Pepperjam and Magento Meet Again As Performance Marketing And Ecommerce Merge

jonesEBay Enterprise alumni unite!

When paid search and affiliate network Pepperjam and ecommerce platform Magento partnered in early November, it marked the reunification of two companies from eBay’s now-discontinued eBay Enterprise Marketing business.

After the spinoff from eBay, Pepperjam and Magento were each reclaimed by their original owners to operate as standalone entities.

“I had the opportunity to take back the assets I had originally sold [to eBay by way of GSI Commerce] with Pepperjam and merge them with some of the other business assets I was leading,” said Michael Jones, Pepperjam’s co-founder and CEO.

Now the eBay Enterprise band is coming back together – proverbially speaking – because of shifts in the ecommerce ecosystem. Although Magento and Pepperjam shared similar cultures while at eBay, the increased stake the CMO has in ecom tech has spurred a much closer integration.

So Pepperjam and Magento are teaming up to help performance marketers manage affiliate, search and display in the same platform where they manage ecommerce.

Ecommerce was traditionally resource-intensive and engineering-heavy, but Magento sought to change that early on by creating an open-source marketplace for developers – and the web-based technologies that wanted to integrate with them.

“If you’re going to launch or build a website, certainly the next question is how will customers engage with it and where will they come from?” Jones said. “It’s becoming more of a collaborative engagement between ecommerce and marketing. When ecommerce brands set up their carts, they have to think about customer acquisition more now.”

Fashion to Figure, a plus-size women’s fashion chain with 25 stores, uses both Magento and Pepperjam.

Nick Kaplan, the chain’s co-founder and CEO (and the great-grandson of the woman who founded Lane Bryant), said an integrated Magento and Pepperjam helps reduce technology overhead.

“It used to be that a single person was great at site optimization or A/B testing for a brand while another handled on-site behavioral display or retargeting from email,” Kaplan said. “More and more, people have to do more of everything, so we’re really looking to have less partners but to do more with the partners we do have.”

Kaplan said a combined Pepperjam-Magento deployment would help the brand look at new customer acquisition more holistically.

For large retailers with large budgets and an extended network of optimization talent in-house, he said it’s relatively easy and cost-effective to leverage a tool like Google AdWords and optimize against clicks.

We find CPCs are going up and conversions are going down, so for us to acquire customers and more effectively touch people, building a network of affiliates and influencers was critical,” Kaplan said.

Fashion to Figure uses Pepperjam as an acquisition tool to identify influencers on newer social channels and on YouTube, and relies on the integration to Magento to gauge return traffic and subsequent conversions on its site.

The retailer will use Pepperjam and Magento to begin to tailor the site experience based on whether a woman is shopping its online store for the first time or whether they’re already part of the brand’s member rewards program, the Trendsetter Club.

“We condition people to think about both acquisition and retention,” Kaplan said. “You need to find people to shop on your website and you need to retain the people who embrace and support your brand.”


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