Ahead of PI LIVE Europe 2023, we caught up with Hollie Dunn, Manager, UK Partnerships at PayPal Honey, to chat about what’s new for the publisher, what she’s looking forward to at the event, and what the hottest trends in affiliate marketing will be for 2024.

What’s new at PayPal Honey?

We stick with our same old mission at PayPal Honey: to support our global member base in finding value in their shopping online. 

We do have a huge audience and we want to make sure that our merchants are presenting the best deals, coupon codes, and rewards. It's our job as the partnerships team to connect the dots between the two. 

Many will know that Honey was acquired by PayPal back in 2020. It seems a while ago now and it's taken some time to get that market offering right. But in the US market, we now have our PayPal shopping initiative, in which our members can earn PayPal Rewards when they shop across the PayPal platform. And that's all powered by Honey. 

They can earn PayPal Rewards points when shopping at their favourite stores, or with stores that they discover across the platform (mobile app). The rewards offerings are the first screen when you open the PayPal app in the US. 

The reach is really, really massive – we’re also working across the Honey app and extension browser – so we're very excited about that. 

From the PayPal members' point of view, they can use those rewards points to redeem as cashback, which we’re familiar with. They can pay for their shopping using PayPal and use that as cash. They can also settle IOUs with their friends, peer-to-peer. They can also choose to contribute to charity, which I think is prevalent with what's going on in the news. So, I love the choice that consumers get. 

I've said a lot. That's not all of the details. If anyone listening to this wants to find out more, they can google PayPal Rewards, or come and speak to us at PI LIVE. We've got a big booth and all of our team will be there. 

Sounds great. When can we expect this to come to the UK?

It's a question we get a lot. It's a question I'd love to know the answer to – I manage our UK partnerships team and the majority of our merchants are UK-based. But that won't be till sometime next year. For now, the focus is on the US market.

What are you most excited about for PI LIVE Europe 2023?

It's definitely our biggest affiliate event and we've got the whole of our UK & EU team joining the event. I'm really excited to spend time with the team and see our merchant partners face-to-face. 

We're an online industry; we spend so much time on our laptops, on emails, and on Slack. So it's great to see people and have those conversations face to face. As a result, heading into the biggest time of the year for the e-commerce industry – with Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the festive season – we get a real buzz of energy that we need. So that's what I'm excited about, spending time with people and with my team. 

How are you going to network this year?

The opportunities at PI LIVE are massive for us. You've got your networking app, which helps us in terms of planning and outreach in the run-up to the event because it's so intuitive. You can search for brands, you can search for the titles of the people that you want to be meeting with. Being a premier sponsor, we do have a massive booth and it's going to be the same one that we had last year. 

It's huge in terms of where we are in the location and the visibility across the event. Last year, we had loads of walkups from big brands as well. So being able to have the whole team there and available to chat with these people at all times is really important. We always come away with a lot of opportunities.

Will you be tuning into any sessions this year?

As many sessions as I can, when I have time for them. They will be recorded, so we can check in afterwards. 

The content is important as well. It's a great opportunity to see what's happening in the industry, but also to learn from a professional development perspective. I've jotted down some panels that I'll be trying to tune into. 

Working Career Models for the Next Generation of Female Leaders: As a female leader, I'm looking forward to that one. It's always important to hear other women's experiences, challenges, and wins within this career path and industry. 

Pride & Prejudices: The Queer Employee Experience: Whoever makes these titles is absolutely brilliant! But inclusion is one of our main leadership values at PayPal and I'm keen to hear more on what we can do as an industry to support our LGBTQ+ peers and colleagues. 

Another one that I'm looking forward to is The ‘Bish-Bash-Bosh’ of How to be a Better, More Confident Presenter. It's something we can always be working on. Public speaking and things like this are very much out of my comfort zone. So I'm looking forward to that, I'm always open to learning more.

How to Measure the Value of the Affiliate Channel and Its Effect on the Overall Marketing Mix Wednesday at 11:10 am on the Webgains mainstage, our director Daniel Baptiste-Pilkington will be on a panel with leaders from CJ, EssenceMediacom, and The Gym Group to discuss the age-old question of incrementality. So, tune in to hear Dan speak from a publisher's perspective on that one. 

For us at PayPal Honey, the union of payments and rewards or cashback is what will be hot in 2024. Shifting from PayPal being known for online payments, more towards a shopping destination is important for us. These days, you'll be seeing it more and more where banks and financial institutions are investing in shopping features like rewards, cashback, and loyalty. I think we'll continue to see investments in this area. 

A focus for all parties in 2024 is that Google is moving towards a cookieless future. Everyone needs to be prepared for that because it impacts networks, brands, and publishers. Some are prepared, some are nearly there. We're working with all parties to ensure readiness for that. As a publisher that works with over 30 affiliate networks, that's no easy feat. We want to make sure that all is in place so that we can track everything and make sure we're fairly attributed and continue to monetise. Most importantly, we want to reward our members with the cashback and loyalty points that they will have earned. We need to be able to do that in a compliant way and be ready for that.

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