We have a huge mix of publishers, including cashback websites, but this one is a little different… Kate Thornton’s new venture, T.B Seen combines celebrity content contributors, including Myleene Klass, Lisa Faulkner and Denise Van Outen, and cashback from UK women’s favourite brands. Typically a demographic that is under represented in the cashback sector, women over the age of 30 with disposable income now have a destination for cashback deals packaged up in engaging content. We spoke to Kate Thornton to find out more.
Tell us about T.B Seen? What type of website is it?
We’re the new, smart way to shop, curating the best ways to save money on the things you’re already buying, all wrapped in engaging celebrity content to help raise awareness, and build trust around what we’re offering. In a nutshell, we’re hoping to grow the cashback space by bringing a whole new army of female users to it who currently either don’t know about it, or aren’t engaged with the sites currently in the market.
What was your inspiration for the site?
The very fact that this space was lacking in inspiration for women became our inspiration! For the women we’re talking to, who have real spending power, cashback can be confusing and lacking in engaging content, and we thought that the space was hugely underplayed to them. So by putting curation, content and recommendation at the heart of everything we do, we have created a site that hosts the brands that speak loudest, with great deals on everything she would buy across her year.
What makes T.B Seen different to other cashback wesbites?
I think one of the main barriers to entry for women in this market was a lack of trust, as well as education, and our early data indicates that the 12 celebrity ambassadors and the video content they’ve created have fast tracked those hurdles with women not only buying into cashback very quickly, but also trusting the proposition and overcoming any cynicism around it being ‘too good to be true’, which is something that came back time and time again from our early research pre-launch. And the curation of both content, brands and deals and the conversation adds huge value, especially to the user experience, that you just don’t get with the other cashback and voucher sites.
Our core audience is women aged 30 and over, but of course we’re open to anyone (over the age of 16 with a UK bank account) who wants a deal.
What do you think is more important to your users, the celebrity content or cashback?
We think, and the feedback we’re getting back via our social channels, is that it’s all important; the celebrity content provides the awareness and trust that cashback is a legitimate shopping mechanism, it also provides inspiration and enjoyment. After-all if you can shop, get a saving and have fun all at the same time, what’s not to like?
There is a lot of original content on site, how will this relate back to promotions on site, are there opportunities for clients to be involved with this?
Some content naturally lends itself directly to promotions i.e., it’s clear that there are products mentioned directly. A good example of this is our video series “What’s in your make-up bag”, each of our celebrities and a few of the TBSeen styling team reveal the six make up essentials that they carry with them in their make up bags. It’s is totally authentic, there is no product placement but a number of our retailers sell those products so we go to them and wrap the deals around the content. Other content has a more subtle product tie-up, for example our members may be watching one of Lisa Faulkner’s cooking hacks without a purchase in mind but really like the look of the pans she happens to be using. In that case we make it easy by showing the products in the video underneath and again wrap a deal around them. And some content is just there to be enjoyed, we don’t believe that everyone wants to be sold to all the time.
Are there any opportunities for further exposure on the site?
We have numerous ways for brands to engage with our audience, beyond the standard deal offers, including co-developing branded content, content sponsorship – videos and articles – brand and product tenancies and CPA increases all wrapped in great content.
We currently have 12 categories on our site: Beauty, Entertainment, Electricals & Tech, Food & Drink, Gifts, Health & Fitness, Home & Garden, Kids & Family, Money, Style, Travel and We Love (see more on that below). All the categories are important, but obviously some are more seasonal than others, together they reflect our aim to allow our audience to shop their year.
How can clients get set up with T.B Seen?
We’ve taken a slightly different approach with client engagement. We’ve launched with a plan to only host 500 brands initially, made up of 450 well known high-street and online brands and brands that we know appeal strongly to our target audience. There are a couple of reasons for this; firstly to reinforce, for the audience that doesn’t currently know about and may not instinctively trust cash back, that this is a legitimate thing so listing brands that they are already familiar with helps, and secondly we also we want to work more closely with the brands that we do host to form a true equitable relationship so that we between us we can evolve the deals we give our members in an environment that they feel comfortable placing their brands. Currently access to the platform is by invitation only.
Alongside the more established brands mentioned above we also have a category in our site called “We Love” which is an area where we showcase smaller business recommended by our celebrities or TBSeen team, that are either founded by, majority owned or run by women or provide products and services that appeal to women who wouldn’t usually meet our criteria or be able to compete effectively alongside ‘000s of much larger retailers. We shine a spotlight on them and give them the space to present themselves to our members. We know how difficult it is to launch a business and to establish yourself in any marketplace.
We’re lucky in as much as our celebrities create a buzz around what we’re doing and we want to be able to play that forward. It’s one of the ways we have to put something back in to help other women and again makes us a bit different. The We love section is proving to be extremely popular with our members.
Get in touch with our Publisher Team if you’d like to find out more!