BREAKING NEWS – Rakuten LinkShare has Australia locked firmly in its sights, announcing that the affiliate network will launch here later this month.
It has been a week of big announcements for the Australian affiliate market.
Only a few days ago, it was revealed that a merger between dgm parent company, Digital Performance Group, and Viva9 would create a single affiliate network entity for the company.
Today we can share that global affiliate marketing giant, Rakuten LinkShare, has landed on our shores and will open the doors to its Australian offices at the end of September.
LinkShare is a division of the Japanese e-commerce conglomerate, Rakuten, and lays claim to creating the largest global network of affiliate partners, with over 10 million partnerships worldwide.
Chief Operating Officer of Rakuten LinkShare, Liane Dietrich, told Power Retail that the company’s major clients, which include Macy’s, Office Depot, 1-800-Flowers.com, J.C. Penney and Avon, had strongly influenced their decision to expand to Australia.
“We are always looking for ways to diversify our offerings to provide value for our advertisers, publishers and consumers,” Dietrich said. “Whenever we meet with our key clients and ask them what they want, well, Australia is on everyone’s list,” she said.
Dietrich also revealed that Rakuten LinkShare’s presence in Australia was part of Rakuten’s overall international expansion strategy.
“There is a great opportunity for Rakuten LinkShare to bring world wide experience to the Australian market,” Dietrich said. “It is also a chance for us to be the first to test the waters here on behalf of the Rakuten global marketplace.”
Earlier this week, Rakuten was named on the Forbes World’s Most Innovative Companies list, beating the likes of Apple to rank in seventh place. Headquartered in Tokyo, the company has been making headlines recently with its rapid expansion, primarily through acquisitions and joint ventures that involve Buy.com, Play.com, Kobo and Pinterest.
Rakuten LinkShare joins a growing list of high profile retailers and solutions providers that are ramping up international expansion, with sights firmly locked on the tremendous growth potential of Australia’s retail environment.
With such strong growth forecasted for e-commerce, interactive marketing budgets can also be expected to evolve. As a result, affiliate marketing and other digital channels will provide a key, measureable tactic for retailers to attract and acquire new customers.
Affiliate spend in the US was expected to increase by a compounded annual growth rate of nearly 17 percent between 2011-2016, growing to $4.5 billion, according to Forrester Research’s report, Affiliate Marketing – The Direct and Indirect Value that Affiliates Deliver to Advertisers.
The report, based on a survey of 526 US-based online buyers, uncovered the following key findings:
- Affiliate marketing spend continues to rise and will keep pace with other areas of digital spend.
- The affiliate channel produces new customers; generates incremental customer acquisition; attracts consumers who spend more than the average online shopper; and are profitable for advertisers.
- Affiliate marketing helps trigger brand reconsideration and often converts the sale for online shoppers.
For a more detailed analysis on the Australian affiliate marketing environment, watch out for Power Retail’s upcoming Digital Marketing Platforms Special Report.