Well, 2020 I think everyone wrote it off. And then 2021 came in. and we’re on Groundhog Day all year. I think about 2020 in a couple of ways. So, from a consumer standpoint, there was so much uncertainty, certainly around the lockdowns when they hit and then we had different versions of lockdowns in different states that impacted people’s day to day lives, their professional lives.
Some people have been massively impacted financially, there was a lot of uncertainty from the consumer point of view. From the brand’s point of view, there were wild swings depending on who you speak to, but there were over-demand issues when we saw that the panic buying hit. Interestingly, we saw the panic buying going in kind of two-week waves, so from groceries and alcohol, with people’s priorities set on food. Then, in the first two weeks of lockdown that moved into very much a health and fitness kind of “I’m going to be at home for a while, I need to set my home up for fitness,” into home and office, into beauty.
It was very clear lines in the sand. every couple of weeks, so we were pivoting around trying to help our brands navigate those, those very clear changes. Today, we’re not seeing as drastic changes and it’s more geographically, so Perth gets locked down we start to see some different behaviours there. But for ShopBack it was, you know, we’re kind of a double-sided marketplace. So on one side, we’ve got the customers’ shock. On the other side, we’ve got the merchant shock, supply demand shocks. And it came at an interesting time because we’re about to run our second birthday, which we were planning to launch late April. When the lockdown hit, certainly from our brand partners, there was some concern around what budgets were going to look like, how were customers going to react to this, will I have enough stock to be able to service the demand I’ve got?
So we had this uncertainty on the supply side of our business that we had to be really last minute with our planning and try and help our merchants who still wanted to be part of the birthday event. But we had to kind of compress the planning time and really work with them on that.
From the customer side, it was a little bit different because we were just launching a birthday, and a conversion campaign like a ShopBack second birthday Kumbaya stuff is not really what you want to do at the start of a pandemic. The research that we did told us that customers still expected us to do marketing, but they wanted to be engaged. So we designed a lot of the normal campaigns that we would run, but then we laid in a whole bunch of engagement campaigns on top of that, to keep people entertained when they were at home and stuck in lockdown.
One of the most crazy ones was we ran this Amazing Race, where essentially we planted 50 clues across the Internet, and had customers leave our app, go and find the answer to the clue, come back to the app for another clue, go find that in the internet somewhere. And it was basically who got to the endpoint got a share of all the cash and prizes. We had 15,000 customers engaged in this Amazing Race. We were blown away, I thought it was awesome.
And then, of course, we had Cashback Troopers, which is our in-app game. Essentially, you go into the ShopBack app, and you’ll see Cashback Troopers – give it a play, it’s very addictive – It was played for 14 years total last year, customers played the game for 14 years cumulatively. I’m not sure if we built a monster with that. I think if we take it out of the app, we’re gonna have some kind of revolt because people love it.