Arbitrage and Social Influence with Swaypay’s Kaeya Majmundar
Swaypay is a cashback app that enables social media savvy shoppers earn cash back on their purchases by posting them on TikTok. With every purchase Swaypay rates the shopper’s post according to performance, and issues a cashback reward. The percentage of savings is, therefore, aligned with the degree of “sway” the shopper has on TikTok. Users can earn larger “bounty” rewards if their posts go viral. According to Kaeya, the average Swaypayer is using the app 5x per month.
By helping brands funnel their marketing dollars from generalized marketing to a direct focus on their own social media savvy customers, Swaypay is poised to over-haul the dynamic between companies and consumers; not only do consumers stand to save a significant amount of cash on their purchases, but companies will benefit from a more efficient and successful marketing strategy .
We sat down with Kaeya to learn more about cashback incentives, brand engagement, and the increasing relevance of social influencers.
Swaypay’s Origins: Aligning Incentives
The idea for Swaypay came from Kaeya’s personal experience launching and scaling a handful of viral DTC brands. She realized that consumers have tremendous intangible social capital that brands want to be able to tap into, but there is no existing bridge between the two.
“I knew there’d be tremendous value to unlock here if we could perfectly align brands’ and shoppers’ incentives. We’ve been obsessively architecting our product through that lens.”
Swaypayers are able to buy more of the products they love by doing what they would do anyway - show off their new stuff on social media. For brands, Swaypay unlocks a whole new way of targeted advertising which would be extremely effective in attracting and retaining loyal customers.
Data-Driven Growth Tactics
The larger initiative of creating a link between merchants and social media brings about unique conversations surrounding the concept of social impact.
The platform sees an average number of about 1,400 views, 55 likes, and 5 comments for micro-influencers.
The swaypay team tracks and records the quality of each post. It’s not about how many followers a shopper has on TikTok; it’s about what kind of content he/she is producing with the products. The post’s likes, engagement rate, and comments are also analyzed, along with the post’s performance as it relates to other Swaypayers.
The brands they partner with predominantly ask about average order value and ways to boost conversion rate. In turn, Swaypay delivers additional value back to brands because a brand has the option to buy and repurpose content..
A metric that often pops up in conversation with brands is attribution. Kaeya points out that, unfortunately, no one has really figured out attribution on existing platforms like TikTok or Instagram, except referral codes or links in bio, which are both immature tracking mechanisms.
The Two Archetypes of Arbitrage
In Kaeya’s eyes, traditional ad spend will continue to grow, but it won’t be a huge dependency. With iOS 14 regulations and third-party cookie tracking, folks are shifting toward the idea of opting out of sharing for privacy. As a result, it’s getting more expensive for brands to target and re-target. Emerging brands today need to test new tactics and creative channels more than ever.
When you’re arbitraging talent as a founder, you have to be able to admit that everyone’s talking about finding and hiring top-notch talent, says Kaeya. Poaching people from Facebook doesn’t always work because sometimes those people aren’t right for the job.
In tandem, not all companies are big enough to make the job a frothy opportunity or even talk about equity. Instead, founders need to go out and find overlooked talent that is still relatively underpriced to the current market. They need to spot operators with potential and ambition.
“To unlock arbitrage and new acquisition channels at scale, you need folks on your team who just weren’t trained in traditional marketing tactics.”
The Nexus of Fintech & Social Commerce
Kaeya predicts that the most frictionless and sticky products will be the crowned winners.
More specifically, she sees the trend of embedding fintech and social into the same stack accelerating over the coming years. From a friction lens, payments can be integrated into a stack, making everything super easy for consumers. And, from a stickiness lens, social has essentially become the central nervous system for practically any known consumer product.
Put simply, social is an addiction. When you’re on Instagram all day, it’s not necessarily a choice you make as a consumer. In her words, the best form of loyalty is when you can’t not use the product.
“Embedded fintech infrastructure reduces friction. Social drives stickiness. That’s a dangerous pair.”
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