Q&A: R.O.EYE Speaks to Awin about Monotote

August 23, 2017

Q&A with Awin, August 2017

As part of the Q&A series with new and emerging technologies, R.O.EYE speaks with Awin to discuss Monotote. In its simplest terms, Monotote enables consumers to transact on publisher’s sites without the need to click through to the merchant site.

Equipped with a crystal ball, Account Director Chris Blower spoke with Paul Stewart, Head of Publisher Services at Awin, ahead of launch with fashion client In The Style:

R.O.EYE: Could you please start by explaining what Monotote is?

Monotote: Monotote is a Universal Cart solution; they enable customers on a publisher’s site to purchase products from multiple advertisers, without ever leaving the page they’re on. They do this via the use of ‘buy buttons’ (as seen being trialed by the large social sites) which can be applied to any image, video or banner.

The concept of a universal cart isn’t a particularly new one, but where previously it involved a complicated checkout integration or the publisher/cart solution taking the money first – with Monotote these issues no longer exist. Through the use of real-time site information gathered by their servers, an existing product feed (not a prerequisite) and a low weight JavaScript plugin, advertiser and publishers can be up and running in next to no time at all.


R: What was the inspiration behind the technology?

M: The idea for Monotote came from the experience of the Monotote CEO running a number of high-end fashion re-selling sites. He wanted to create the best shopping experience he could by not redirecting customers, he couldn’t find an off the shelf option he liked so developed it himself. He had a number of other publishers ask if they could license it, and from there the idea for Monotote was born. Three years (and a lot of development) later, they were ready to go to market.


R: Who is Monotote for – is it mostly for the fashion industry?

M: Not at all, any online retailer can find a business case for it. If shortening the distance from inspiration to purchase is of interest – then Monotote is worth looking at. There are Awin advertisers ranging from ticket sellers, to furniture and makeup suppliers all integrated. There are certainly a lot of immediate wins within the fashion industry, due to the large number of content and comparison sites in the sector.


R: Where do you see the Monotote platform heading in the next three years?

M: I think the solution will continue to automate life for publishers and advertisers – Monotote recently partnered with one of the leading AI companies to create an auto-tagging feature, meaning that publishers can add buy buttons to images without needing to create the links themselves. I envisage that this will be a trend that continues, meaning that publishers can leave the monetisation to Monotote and focus on what they do best, creating great content – in whatever form that might be. I can also see the platform becoming a resource for content inspiration for publishers, given their huge product, image and video database.


R: How do you see technology impacting/disrupting the performance industry in the next three years?

M: It has the potential to alter one of the fundamental components of performance marketing, re-directing traffic to an advertiser’s site, so from that perspective it could be hugely disruptive. This could have implications for the advertiser/publisher relationship, but ultimately if it improves customer experience then that has to be a positive thing. Online is full of potentially disruptive ideas, it’s about how you capitalise on them that dictates success.

I’m particularly excited to see the effects that Monotote could have on video content over the next three years, it’s a format that’s difficult to monetise on a performance basis presently, but definitely of growing importance to consumers.


R: Who should people speak to if Monotote is of interest?

M: If it’s of interest please speak to your Awin account contact, they’ll be happy to arrange a meeting.


Thank you to Paul for his time. For anyone interested in learning more about Monotote, or to see a working example, please click here.