As part of our lead up to TAP Conference, the premier mobile commerce conference on October 4, we are interviewing leaders from the mobile world about their views on the future of commerce. Most recently, we sat down with the Co-Founder of ShopBack, Joel Leong, ahead of his session at TAP.

ShopBack is a digital loyalty and discovery platform on a mission to create a world of Smarter Shoppers, which is based out of Singapore with a presence in 7 APAC countries. With 6 million users powering 1 order every 3 seconds, ShopBack has awarded more than $25 million in cashback to date. Rewards are offered for more than 1,500 merchants, helping the brand fulfill its mission of creating a world of Smarter Shoppers.

Enjoy our Q&A with Joel below, and if you haven't yet, register to see him at TAP this Thursday!

Question: What role does mobile play in ShopBack's broader business strategy?

Joel: More than 60% of our orders are placed through our mobile apps, on Android and iOS, and this percentage keeps increasing. Thus, our app plays a key role in our development— especially in markets which are mobile-first.

In term of strategy, this translates to a strong focus on developing new features for mobile platforms. There are many challenges and opportunities which are unique to mobile apps and mobile devices:

  • Mobile experience is key for markets in which the only/primary device owned by consumers is a mobile device.
  • Desktop experience cannot be simply "ported over" to mobile devices. At ShopBack, we start with the mobile experience, then we adapt it for secondary devices such as desktops.
  • Mobile devices offer the opportunity to have constant touchpoints with our customers: ShopBack services are a tap away for all our customers.

Question: More than 70% of Singles Day 2017 orders were on mobile. The holiday is coming up again, what are ShopBack's plans to take advantage of this massive commerce event?

Joel: This year, ShopBack has launched ShopFest, an initiative that spans all key events of this year-end period. Singles Day is definitely a key date, but it is not the only major milestone of this campaign.

The mobile shopping experience plays a critical role during these campaigns, especially in markets in which consumers access the Internet primarily on mobile devices. ShopBack tailors its experience on mobile first, heavily investing to optimize the shopping experience on our app.

Question: How do ShopBack app users compare to those on desktop? Is acquiring app users a priority for ShopBack?

Joel: We do not really differentiate our users as "app users" versus other users, since a good segment of our users access ShopBack services on several platforms. Instead, we analyze which platforms perform better for each vertical. For instance, for the Travel vertical, we observe that customers are still reluctant to complete their orders on mobile.

By analyzing each vertical, we are also able to identify opportunities to improve our integrations. For example, we estimate that for the Food Delivery vertical, ShopBack could be at least 30% more efficient with a better app-to-app integration that triggers the decision to order on mobile devices. Delivering a superb end-to-end mobile shopping experience can really make a difference, especially for services that customers want to order on-the-go.

Question: ShopBack recently announced Ride Comparison allowing users to find the cheapest ride. Can you give us an overview of this program and how it has been received by users?

Joel: Actually, our Ride Comparisons feature has been around for more than a year already, and it has been helping consumers making smarter decisions when booking a ride.

From our largest ride partner in South East Asia, we even got the feedback that our feature was delivering more redirects than Google Maps! This was a great validation of market fit.

Rides Comparisons is just one of the many new features that ShopBack rolls out to support our customers' decisions. We have more amazing features coming up by the end of this year!

Question: You'll be speaking at Button's annual TAP Conference on October 4th. What are you most excited to discuss and learn?

Joel: A lot of innovation is driven by the US and we are very excited to learn more about discovering innovation that goes beyond app integration.

The US and the markets we operate in are very different, but we are always eager to know more about new concepts that drive growth in other markets and experiment with them to find out if we can address a need for the consumers in our economies.