24 march 2020 0 comments

Nutra in Distress: How Coronavirus Affects Health and Beauty Product Sales

As the coronavirus pandemic is rampaging global markets all over, the nutra vertical too is facing turbulent times. While GEOs are getting stopped on a massive scale, most advertisers are announcing they will provide contactless delivery. ZorbasMedia decided to interview industry players acting on the three market sides, i.e. ad networks, affiliate networks, and media buyers.

Kadam.net reports that the amount of entertainment content has grown considerably and that most GEOs still perform rather well.

Are the volumes of paid traffic on the rise or in decline?

Overall, the volumes of sold and purchased traffic have only gone up recently when it comes to all our ad formats.

What traffic categories are becoming increasingly popular?

We are seeing the largest popularity growth in such categories as “Adult content”, “Movies and music”, and “Entertainment”, which is something you would expect at this point. A lot of people are under quarantine across the globe, and they need to have some fun. 

Traffic from which GEOs is now bought in lesser volumes and why?

I can’t say that certain GEOs are becoming less popular now. On the contrary, traffic from Western Europe, RF, and CIS countries has seen a 10% increase recently. Taking into account that we haven’t done anything specific to attract larger audiences, this can be attributed to the increase in organic traffic due to quarantines. This trend will be even more obvious if we consider the rise in demand for gambling, webcam, gaming, and entertainment services traffic.

Advertisers are now covering the demand of people to spend some quality time while they are isolated or quarantined, and so we can recommend affiliate marketers to pay more attention to these verticals.

Sergei Sergienko, kadam.net CBDO

MGID highlighted the rise in traffic volumes and lower prices per click in Europe.

Are the volumes of paid traffic on the rise or in decline?

Obviously, I can’t speak for the entire industry, but as far as traffic sources are concerned the situation is dubious. On the one hand, we have more ad inventory now, and traffic has become less expensive. You can now buy traffic from Europe for 4-8 cents, but no one knows how long it will last. People still want to buy various products and services. According to data provided by some platforms, the sales have grown by almost 20%. On the other hand, dozens of offers have been closed, as some regions in Europe, USA, and Asia are now facing delivery issues, which has significantly damaged the approval rate. So, our clients are now reducing the number of their ad campaigns and are on the lookout for new verticals rather than Health and Beauty.

What traffic categories are becoming increasingly popular?

Such services as online cinemas, grocery delivery and restaurant ordering apps, fitness apps, VPN and antivirus software are now seeing the rise in traffic and sales. Video games are also showing a considerable and sustainable growth.

Traffic from which GEOs is now bought in lesser volumes and why?

Traffic volumes across the globe are only going up. It would be more appropriate to talk about different types of traffic. We in MGID are witnessing the rise in news media traffic, while small websites with social audiences are now facing a decrease in volumes. The users are showing less interest in memes and jokes but are willing to consume news articles. So, websites are getting less traffic from the European countries where the situation with coronavirus is severe, such as Italy, Spain, and France. 

Affiliate business is flexible in that it allows all industry players to move freely within the ecosystem, and so each of us can easily adapt to the changing environment. A dynamic reaction to change is what allows the industry to move forward even in these trying times.

Daniella Kravtsova, Head of Affiliate Marketing at MGID

PropellerAds is also witnessing the rise in general entertainment traffic.

Are the volumes of paid traffic on the rise or in decline?

I can say with full certainty that traffic volumes are only rising. The hardest-hit countries in Europe, including Italy, France, Spain, and Germany, are now witnessing the most explosive growth. For instance, traffic from Italy has increased twofold in the last 10 days.

What traffic categories are becoming increasingly popular?

The most popular verticals now are those related to online entertainment: games, apps, software, VoD, and also sweepstakes. Conversely, sports betting, certain e-commerce verticals (the travel niche in particular), dating and offers promoting offline banking services are now losing their positions. Also, we are expecting to see a rise in demand for video chat offers in the nearest future. 

Traffic from which GEOs is now bought in lesser volumes and why?

As the volumes and demand for European traffic are rising, advertisers are now buying less traffic from Asian and Arab countries (Saudi Arabia, India, the Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia), as well as from Brazil. First and foremost, this stems from the fact that some offer owners have frozen their budgets or stopped their business activity altogether.

While the competition is going down, you should probably seize this opportune moment to test these GEOs out.

Arnis, Head of Marketing, PropellerAds

HypeOffers comments that delivery has gone contactless but some GEOs are now closed.

The largest manufacturer of almost every single product in the world has been working at half its capacity for over a month, and so many warehouses are now empty. Do you have enough products in stock and are you prepared for supply disruption?

We are a direct advertiser, and so we don’t buy anything from China. Fortunately, we were able to launch our production lines in several Eastern European states. We have enough product items in stock, and we are unlikely to run out of supply any time soon. Moreover, we are also planning to open two new GEOs in April, so there is no reason to panic.

