NHS workers showcasing their FitFlop shoes ‘The past few months have been a challenging time for all, especially our frontline heroes. As a brand which prides itself on all-day comfort, FitFlop identified the opportunity to give back to NHS staff over this period, while tackling current market challenges in an ever-changing retail environment. The team had to act quickly and utilise both existing and new relationships to secure ongoing coverage with key publications – completely revising the original affiliate strategy while still delivering results. This success story really exemplifies how the team has effectively come together and proven their ability to adapt quickly, strategise methodically and rise to any challenge.”
Catherine Comerford – Global Digital Marketing Manager

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the FitFlop team wanted to continue driving performance through the affiliate channel with tighter cost control and ongoing efficiencies. To do this, the team worked closely with their Rakuten Advertising account managers to employ strategic recommendations that would continue driving the business forward during a complex trading environment.

FitFlop especially wanted to recognise this period as a chance to give back to frontline workers, by offering an exclusive discount during the COVID-19 pandemic on their fantastic range of comfortable footwear.

As a result, FitFlop ran the below offers:

  • Easter promotion:20% off selected full price lines
  • Health Service Discount promotion: 40% off to NHS staff, care workers & teachers
  • Blue Light Card: 40% off to frontline workers

Strategy:
FitFlop and Rakuten Advertising worked together closely to devise strategies, partnerships and promotional offers that would assist FitFlop in achieving their goal of improving ROAS while still hitting target. Most importantly, the team wanted to provide benefits to UK frontline works as a gesture of thanks for their work during the pandemic.

  • FitFlop worked with a mix of publishers to promote their Easter Sale including cashback and loyalty, vouchers and content, aiming to secure as much exposure across newsletter and homepage placements as possible.

FitFlop also worked with a variety of content publishers, such as Sheerluxe, Cosmopolitan and Marie Claire to showcase their diverse range, perfectly engineered to keep you comfortable while working from home or out on your daily walk. This helped to support the full-price sales mix and build excitement ahead of the sale.

  • FitFlop’s 2020 objective was to continue to decrease the number of promotional codes available, which the team had been working well towards before COVID-19. However, this period identified an opportunity to give back to frontline workers. Therefore the team agreed to sign off an exclusive code for Health Service Discount and Blue Light Card, which was an excellent win for the affiliate channel.
  • The Rakuten Advertising account team negotiated a bespoke exposure package with Health Service Discounts covering Newsletters, Homepage, Fashion hub and Solus exposure. The teams worked cross-functionally to ensure the publisher had the best creative for these placements. In addition, FitFlop shared 20k unique codes with their strongest offer: 40% off on top of their mid-season sale!
  • A key focus of FitFlop is new customer acquisition. During negotiations, the Rakuten account management team made sure to include a competitive dynamic commission split to incentivise the campaign, providing commissions for full-price and sale items and a higher CPA for new customers.

 Additionally, after experiencing a small dip in performance mid-end of March as expected, the FitFlop and Rakuten Advertising team decided to launch Mid-season sale a week earlier to optimise the promotional activity for the entire month of May.

Results:
In April, Rakuten Advertising and FitFlop exceeded target by achieving +196% of their goal. This result is even more surprising considering that the footwear vertical has been trending in the negative across the UK during April. Additional performance results include:

Easter promotion: 20% off selected full price lines
Performance: Week-on-Week the UK programme saw traffic +42%, orders +90% and revenue +82%.

Health Service Discount promotion: 40% off to NHS workers
Performance: Year-on-Year, the partnership with Health Service Discount experienced an exceptional increase of +503% in site traffic, +1806% in orders and +2113% in revenue.

Blue Light Card: 40% off to frontline workers
Performance: Year-on-Year, the partnership with Blue Light Card experienced growth of +100% in site traffic, +100% in orders and +100% in revenue.