Slickdeals integrates featured listings into their deal discovery platform
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Slickdeals integrates featured listings into their deal discovery platform

The eCommerce ad platform is fast, native, and uses first-party data to serve more relevant ads.

What Slickdeals wanted

Slickdeals is where savvy shoppers discover and share great deals. In the past 21 years they’ve helped their engaged community save neary $9 billion, and their product has over 12 million active monthly users.

As they grew, Slickdeals had built an ad platform for brands and retailers to sponsor their deals. It worked, but the homegrown solution lacked some valuable features, such as first-party data targeting, robust reporting, budget pacing, and more.

They contemplated building these features themselves, but realized that it would be costly and time-consuming. They also knew a traditional client-side ad server was a non-starter, as they couldn’t risk slow ad tags ruining the user experience.

So Slickdeals turned to Kevel’s server-side ad APIs to augment their homegrown ad platform. In just a few weeks they launched a Featured Deals section on their homepage that used first-party data to personalize the deals each person saw.

Slickdeals ads

Slickdeals’s sponsored deals have relevance and user experience in mind

With Kevel, Slickdeals created a Featured Deals section that incorporates first-party data to personalize what sponsored deals appear for each user. These are actual deals and are sponsored by brands/retailers whom Slickdeals already works with.

This user-level targeting involves identifying past intent signals in order to show more relevant promotions moving forward. Did the user engage with a laptop deal? If so, they may see laptop periphery in the Featured Deals section, as opposed to, say, discounts for local pizza.

Before Kevel, we couldn’t personalize the featured deals — leading to a less than ideal user experience. Now, we can ensure our community sees deals in which they would genuinely be interested, as opposed to random ads.

Eugene Faynberg, VP of Ad Operations

Being in eCommerce, Slickdeals needed a fast server-side ad solution

Slickdeals's mission is to help savvy shoppers win at shopping — and they can’t do that if their service is slow and buggy. Using a client-side ad server meant ad response times as high as 1s, which would have dramatically delayed page load times, leading to unhappy users.

Fortunately, since the integration with Kevel is server-side, there are no tags or bulky in-app SDKs to slow down load times. In fact, their ad response times are less than 100ms.

Request
curl -H 'Content-Type:application/json' \
  -X POST \
  -d '{"placements":[{
  "divName":"div1",
  "networkId":23,
  "siteId":667480,
  "adTypes":[5]}],
  "user":{"key":"abc"}}' \
  \
  https://e-23.adzerk.net/api/v2
Response
{ "user": { "key": "abc" },
  "decisions": {
    "div1": {
      "adID": 1234567,
      "creativeID": 7654321,
      "flightID": 9876543,
      "campaignID": 3456789,
      "clickURL": "https://e-123.kevel.co...",
      "imageURL": "https://e-123.kevel.co...",
      "height": 250,
      "width": 300,
      ...
    }
  }
}

We chose a backend API solution because minimizing ad latency was important to us. We’re seeing less than 100ms response times with Kevel — an order of magnitude faster than other ad servers.

Eugene Faynberg, VP of Ad Operations

Kevel UI

Automation makes Slickdeals’s work easier

With Kevel’s UI and Management APIs, Slickdeals can easily set up, manage, and report on their ad units. This automation ensures they can focus on improving and selling their ad product — not waste time on slow processes like manual reporting.

Slickdeals has expanded their use of Kevel over time

Over the years, Slickdeals has built out more ad units, including sponsored deals on other pages and for key events like Black Friday. They also integrated ads into both their website and their app.

Slickdeals ads

Our homegrown solution served us well, but lacked some functionality around reporting, targeting, and budget pacing. Kevel allowed us to easily add these features and opened up opportunities we didn’t have before.

Eugene Faynberg, VP of Ad Operations


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