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Patricia Marange Strategic Account Manager Rakuten

How can fashion & luxury brands make the right partnerships to deliver affiliate success?

While luxury brands may have been reluctant in the past to pursue performance marketing as a revenue channel, the recent affiliate marketing successes have become hard to ignore. Fashion and luxury brands are finding that with the right strategy and right partners, affiliate can be one of the most effective ways to drive sales and acquire new customers.

The first step, of course, is to partner with an affiliate network and launch a program. You should choose an affiliate network that understands your digital objectives and has expertise in your vertical. An affiliate network will help you launch with the right partners who are brand appropriate and can help you meet your specific strategic needs, such as:

  • Reaching new customers outside of your traditional footprint ­- A recent survey by the Luxury Institute found that 90% of wealthy consumers who follow fashion bloggers buy from sites recommended in those blogs (source: https://www.bulldogreporter.com/dailydog/article/pr­-biz-­update/generational-­pr­/boomers-­and­millennials­-differ-­in-­embrace-­of-­new-­tech). Not only can an affiliate network help you find the right content and blog sites to work with, but it can also help you foster direct relationships with those bloggers. Direct relationships are a vital part of affiliate marketing and can boost your program significantly.

  • Monetize social engagements and mobile traffic - Did you know that many of the new social commerce sites and mobile shopping apps track through affiliate? By working with these new publisher models through your program, partnership set­up times can be reduced and a CPA model can be put in place to assist in keeping costs in line. In addition, being aware of new social commerce sites and mobile shopping apps allows you to stay on trend and be ahead of your competitors.

  • Expand internationally without a brick and mortar ­-Your brand has the ability to reach audiences in other countries as quickly as you see fit. With offices around the world, Rakuten Affiliate Network has a network development team that recruits international publishers who can help you target new customers in every market.

  • Promote full­ priced products and new collections ­- Through an affiliate program, you can incentivize both publishers and customers to purchase full­ priced items from your site. SKU-­based CPA strategies encourage content and shopping sites to promote your new collections and a strong cashback/passback rate with loyalty partners can entice customers to purchase these items when you are unable to provide any discounts.

An affiliate network will help you launch with the right partners who are brand appropriate and can help you meet your specific strategic needs..

Patricia Marange, Strategic Account Manager, Rakuten

If you are still unsure if affiliate marketing is right for your brand, take a step back and look at the brands that are already working with affiliate partners. Chances are your top competitors and, if you have them, reselling partners, are expanding their customer base and driving significant revenue through this channel. A 2014 Forrester Research study shows that affiliate marketing is the most effective paid channel for new customer acquisition ­and second only to your own website (source: https://nrf.com/media/press­-releases/shoporgforrester­-search­-marketing-­tops­-online-­retail­customer-­acquisition )! If your brand isn’t participating in the affiliate space, you are missing a very important piece of your marketing mix.