my first check. After all, although a business model where an affiliate shares profits with customers as an incentive isn’t the most intuitive, it makes sense. Given that I’ve been hearing quite a bit of positive buzz about Ebates from friends and family, I figured taking a closer look at some of the online shopping behaviors would be interesting.

First, I wondered demographically who are the most engaged people shopping on Ebates.com. To my surprise the age group that had the highest percentage was the 55-64 year olds.

Age Demographics of Ebates Users

In terms of income, it was a little surprising that households that grossed more than 60K were 2-3% higher than households that made less.

Income of Ebates Users

When I got to the gender demographics I had to chuckle to myself. While I didn’t raise an eyebrow at the 58% female to 42% male split, their most recent email campaign shows me that they’re swinging for the fences when it comes to appealing to men.

Ebates Man Up Email Campaign

If anything their marketing team deserves a round of applause for increasing their male base by 10% over the past 2 years.

Gender of Ebates Users

After answering some questions I had about what exactly their (other) customers looked like, I wondered which channels were driving the most traffic. Ebates has performed incredibly well in the holiday retail season and in this past month they’ve seen a 24% increase in UV’s and a respectable 9% increase in visits. After looking at their subdomain activity it’s clear that email is a primary driver of traffic, with the blog traffic down over 40% year over year but still supporting their efforts. I did sneak a peek at Ebate’s search strategy, and they seem to be doing quite well with paid search performing particularly well when bidding on brands they refer traffic to with the keyword coupons.

Ebates Subdomains

While Ebates.com’s performance is on the rise, I wonder how exactly they’re performing for their partners? Personally, I think one of Compete’s best features is the insight into outgoing traffic, where we can see question which sites Ebates is driving the most traffic to month over month.

Outgoing Traffic for Ebates

For department stores Kohls.com and Macys.com were the biggest outbound traffic gainers with 53% and 47% increases month over month respectively. For eCommerce retailers that aren’t a partner with Ebates.com, it may be worth considering as traffic has been steadily on the rise year over year.

About Lindsey Mark:
Lindsey Mark works in Client Relations at Compete and is responsible for the strategic development of client retention and support policies for compete.com, with a focus on education and training efforts. She graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, NY so she's a certified technology junkie and open source advocate. When she's not thinking about marketing or training digital 007's at compete, she's doing yoga & blogging about gluten-free diet and lifestyle. Find Lindsey on Twitter as @linji, Google Plus as Lindsey Mark or connect with her via LinkedIn.