Publisher Spotlight: puts shopper insights at the heart of everything they do. Read our latest spotlight and hear first-hand how is helping brands optimise the conversion journey to deliver outstanding results for brands.

Publisher Spotlight: Chris Johnson,

Rakuten Advertising had the opportunity to sit down with COO Chris Johnson to chat about the company’s offering and plans for the future. Join us as we dive into all things  

Tell us about is an award-winning customer journey optimisation platform with shopper insights at the heart of everything we do. Our proprietary tech has been empowering online retailers to engage and convert more customers since 2013 (when we were known as Smarter Click). 

Brands utilise our expertise and tech (including overlays, email retargeting, voucher codes, browser notifications and deep analytics) as part of their affiliate marketing strategies. Our intent-driven solutions target onsite shoppers at different stages of the purchase funnel, providing data insights to help them truly understand and optimise shopper journeys. 

We work with affiliate networks to help advertisers maximise their existing web traffic and achieve their KPIs – by reducing bounce rates, super-charging conversion rates, improving shopper experiences, and ultimately driving incremental revenue. We’re trusted by over 600 global brands across retail, beauty, fashion, TelCo, insurance, and travel sectors – including Sky, Sunglass Hut, EE, Kwik Fit, Hotel Chocolat, BT, Currys and The Body Shop. 

What sets you apart from other publishers?

We help brands understand shopper journeys and offer solutions that better target them at various funnel stages. Our team (who have years of experience in the affiliate marketing and e-commerce sectors) recommend strategies to achieve set KPIs such as new customer acquisition, boost conversion rates and AOVs, reduce cart abandonment, shift stock items or streamline customer journeys.  

Our evolving tech solutions are deployed across retailer websites at exactly the right time, with the right personalised messages to engage and convert. Our team of experts also become an extension of our client’s sales teams – including designers, customer success, delivery and tech professionals who are all dedicated to optimising campaigns.  

So much more than a website pop-up, we push the creative boundaries with overlays that include animations, different sizes, shapes and positions, countdown timers and gamification. A/B testing ensures maximum return on investment, and our performance-based model means clients only pay for incremental sales. 

It’s easy to integrate our insights tag with a brand’s website, and clients can be confident that their site and user data always remains safe and secure. We are GDPR and ISO-compliant, DarkTrace Cyber Security-enabled, with 24/7 Cyber AI Threat Detection & Resolution and fully functional Information Security Management Systems policies in place. 

How do you help advertisers add value and drive incrementality?

Our tech solutions are key to marketers and e-commerce professionals achieving a range of important KPIs, especially driving incremental sales through higher average order values, product bundling, cart add-ons and rescuing cart abandonment.  

We isolate traffic to create control groups to compare conversion rates of two audiences – one group shown an overlay compared to one that does not. In this way, we can prove an uplift in sales generated using our technology. 

A great example is Stringer Off-Road, a brand on the Rakuten Advertising network. We help them with personalised offers targeted at shoppers at different stages of the purchase journey – including dynamic basket reminders, spend threshold incentives to get free shipping or gifts (boosting AOVs), and traffic shaping strategies to direct the right kind of shoppers to specific product categories or reduce excess stock.  

By using intelligent offers that target shoppers with personalised incentives and constantly testing and optimising different campaigns, we were able to help Stringer Off-Road achieve a 5% average engagement rate and 20% average conversion rate from January to September 2023. 

What excites you about the affiliate marketing industry and its direction? Are there any new innovations we will see from you in the coming months?

Paid-on performance models are innovation enablers and promote agile environments that pique the interest of today’s entrepreneurs. Its flexibility as a variable payment model and deep data measurement capabilities keep things fresh and allow more campaign testing and budget to flow through the channel.  

 Our recent focus has been on the Shopportunity of the customer and ensuring every penny spent with drives a valuable return on investment. We’re constantly innovating our solutions, adding more automation and behaviourally-focused campaigns that place the technology and the science of behaviour change together.  

Our code product allows network staff, agency staff and retailers to understand and improve their conversion rates from coupon journeys. It can help identify bad code practices amongst your publisher base, alongside finding longtail opportunities to create better customer experiences when codes are used as part of the shopper journey. 

Why did you choose to partner with Rakuten Advertising?

Every echelon of the Rakuten team has a tonne of affiliate marketing experience, resulting in a no-nonsense partnership approach to the market, speeding up our ability to reach the right partners within the network and ultimately reach more shoppers more often.  

Our team enjoys a great partnership with Rakuten Advertising, helping us successfully support many of their brands with engagement and conversion strategies. The Rakuten Advertising platform makes it easy for brands to get started with solutions, and we have many mutual success stories to share. 

We also enjoy the opportunities that Rakuten’s DealMaker events offer us globally, enabling us to meet the right people and access educational and networking opportunities. 

Want to work with Visit today or speak to your account representative. 

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Rakuten Advertising

Rakuten Advertising leads the industry in delivering performance-driven ad solutions that help the world’s top brands connect with unique, highly engaged audiences – from first impression to final sale.