As part of the Publisher Spotlight series, Rakuten Advertising sat down with Hayato Nakata, CEO of ACCESSTRADE Malaysia and COO of ACCESSTRADE Singapore, to explore how the publisher became one of the leading affiliate sub-networks in Southeast Asia (SEA). Hayato revealed the strategy behind ACCESSTRADE’s success such as combining SEO, content and reward publishers to help advertisers reach their business objectives.

Tell us a little more about ACCESSTRADE. 

Hayato: ACCESSTRADE is part of Interspace Digital which was founded by Shinichiro Kawabata in Japan. Established in 2001, ACCESSTRADE began to expand into SEA including Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and more. We are known as one of the largest sub-networks in Asia, with over 550,000 publishers that contribute to the Rakuten Advertising ecosystem.

Like all sub-networks, we offer performance-based campaign opportunities to advertisers. We have our advertising analytics system as well as a real-time campaign dashboard. Our publisher network is diverse, from content to social media, to website owners and media buying platforms—we have them all.

What sets you apart from publishers in your category? 

Hayato: What makes ACCESSTRADE unique is our local presence in up-and-coming SEA markets and the quality of our customer support team. We ensure advertisers’ goals are met by leveraging our publishers’ in-market expertise and diversifying their affiliate programs. With more than 20 years of experience in the affiliate industry, we understand the importance of developing personalised publisher portfolios for each advertiser and making sure brands are maximising their partnerships.

Additionally, we provided an all-in-one solution, ACCESSTRADE Fraud Shield, to monitor forbidden brand keywords bidding on search engines, block unauthentic clicks in real-time and detect false lead conversions for advertisers. This solution utilises advanced anomaly detection and firewall technologies, placing us one step ahead of other sub-networks.

With this solution, our advertisers can be rest assured that all traffic directed to their website via ACCESSTRADE is authentic. The lowered fraud and rejection rates also helped organically increase campaign conversion rate, which in turn increases advertisers’ confidence in our traffic quality, proven by campaign performance and results.

How do you help advertisers add value and drive incrementality?

Hayato: ACCESSTRADE’s core strategy is to help brands strengthen their affiliate program by combining the power of content and reward publishers. Content publishers can influence conversions and increase site visits from their audiences. At the same time, reward sites can encourage their customers to make repeat purchases and foster brand loyalty. This winning combination has proven to help increase sales, new customer acquisition and average order value for advertisers.

For example, we partnered with a European fashion brand that is focused on expanding into SEA. This advertiser was seeking a fast and effective way to scale and optimise its affiliate program with minimal efforts in testing and trialling new publishers. ACCESSTRADE was able to help the brand by:

  • Analysing ACCESSTRADE’s existing publisher data
  • Implementing strategic optimisations to publishers that drive results
  • Diversifying the brand’s publisher portfolio
  • Proposing a competitive commissioning structure during key retail dates and peak shopping season

This resulted in an increase of 24% in new customer acquisition and 27% in Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) from Q1 to Q2 this year, and successfully raised the brand’s presence in the SEA market. Today, the advertiser’s GMV continues to grow MoM as we gather more data to further optimise its affiliate program.

What excites you about the affiliate marketing industry and where it’s headed? What innovations will we see from you this year?

Hayato: At ACCESSTRADE, we are passionate about data and trends. In the past three years, there has been an uptick in interest in affiliate marketing in general. Google Trends shows the score for the term “affiliate marketing” is 88 in August 2022 compared to 43 in August 2019.

What excites us more is the increased adoption of affiliate marketing across SEA. More and more marketers become familiarised with the concept of performance and recognise the endless possibilities it brings. As the industry is constantly evolving with many new publishers and technology solutions, affiliate marketing has truly cemented itself in every brand’s marketing strategy.

Moving forward, we foresee influencers will become more directly involved in advertisers’ affiliate programs. ACCESSTRADE is preparing an influencer marketing strategy and dashboard to cater to this demand. The main goal is to easily connect influencers with their favourite brands through a simple interface. By adding influencers into the affiliate marketing mix, we firmly believe we can drive stronger results through brand awareness, site visits and quality conversion.

Why did you choose to partner with Rakuten Advertising? 

Hayato: The team at ACCESSTRADE has been incredibly pleased since our first collaboration with Rakuten Advertising.

Rakuten provides many partnership opportunities through a broad selection of global brands across different verticals and markets. In particular, we’d like to highlight how each advertiser’s program on the Rakuten Affiliate Network is superior compared to other networks. Rakuten has a user-friendly dashboard that is easy to use, especially during the initial integration with our platform, making the process completely seamless. We can find all necessary reports easily whenever we need to access any conversion tracking, reporting, and more.

Overall, working with Rakuten has been nothing but complete satisfaction. There is nearly zero downtime which makes it a very efficient and reliable network. The Rakuten team has always given us a great publisher support experience, and we’re more than happy to share this with everyone.

ACCESSTRADE is available in Japan, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore and Malaysia. Contact us to partner with ACCESSTRADE today or visit their website for more information. To hear more from our publishers in the future, subscribe to our blog.