Warrior Payments
The end of WarriorPlus?

By Chris Munch (follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Google+)

WarriorForum have announced their new affiliate network and payment platform.

This is the WarriorForum’s official payment system for WSOs, and competes with JVZoo, Digiresults, WarriorPlus, Zaxxaa, Clickbank and others as an affiliate network.

While many discuss the feature set compared to JVZoo, and whether it will gain traction, defeat its competitors, the bigger endgame has been completely missed!

JVZoo is currently dominating as an affiliate network for IM, owning about 70% of the market right now. 2 Years ago it was WarriorPlus that dominated. Before that it was Clickbank.

jvzoo-trend

Things can change very fast, but this is much bigger than just being a popular affiliate network.If freelancer are being smart (and there’s a good chance they are), WarriorPayments is just the beginning.

  1. HOT TEAM: They have a solid dev, infrastructure and marketing team. The chance of matching features of competitors like JVZoo and WarriorPlus is very realistic.
  2. MOVING FAST: WarriorForum is undergoing more innovation more rapidly than ever before since being owned by Freelancer. We’ve only seen the results of a couple of months of implementation.
  3. FUNDING: Freelancer has a bigger budget and it can probably invest at a significant loss, undercut competition, and innovate faster due to being cash rich.
  4. THE HIDDEN AGENDA: To me it seems clear that Warrior Payments is simply the start of building a leading marketplace for IM products. Think Udemy meets WSOs. This deserves its own analysis…

 

The MarketPlace is Coming…

As of yet nobody has successfully combined a marketplace for buyers, with an affiliate program and payment system. The unofficial relationship between WarriorPlus and the WarriorForum came closest, and while WarriorPlus innovated, the WarriorForum lagged behind.

A Brief History

The WarriorForum has primarily been an IM discussion forum, with a section for selling discount products. It was this discount focus which made what is normally a ‘Buy & Sell’ section of a forum, into something more special… WSOs.

This gave the WarriorForum the edge over the DigitalPoint forums.

When innovator Mike Lantz created an unofficial affiliate network for WSOs, the traffic on the WarriorForum exploded and it disrupted the IM market completely.

The idea of ‘product of the day’ which could propel a brand new unknown vendor to drive hundreds of sales, each and every day. This attracted masses of vendors who were otherwise struggling to get noticed.

It paved the way for many young vendors, including myself, to break into a competitive market. Thanks Mike!

But a lack of innovation in the WarriorForum itself led to a collapse of vendors in 2012.

Trolls, rules, moderators and vendor unfriendly site changes (like big ads from the WarriorForum on vendor’s sales pages) pushed vendors to host their own sales page using the rapidly growing affiliate network JVZoo, even though JVZoo was a more expensive platform.

Vendors turned their back on the platform that had served them successfully for the past few years.

Innovation and being an easy source of sales is the key to success of any platform.

WarriorPlus and JVZoo tackled this with their ‘product of the day’ emails. And guess what…

The WarriorForum is starting out with a huge list of potential buyers, and already rewarding and driving sales for vendors that use the WF.

This should not be overlooked, but its not the biggest thing either…

To understand what is coming, we must look at why the WarriorForum became a hot bed for vendors.

The Rise & Fall of Discounts…

The WarriorForum’s original boom came BEFORE affiliate networks, and as I said earlier, it was all about the discounts!

The desire for discounts has trended with the economy, and it is no coincidence that as the economy collapsed in 2008 and 2009, WSOs grew until peaking in 2012.

And now the economy feels stronger, and right or wrong, surveys shows that most people believe the outlook is better than it was a few years back, and as a result the desire for discounts is not what it once was.

This is confirmed by a rise in prices as shown by a recent Muncheye study into IM pricing.

While the majority of the market lives in bliss that these good times will keep rolling, the reality is the trend won’t last forever, and when it changes, the WarriorForum (and its payment system) will be well positioned to boom if its competitors don’t adapt to the coming storm, whether it be 3 months away, or 3 years.

A New WSO Marketplace is Coming…

2 years ago I called for the need for a REAL marketplace, not a forum that drifted into a makeshift marketplace,

DealGuardian and others have tried to create a marketplace reminiscent of Udemy, or AppSumo, huge mainstream brands in digital products.

They did not get it quite right, or have the reach and branding power to make it happen. One of the reasons is the focus on serving affiliates, over serving customers.

The WarriorForum exploded because it served customers over vendors. They forced discounts, held vendors accountable where they could, set up guidelines on what could be sold, and ultimately acted as a mediator between vendors and customers. It built trust in the marketplace.

That’s something the WarriorForum got very right, but it was mainly applied from a human resource perspective (moderators) with almost no technical innovation to support customers.

Freelancer seem to know this and have been making steps to build a real marketplace.

JVZoo alongside the WarriorForum are best positioned right now to build this marketplace, and the WarriorForum, under the guidance of its new owners, has already begun.

JVZoo’s dominance could be undone by this if they continue to see themselves primarily as an affiliate network, and don’t innovate on building a buyer friendly marketplace.

What Will the Marketplace Look Like?

Imagine a cross between Udemy and the existing WarriorForum.

While most look at WarriorPayments to have an endgame of being the new affiliate network, Freelancer is already rolling out features of this marketplace quietly.

What we’ve seen so far:

In the future we could expect to see a standardized delivery platform where videos, pdfs, and training are hosted within a specific environment, much like Udemy.

This will allow for cross-selling and deeper social Media integration to drive more traffic and sales, as well as a stronger and greater brand trust.

Freelancer’s Disadvantage?

Freelancer have one major disadvantage over WarriorPlus and JVZoo. These are platforms that innovated and created new marketplaces.

So far Freelancer is copying and making incremental improvements. It’s yet to be seen whether they really have the skillset and market knowledge to innovate successfully, and as Freelancer is the main business it’s always going to be a side business for Freelancer.

This lack of focus and experience as an IM marketplace could be what allows WarriorPlus and JVZoo to keep their advantage.

Only time will tell.

I certainly invite more competition and innovation in the marketplace, and I like what I’ve seen from Freelancer so far.

What do you think? Leave a comment below:


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