The on-site marketing platform will be launching a new platform called ViralMint Xchange (VMX) on March 1, 2015 with the aim of bring publishers and advertisers on the same platform.
ViralMint founder Rohan Dighe, said VMX would connect advertisers and publishers in a more open way then is currently seen with affiliate marketing solutions. “Advertisers have no control over publishers. Publishers are unhappy because they are not getting payouts at the right time. Right now, publishers lack tools to monetize apart from backlinks and banner ads,” said Dighe. He claims that VMX will fill this void.
VMX allows publishers to advertise relevant products through either widgets or a customized storefront within their blog or website. Advertisers can use VMX to reach out to the right publisher to promote their products or services. Dighe said on an average the clickthroughs (CTR) for affiliate storefront were around 10-13 per cent and for widgets, the CTR was about 1 per cent.
ViralMint hopes to get the top 50 advertisers (mainly e-commerce players) on board before the launch date of March 1, though Dighe said the platform could be used by brands directly. It is looking to tie up with companies such as redBus, Urban Ladder, ShopClues.com, MyDentist and Lenskart, among others and has already been carrying out beta testing over the past few months with price comparison website Pricebaba.com, which used it to launch a store front for mobile accessories by Daily Objects. It also plans to have over 1000 publishers on board by March.
Dighe said that publishers won’t be charged for the service though advertisers will have to pay 3 per cent on GMV (Gross Merchandise Value) sold through the platform. Currently, Viral Mint’s primary product is a customer engagement tool, which has around 2000 clients. Dighe said the company hopes to spin off VMX as a separate revenue stream by end of year.
The company was founded in 2011 and has already had initial funding by Seed Fund. Dighe said there are no immediate plans to raise more funding but depending on the success of VMX, could look at raising more money in the next 2 quarters.
Affiliate marketing accounts for 25 per cent of online revenues in the US, though it accounts for only 3-5 per cent of e-commerce net sales in India. “We expect affiliate marketing to only grow stronger in the coming years. For example, by next year, it could account for 8-10 per cent of e-commerce sales,” said Dighe.