The October long weekend not only saw the end of the 2017 footy season, it saw the beginning of Daylight Savings (well, for some of us), and it brought with it the beginning of the busiest retail phase of the year – the much anticipated 2017 holiday shopping period!

Whilst the holiday season is mere weeks away, it’s not too late for advertisers and publishers to ensure they’re making the most out of the silly season. We’ve compiled a list of key retail events and strategies to ensure your affiliate campaign is fully optimised this season.

Key Dates:

Singles’ Day (11.11) has eclipsed Cyber Weekend to become the world’s largest online shopping event. In the 24 hours that was November 11th 2016, Singles’ Day generated over $17 billion in sales. 

Data from the Rakuten Marketing Affiliate Network determined that the luxury, apparel and accessories, department stores, beauty, electronics and travel verticals experienced strongest growth, with sales on mobile growing in excess of 40% year-on-year. 

Click Frenzy (14.11) is a staple on the Australian retail calendar! The 24-hour frenzy takes places every November and provides consumers with some of the best pre-Christmas deals.

When it comes to Click Frenzy, mobile is key! Last year a whopping 74% of all sales made via the Rakuten Marketing Affiliate Network occurred on mobile. Furthermore, Cashback and Loyalty publishers were the top performing publishers, referring 32% of sales.

Cyber Weekend (24.11 – 27.11) 2016 yielded the biggest day in the history of US eCommerce, with Cyber Monday producing $3.45 billion in online sales.

Australian’s are increasingly leveraging Cyber Weekend promotions, with sales increasing by triple digits over the weekend. When it comes to a weekend of promotions, desktop remains the preferred device accounting for over 70% of sales.

Boxing Day (26.12) sales saw the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) estimate $2.3 billion to be spent by consumers in 2016, whilst shopping centers surpassed their own foot traffic predictions. Furthermore, the ARA and Roy Morgan expected Aussie shoppers to spend $17.2 billion between December 26 and January 15th 2017.

On the Rakuten Marketing Affiliate Network shopping and comparison sites were the largest refers of sales (30%), closely followed by publishers in the Cashback and Loyalty vertical (28%), with desktop reigning supreme as the device of choice. 

Having an awareness of key retail dates and leveraging promotions accordingly is a vital element to achieving holiday success, however, taking a strategic approach to the optimisation and execution of campaigns guarantees a Happy Holidays for everyone.

Here are our tips for making the most of the holiday season:

Review previous performance data:
Examining previous performance provides a view of what’s working, and what’s not, allowing you to make better informed decisions regarding the direction of your 2017 holiday strategy. Review the data you have at your disposable, across a range of areas including: promotional offers, placements, peak spending periods, average order value, and returns. 

Further to this, take a deep dive into the performance of new partnerships that have arisen since the 2016 holiday peak, to reveal new campaigns and strategies that can be leveraged to optimise performance.

Communicate and Prepare:
Once you’ve identified key promotions and campaigns for the holiday season, it’s vital that these are communicated with your partners.

Publishers have an array of ways to promote your offers which provide great exposure, these can include (but of course aren’t limited to), themed newsletters, sponsored content, paid placements and banners. Speak with your partners to explain your marketing calendar and brainstorm bespoke opportunities that can further drive your brand and sales.

Work with your partners:
Publishers understand what motivates their audience, utilise their wealth of knowledge and work with them to create compelling promotions that your customers will love. 

And don’t forget to elevate the partnerships that you have worked hard to cultivate throughout the year by creating opportunites that entice publishers, this could be a commission increase, flat fee or bespoke coupon code. 

Test the waters
October is a great month for trialing new publishers and new promotions. In Australia, there are several opportunities for advertisers (particularly fashion advertisers!) to experiment with campaigns, with the Spring Racing Season, Melbourne Cup and Halloween all taking place.  

Want to find out how Rakuten Marketing can boost your holiday sales? Visit: or contact an expert