Why Kate Thornton and her celebrity friends believe a cashback brand can succeed

Former X-Factor host Kate Thornton is backing her female-focused TBSeen.com cashback service to succeed as she predicts savvy shopping and discount brands will both prosper post-Brexit.

Featuring content from Thornton’s celebrity friends (pictured) including Nicole and Natalie Appleton (of All Saints fame), Tamzin Outhwaite, Myleene Klass and Denise van Outen, the brand is a cashback rewards retailer focused entirely on female shoppers.

Thornton says the average family could save up to £800 a year using TBSeen, which works by combining the offerings of 500 brands – including Marks & Spencer, Ocado, Morrisons and Nike – into one shop. In return for their custom, shoppers are typically refunded between 5% and 15% of their purchase within a 30-day period.

Generally, the site takes 20% of the commission from the cashback it gets paid by retailers and passes on the remaining 80% to users. In some cases up to 100% of cashback is passed on.

On the surface it isn’t the most glamorous venture for a group of women more often seen on our TV screens. However, Thornton hits back: “We are the consumers. We are the time poor busy working mothers that wanted a site like this because we would use it.

“Nearly all our research shows that women feel there aren’t enough retail experiences that put everything under one roof and were dedicated purely to them. The need to be a savvy shopper is universal.”

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TBSeen.com is hoping its focus on celebrity-driven content can entice online shoppers

Where the brand hopes to differ from far bigger rivals such as Quidco is in its content creation. Rather than being silent backers, celebrities such as Lisa Faulkner and Myleene Klass host regular lifestyle videos about food and fashion.

According to Thornton, these videos are converting to a sale at a rate of 36% and have an average viewing time of 1 minute and 50 seconds.

And by only tailoring its brand partners to the 500 mark, Thornton says the experience is a lot less confusing than its “overcrowded” rivals and can prosper in a post-Brexit world.

She explains: “Even though we are yet to see what the true economic fallout will be for Brexit, we all feel now we are living under a cloud of austerity. People will naturally tighten their belts for fear of unknown.

“Brexit or not who wants to pay more than they have to on anything? Nobody. That was the thing that grabbed me from the rewards space. It felt like a no brainer.”

While it’s still early days for TBSeen, Thornton claims 56% of visitors are returning to make a purchase. And earlier this year, the brand was awarded £100,000 in digital outdoor ad space from Posterscope during an Ad Week Europe Session, while TBSeen currently works with Eulogy on its PR strategy.

Thornton says she is working on an above-the-line marketing strategy for TBSeen and has ambitions for it to quickly scale its consumer base. Any advertising would ‘likely’ feature some of Kate’s celebrity friends.

Thornton concludes: “The sky is the limit here. I’m not going to say we can target every single women in the UK but it’s only been six months [since launch] and our core 25-50 year old customer will only keep growing.”

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