How happy are Ebates customers? With a Net Promoter Score of 80 (extraordinarily high for a company in any industry), the answer is: very. The reason, CEO Amit Patel explained at Rakuten Optimism 2018, is the company’s commitment to moving on from its initial goal of loyalty to love.

So how, as a company, do you get from loyalty to love? Patel shared on stage three ways Ebates has won customers’ love.

Create partnerships

“We’re a partner in helping our merchant partners understand how the market is being shaped by larger trends. By constructing that emotional journey we're ensuring that we all grow together,” said Ebates CEO Amit Patel.

“We’re a partner in helping our merchant partners understand how the market is being shaped by larger trends. By constructing that emotional journey we’re ensuring that we all grow together,” explains Ebates CEO Amit Patel.

One reason Ebates customers keep coming back is the company’s commitment to providing them with new and better value in partnership with great brands.

Ebates partners with brands, retailers and services to offer something new. Ebates also offers its members a choice in how they get their cash back—take the “Big Fat Check,” receive payment via PayPal or choose an even more valuable gift card. Shoppers love it because they can boost the value of their rewards; retailers love it because it locks in a future sale.

Let customers lead

While Ebates allows its members to receive rewards electronically via PayPal, 50% of members still elect to receive their “Big Fat Check” in paper form. And many of them can be found celebrating by posting pictures and happy dance videos on social media—a phenomenon Patel says Ebates loves.

Over the years, the explosion of digital payment options has made the check seem very old school. And yet, he says, the paper check is not going anywhere. “There is something about the physical check that gives joy. Why would we want to change that?”

It has become popular for happy Ebates customers to share photos and videos of their "big fat checks" on social medial.

Happy Ebates customers often share photos and videos of their “Big Fat Checks” on social media.

Remember, love comes from trust

The key is helping customers make better, smarter purchasing decisions. Patel points to a typical member experience: Ashley sees a friend wearing a new style of boot-cut jeans. While her friend boasts about where she found the jeans and the “deal” she got—Ashley knows she can do better on Ebates.

She quickly jumps on the app and, sure enough, Macy’s has a double-cash-back deal.  With a few taps and swipes, she’s ready to purchase and earn her double cash back.  When she opens her email, a pop-up offers her a “secret” VIP code for 40% off her entire order. She goes ahead and adds in a second pair of jeans in a different denim wash, adds a shirt, some accessories, and she’s thrilled to save over $95 dollars.

Ashley is left with a positive impression of both the merchant—Macy’s—and the platform that made it all possible.  When members experience a savings that’s larger than what they expected, and we deliver on our promise, “they see value, they feel trust,” explains Patel.

Patel speaking in front of a packed house at Optimism Conference in San Francisco.

Amit Patel speaking in front of a packed house at the Optimism Conference in San Francisco in September.

As the retail economy continues to migrate online, and fundamentals like customer loyalty are won in different ways, Patel sees Ebates’ partnerships with merchants deepening. “We’re a partner in helping our merchants understand how the market is being shaped by larger trends. By constructing that emotional journey based on love and trust, we’re ensuring that we all grow together.”


For more coverage from Rakuten Optimism 2018, visit here.