Many European countries have already imposed quarantine measures and reduced their trade volumes. In which GEOs the impact of coronavirus has been felt especially hard?

We have launched contactless delivery recently. Customers pay with a credit card and get their order delivered without ever coming in contact with the delivery person. We have also introduced the so-called flexible delivery date option because most delivery services are now temporarily reducing their staff. When the customer is placing an order, they are informed about these issues. Post offices and parcel shops in Eastern Europe are working in the usual mode for the time being. So, as far as our in-house products are concerned, we haven’t noticed any drop in orders placed by customers. Prices per click on Facebook are rising now and then, but it doesn’t cause any serious disruption.

Are some GEOs getting closed?

We also work with other advertisers, and they asked us to stop traffic from Spain, Italy, and Portugal for certain products because they were not prepared to face these issues. Speaking about us, we have also closed two GEOs recently, but this has nothing to do with the coronavirus pandemic. We just decided to drop the dead weight of small GEOs that were not generating enough profit.

What nutra offers will stop bringing profits during the epidemic?

I don’t think that male enlargement creams, joint pain ointments, and weight-loss pills will ever lose their popularity among consumers.

What measures are you going to take to retain your partners if you have to reduce the payouts and customers stop buying anything but canned food and toilet paper?

We are not going to reduce affiliate payouts. Moreover, we’re planning to launch new GEOs and offers in April.

Ekaterina Novikova, Head of HypeOffers

After analyzing what’s going on in the world, Leadbit has taken the necessary steps to prepare for a possible crisis. The only GEO that got stopped is the Philippines. 

The largest manufacturer of almost every single product in the world has been working at half its capacity for over a month, and so many warehouses are now empty. Do you have enough products in stock and are you prepared for supply disruption?

We are a direct advertiser when it comes to the nutra vertical. So, in light of the global situation, we have taken precautionary measures to further strengthen our positions. In the mid-term perspective, we are unlikely to face any disruptions or significant losses. However, no one knows how long the crisis will last.

Gambling (not to be confused with betting), which is our second largest vertical in terms of turnover, is not expected to become less profitable any time soon. On the contrary, we think that the volumes will only rise as far as our company is concerned (the growth potential is very high, as we launched this vertical not so long ago) because players will be more active during quarantine “holidays”.

Many European countries have already imposed quarantine measures and reduced their trade volumes. In which GEOs the impact of coronavirus has been felt especially hard?

We were not affected by the situation in the EU in terms of supply and call center work. What we are witnessing is a drop in our partners’ conversion rate.

Are some GEOs getting closed?

As for now, the only stopped GEO is the Philippines. 

What nutra offers will stop bringing profits during the epidemic?

All nutra offers will remain profitable, the conversion rate will decline though, as well as the ROI in the number of verticals. However, that’s hardly a reason to expect that traffic will be stopped altogether.

What measures are you going to take to retain your partners if you have to reduce the payouts and customers stop buying anything but canned food and toilet paper?

With the high market competition, retaining partners and helping them grow has become our top priority. We are successful because we provide quality service and have extensive market expertise, it’s in our DNA.

Also, using the now-popular stock market terminology, we have diversified our portfolio. In simple terms, to drive our profits upward in times of growth and stay in the game when the crisis hits, we launched four new verticals and can already maintain the regular supply of exclusive offers to our partners.

Moreover, our partners also get:

  • discounts on affiliate services;
  • timely payouts to maintain the cash flow; we also provide assistance to affiliate teams that are new to the market;
  • dedicated managers to help them adapt to a new vertical.

There are still plenty of opportunities ahead, and we will try to help you maintain the highest ROI possible.

Valery Lyubushkin, Leadbit CEO


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Everad hasn’t stopped any GEOs so far but admits that the industry is in for some turbulent times.

The largest manufacturer of almost every single product in the world has been working at half its capacity for over a month, and so many warehouses are now empty. Do you have enough products in stock and are you prepared for supply disruption?

Our products are not manufactured in China. All Everad products are produced and certified in the GEOs we’re working with. Our business is 100% whitehat, and so any other way of product manufacturing and sale would be inappropriate for us. As for now, we have enough products in stock and no supply issues whatsoever, and so we are not imposing any traffic limits.

Many European countries have already imposed quarantine measures and reduced their trade volumes. In which GEOs the impact of coronavirus has been felt especially hard?

There is a number of GEOs such as Italy, Spain, and France where this whole thing has gone too far. We always stay in touch with delivery services throughout the globe and thoroughly analyze the situation in the region of delivery. Italy is obviously posing some difficulties now, which can’t be said about most other GEOs where everything is working regularly. 

To ensure the safety of our delivery personnel, warehouse staff and customers, we have introduced the so-called “safe delivery” option that presupposes contactless payment and product handling.

