LeapRate Exclusive… LeapRate has learned that UK online trading industry leader IG Group Holdings plc (LON:IGG) is making a large push to grow its Affiliates program, following several months of groundwork. We had reported exclusively as far back as last May about IG’s preparations to launch an Affiliates program, and now we have learned that IG is indeed making the growth of its Affiliates program a key strategic goal for 2016.
And it makes sense.
While IG is a clear #1 in the UK and has strong online trading market share in a few other regions like Australia, its home UK market still accounts for about half of IG’s Revenues. If IG is to continue growing beyond the UK market’s natural growth rate it will need to do so internationally. And to accomplish that, it will need more Affiliate traffic.
We are pleased to be joined today by IG Global Business Development Officer Tal Zohar to discuss the new program, and how it fits into the overall picture at IG.
LR: Hi Tal, and thanks for joining us today. IG is clearly the market leader in the UK online trading sector, and you’ve accomplished that without a formal affiliate program. Why launch one now?
Tal: As you mentioned IG is the global leader in online trading. The company has achieved that through a continued pursuit of innovation and technological leadership. From creating the concept of financial spread betting back in 1974, being the first firm to introduce online dealing in 1998 and last year launching Sunday Trading on equity markets and designing the first trading app on Apple Watch.
We have also made great improvements in our marketing and see the launch of this affiliate program as another progressive step. Five years ago, marketers at IG considered marketing very much as an art. Today, in the online world, we have moved our view to marketing predominantly as a science but supported by art, specifically where the broader brand is concerned. The data available in the online world allows you to quickly assess what is working and what is not. You are able to test many approaches and optimise as you go. The affiliate program is going to be a further tool in our online marketing machine to bring in new clients at a trackable cost per acquisition. We will have strict oversight of the programme from a specialised internal team to ensure that the affiliates deliver the service IG expects.
LR: There is a lot of competition for top performing affiliates in spreadbetting, forex/CFD trading, and the online sector generally. How do plan to compete and attract those types of partners to IG?
Tal: Quite simply as we are the market leader in the sector we have many competitive advantages that will attract the higher quality affiliates. Starting with the strong and well known IG brand that is backed up by the biggest global geographic spread in the industry with our 17 regulated offices around world including a binary exchange in America (NADEX) and a bank in Switzerland. Our product offering is not just limited to leverage trading as we have an execution only stockbroking service in the UK, Ireland, Germany, Austria and the Netherlands. We also offer the greatest number of markets, over 10,000, to trade across shares, forex, indices, commodities and binaries. These benefits will make IG a great prospect for affiliates to deliver high conversion rates.
Secondly we are going to be fully transparent with affiliates. Our website clearly details the opportunity and exactly how much they could earn on each product and each country. We want to work with high quality affiliates who will deliver us good traffic. In return they will have the security of dealing with a trusted and fully regulated provider. They will not have to worry about delays in receiving payments as we have the best systems in place and as a business have an excellent cash flow as our recent half year results showed.
LR: Is this more about solidifying your position in the UK market, or growing abroad? Or both?
Tal: It is in line with our strategic direction as a business which is both. IG has been synonymous with leverage trading in one form or other but we are now becoming a place where you can trade many more assets and choose whether you want leverage or not. Our market share in the UK for spread betting is now approximately 50% so we have to be realistic about how much we can grow. The market is still growing and we can grow our market share but we wish to diversify our product range to boost that growth rate. Hence our move into stockbroking last September and our upcoming launch of an investment offering based on model portfolios built with ETFs in partnership with BlackRock.
Outside of the UK and Australia our market share is lower so there are significant opportunities in these regions to improve and grow to the levels we have seen in the UK and Australia.
LR: A number of your competitors have recently rebranded and/or launched new trading platforms – all of which seems to be targeted at increased mobile use. How does IG look at mobile now?
Tal: Mobile is clearly key and we pride ourselves on building excellent solutions which work for people who are on the go. We currently consistently see 40% of all client transactions occurring on mobile and I expect that number to be above 50% in the coming years. We have also seen a growing trend for more people to apply to open accounts on mobile. Mobile for us started as being the place where you could trade when you are on the go, and it is now encompassing the entire client life cycle. A growing number of clients never actually trade with IG or interact with IG in any way other than a mobile device.
Our strategy, unlike a lot of the competition, is to build native apps to fit the operating system. Whether that be iOS, Android or Windows phone. We have individual teams building and improving these bespoke apps constantly so they work in a way that you would expect for the ecosystem you are a part of. We believe this strategy delivers the highest quality of apps that traders expect in today’s increasingly mobile dominated world.
Find out more about the IG Affiliates programme at https://www.ig.com/uk/affiliates