MyDeal CMO reveals the thinking and opportunities behind its new Big W partnership

Marketing chief details the brand implications and promotional strategy supporting the marketplace's product partnership with Big W, as well as plans around MyDeal's loyalty program

Higher conversion rates, bigger cart sizes, enhanced brand salience and credibility are just of the upsides MyDeal’s marketing chief sees from its new partnership with Big W.

The Australian marketplace went live with the digital partnership with Big W this week, debuting more than 10,000 products from best-selling categories and big brands across the latter’s range on its website. MyDeal CMO, Ryan Gracie, told CMO the partnership was hugely significant in bolstering its overall strategy of delivering great value to consumers through brands and products available in the marketplace.

For Big W, the deal extends out the department store’s omnichannel go-to-market strategy, which also includes its owned ecommerce site as well as a partnership with eBay.

“There’s huge credibility that having these brands and products provides MyDeal, both from a consumer perspective as well as seller/ supplier perspective,” Gracie said. “It provides complete customer authenticity. Sometimes a deal can look too good to be true for a customer. But when they see a product is supplied and backed by a reputable brand like Big W, authenticity kicks in. And it opens up lots of doors in terms of seller and supplier relationships. They can see we are a business they need to do business with.”

Having built its foundations in the homewares then lifestyle spaces, the Big W partnership sees MyDeal extending out across almost all product categories. Brands now available on its marketplace as a result include Sony PlayStation, Nintendo, SodaStream, Lego, Breville, Fitbit, Tontine and Bondi Sands. It comes off the back of Woolworths' acquisition of MyDeal for $243 million first announced in May and concluded in July this year.

“Customer metrics show us it’s a good idea: Shopping metrics already show increased frequency, and there are now more opportunities to shop on MyDeal as well as more occasions to shop for,” Gracie continued. “It’s not just commodity and utility products, but big brands within those categories, opening up all those shopping occasions. It’s buying more often plus providing more options to buy, increasing average cart size, customer lifetime value, and importantly, increasing conversion rates.”

Early conversion on Big W items is very high already, which Gracie was pleased to see. “The traffic we do attract converts at a higher rate, making all of our marketing more effective and efficient. It’s overall good news,” he said. 

Having previously experienced the process of bringing on tier-one brands to the Catch Group marketplace in his former CMO role, Gracie firmly subscribes to the theory that big brands sell big brands.

“I saw this at Catch – when we started to on-board them, we got the halo effect from having such items for sale on the site. We know consumers are in the market for big brands and at low prices. If you can combine both, all ships rise,” he said. “Overall, it adds to brand salience, our presence in the market and can only do good things for us.”  

With heavy emphasis on performance marketing, Gracie also said the Big W deal provide more of the right kinds of “fishing lines we can put in the ocean with the right bait dangling off them”, opening up MyDeal’s addressable market.  

“We can dangle more lines, track more fish willing to have a nibble, track them to site, then with our user experience, make sure they convert. Definitely opening up shopping occasions plus customers we can attract,” he said.  

Gracie has been so keen to align Big W proposition with MyDeal, he’s put the logo on the site alongside the core MyDeal masthead. The pair have embarked on promotions this week, including a dedicated EDM featuring only Big W products and deals, and above-the-line advertising including billboards nationally featuring both logos.

“We think the knock-on effect of being associated with such a well-loved brand can only be good for MyDeal – it’s a way for us to piggyback on its success,” Gracie said.  

Big W managing director, Pejman Okhovat, was also thrilled to announce the partnership. “The opportunity we have to offer even more value for existing and new customers is an exciting next step in growing our omnichannel presence,” he commented.  

“Providing value and convenience for Australian families is at the heart of what we do and by teaming up with MyDeal, we can offer them more ways to save on their favourite brands and products.”

Choice versus curation

Yet even as it brings more products into the marketplace, MyDeal needs to be conscious of improving navigation and relevancy to customers coming to its site. Because it’s clear there is a need for it.

According to a fresh Emarsys survey, 36 per cent of consumers are feeling overwhelmed by the volume of product online or instore, and 23 per cent are overwhelmed by choice. As a result, 32 per cent admit to defaulting to their usual brand of choice or reverting to the cheapest option available.  

“The tyranny of choice is a real thing, and you can bamboozle an audience with too much choice,” Gracie agrees. “You need to focus on what consumers are after, without too many cross-sells. We have a dedicated team for optimisation on things like browser behaviour, conversion rates, and we’re sorting all categories based on previous sales have led us to believe consumers want, then surface best products.”

MyDeal also has Salesforce Marketing Cloud and uses its AI engine for recommendations. “We’re limiting exposure in EDMs to only products that we know really will do well. It is about curation,” Gracie explained.  

“With over 3 million products on the site, you can go the wrong way. We’re talking 100,000s of products that actually sell, so we concentrate on those and the products consumers really want to see.”  

Marketplace reach versus brand loyalty

Gracie is equally of the belief that the proliferation of marketplaces in Australia is facing a reckoning. He pointed out when Catch Group started, only three marketplaces were in play: eBay, MyDeal and Catch. Now, there are more than 30 marketplaces in the country.

“As a consumer, you type into Google to search for a product and it’ll pop up 30 times in Google shopping – generally the same product with the same price, some retailers you haven’t heard from. Customers are trying to work out what is going on and where to buy it,” Gracie said. “That’s where brand kicks in – trust kicks in here on who they go to first.

“I don’t believe we can continue growing marketplaces and expect to grow scale. The slices of the pie start to get smaller and depreciate. There will probably only be 3-4 big ones in the end – eBay, Amazon, Catch, as part of Wesfarmers, and MyDeal, as part of Woolworths.”

Who wins will be influenced by loyalty plays, Gracie believes. “People will be part of their larger rewards and loyalty scheme and the others left will just be fighting it out,” he predicted.  

It’s for this reason MyDeal is now abandoning plans to launch its own program and working to tap into the Woolworths Everyday Rewards customer loyalty program.

“Now we’re part of Woolworths, why would we try to build another one when the biggest in the nation is available at our fingertips? Getting critical mass is different, so Everyday Rewards is almost a panacea,” Gracie said.  

But while tapping into the might and resources available as a result of Woolworths’ acquisition of an 80.2 per cent stake in MyDeal deal this year is an opportunity, Gracie said MyDeal will continue to carve its own path in Australia’s retail landscape. He noted founder and key personnel remain in the business to do just that.

“We won’t be smothered with love or hugged to death, we can tap into resources we need to when required, while operating in a more lean, entrepreneurial fashion,” he said. “Holding on to that DNA, our key people, and letting us do what we do best, is what’s going to work best for the business.”


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