Are some GEOs getting closed?

As for now, we as a direct advertiser haven’t suspended our business activities in any GEO. All our call center operators have been sent home to work remotely, and the delivery staff is also out of danger. So, we have everything under control.

What nutra offers will stop bringing profits during the epidemic?

Only physical products and fishing gear have suffered a tad on account of the pandemic. Conversely, the demand for such products as weight-loss pills and male enhancement has increased one-and-a-half fold. As people can’t go to the gym, they have to work out at home, not to mention the increase in adult traffic.

What measures are you going to take to retain your partners if you have to reduce the payouts and customers stop buying anything but canned food and toilet paper?

We are controlling all the business processes ourselves, we have an in-house R&D department, affiliate program, promo materials team, call-center, and logistics department. So, when the approval rates were dropping amidst problems with outsource call centers, we didn’t have to face this challenge. We have our own delivery staff who handle our orders only and all our employees have been provided with masks, gloves, and payment terminals. 

Moreover, the crisis is not spreading evenly across the globe, and the fact that we are working with more than 40 GEOs allows us to offer affiliates those countries where the purchasing power of the population is still high and people are continuing to order products online. We are keeping a close eye on what’s going on in the market and are now developing offers that will meet the situational demand. We have everything under control and think that traffic volumes will only rise in the future.

Everad

Christina from CPAgetti also has a generally optimistic outlook.

The largest manufacturer of almost every single product in the world has been working at half its capacity for over a month, and so many warehouses are now empty. Do you have enough products in stock and are you prepared for supply disruption?

Almost all our GEOs show great performance now, the Philippines got closed though. We have enough products in stock because we always buy everything in bulk.

Many European countries have already imposed quarantine measures and reduced their trade volumes. In which GEOs the impact of coronavirus has been felt especially hard?

Although we can’t speak for the entire industry, I can say that even Italy is doing great now for us with a strong approval rate of 48%. And we didn’t even have to reduce the call center staff. 

Are some GEOs getting closed?

Yes, like the Philippines. We have launched finance offers in this GEO though.

What nutra offers will stop bringing profits during the epidemic?

You can make almost any product convert during the epidemic, just be careful about what you put on your creatives to avoid the trouble.

What measures are you going to take to retain your partners if you have to reduce the payouts and customers stop buying anything but canned food and toilet paper?

Thought can be toxic, and every affiliate should bear this in mind.

CPAgetti

Also, we interviewed solo affiliates and media buying teams. Oleg from ArboCPA says that the problem is real.

In your opinion, has the coronavirus pandemic affected the purchasing power?

Of course it has. The conversion and approval rates alike have dropped considerably. Some GEOs got closed, which had an impact on our profits. Still, we are keeping our heads up and doing whatever we can.

Have you encountered any problems because some GEOs got closed and you had to test out new countries?

Yes, we have. A number of GEOs got closed or stopped working altogether. For instance, the Philippines.

The closure of which GEO has affected your profits the most?

The Philippines, as I have already mentioned, but I wouldn’t say that our profits have dropped considerably. The gross revenue has suffered though. It would be incorrect to say that the Philippines accounted for the lion’s share of our traffic, but when it got closed we had to account for the losses.

Do you use coronavirus pre-landers? If yes, has it improved the click-through-rate on pre-lander to offer page and the number of generated leads?

We tested out some coronavirus pre-landers when this frenzy started, but they didn’t perform very well. As for today, we don’t want to deal with this at all because for us it amounts to promoting some magical cancer cure, etc. Totally unethical.

Oleg, co-founder of media buying team ArboCPA 

Igor Litvinenko, a solo affiliate, has also faced some challenges.

In your opinion, has the coronavirus pandemic affected the purchasing power?

Yes, the CR of one of my winning campaigns has dropped dramatically. The GEO is Europe.

Have you encountered any problems because some GEOs got closed and you had to test out new countries?

I heard that a lot of affiliate networks had closed a number of GEOs, but I drive traffic to WebWork offers, and the guys claim that they are not going to put anything to a stop. The only thing that can happen is that they change the sales model from COD to SS.

The closure of which GEO has affected your profits the most?

Italy —

Do you use coronavirus pre-landers? If yes, has it improved the click-through-rate on pre-lander to offer page and the number of generated leads?

No, this goes against all ethical rules. To tell the truth, I wanted to test out a coronavirus pre-lander, but guys from WebWork talked me out of it.

Igor Litvinenko, solo affiliate

What we can say in conclusion is that the coronavirus pandemic poses a real threat to the nutra vertical. The ROI is going down. The once-profitable GEOs are now closed. No one knows how long it will last.

We can only recommend you consider redirecting your traffic to some other affiliate verticals to diversify your risks.

Stay healthy!


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