Woman shops via tabletAs countries across Europe and the UK return to lockdown, Rakuten Advertising is dedicated to supporting our clients and partners with the insights and strategies needed to navigate the current retail sector. As we head into the busiest shopping period of the year, we reveal affiliate strategies from our experts that will help brands become more effective during November.

November is, without a doubt, one of the busiest months for retail across the globe. In China there is Singles’ Day, Click Frenzy occurs across Australia and New Zealand and in the US, there is Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which thanks to globalisation, has also become a mainstay on global retail calendars. However, this year we need to factor in the US election, increasing lockdowns and general economic uncertainty.  Consumer spending is usually amongst the highest during November, but for retailers to keep it that way this year, marketers need to stay focused on what is going to drive sales. Thankfully the affiliate channel has shown it can support that and we’ve asked the experts what they think can help in the next few weeks.

The recent success Amazon Prime Day demonstrates consumers propensity to spend and is positive news for retailers. However, the continued growth and dominance of Amazon, combined with more people shopping online in 2020 than ever before, will lead to fierce competition from brands this November.

Rakuten Advertising’s SVP of Northern Europe, Nick Fletcher comments ” Retailers need to ensure that their promotional and marketing strategies are geared towards reaching consumers with targeted and personalised messaged that are optimised towards converting audiences over this peak shopping period. By serving marketing messages that are both relevant and timely, retailers can work to combat Amazon’s continued growth and dominance by driving consumers back to their own e-commerce environment and creating brand loyalty”

With brands competing to capture the attention of consumers, brands can take their strategies a step further to ensure they’re delivering performance and reaching their ideal consumers. 

How do brands do this? We’ve broken down four core strategies to help break through the noise and drive retail success this November:

Strategy #1: Affiliate Consumer Graph

Personalisation is a proven strategy to increase engagement and conversion, particularly during peak shopping. Brands who utilise AI tools to serve personalised ads will be putting themselves ahead of the competition in ensuring their reaching the right audiences that primed to convert.

Affiliate Consumer Graph provides unique insights and data based on a consumers’ past browsing and purchase behaviour. Publishers can employ this AI technology to make smarter content-serving decisions in real-time and create personalised experiences by serving relevant ads and promotions to consumers based on their purchase history.

Strategy #2: Multi-Touch Commissioning 

During the pandemic, content sites have experienced a significant uptick in the traffic they drive to a brands site. Understanding where and how consumers are looking for brands and products has always been important, and so too is engaging them through these sources.

Typically considered upper-funnel publishers, content and shopping affiliates are often not credited for the role they play in driving conversions as many brands operate on a last-click attribution model. Multi-Touch Commissioning enables brands to reward their content and shopping partners for their role in the customer journey. By rewarding these publishers, brands can strengthen partnerships and ensure they’re visible during the discovery phase of a consumers purchase cycle.

Strategy #3: Dynamic Commissioning

Many brands will be looking to use the November sales period to make up for lost sales caused by COVID-19. And with many needing to make limited budgets stretch further, dynamic commissioning strategies offer brands the opportunity to do this.

Dynamic Commissioning enables brands to pay publishers differing commission based on business objectives and KPIs such as new vs existing customers or product price point. This means incentivising publishers to drive acquisition by offering a higher commission for driving new customers or a flat rate to ensure loyal customers are also rewarded. Additionally, brands can increase cashback on products or categories with higher margins or higher price points. The flexibility allows brands the opportunity to make their budget go further while aligning to business priorities.

Strategy #4: In-app Tracking 

Recent studies show that 73% of global consumers intend to shop online this peak season, and with lockdowns in place across the UK and Europe, this number is likely to increase.  Of this 73%, more than half (56%) will shop via a mobile device. Brands have long known the importance of reaching consumers on devices in which they chose to spend their time. Still, it’s vital that consumers are incentivised to purchase regardless of the device they use –even more so, it’s essential that publishers be rewarded for driving these conversions.

In-app tracking seamlessly gives brands the ability to incentives and reward publishers – and in-turn consumers – for app-installations and/or in-app purchases. By using in-app tracking, brands can create additional partnerships, optimise existing ones and better understand and track mobile activity and consumer behaviour.

For further strategic insight on navigating peak shopping periods during lockdown, visit our resource centre The Road to Recovery or reach out to your Rakuten Advertising account representative.