Rakuten LogoNEW YORK CITY – June 18, 2013 – Rakuten LinkShare today announced the results from a commissioned study by Forrester Consulting on selling globally through the affiliate channel. The report, “Key Trends and Best Practices Selling Globally Via the Affiliate Channel,” provides insights into the ways advertisers are using the affiliate channel to reach new customers globally.

As part of the research, Forrester surveyed 2,574 online shoppers across the following eight countries: Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Additionally, Forrester conducted in-depth interviews with a variety of advertisers and publishers who are currently managing affiliate programs in several countries or are in the process of preparing to expand internationally. Both the large-scale surveys and the in-depth interviews explored the opportunities and challenges associated with cross-border selling via the affiliate channel.

Key findings from the research unveiled:
•    Over the last 12 months, 68 percent of affiliate channel shoppers made an online purchase from a company outside of their home country.
•    The affiliate channel is ideally suited for global advertisers to capture new-to-file customers in both mature and nascent markets.
•    Logistical issues are impeding some growth for advertisers expanding overseas yet the issues are solvable.

“With e-commerce expected to grow to $1.3 trillion by the end of this year, advertisers are clamoring for keen insights that will help them refine their global online strategies,” said Scott Allan, senior vice president of global marketing, Rakuten LinkShare. “This report provides the industry with fresh data and key insights that highlight how performance marketing has become a leading strategy for online retailers entering new markets.”

The report takes a closer look at consumer shopping behavior across the eight countries and the factors that influence purchasing decisions such as shipping fees, offers, and comparison shopping sites. Based on the findings, advertisers will be better positioned to increase online sales through the affiliate channel by understanding what types of affiliate sites to recruit from in each country and what types of offers to promote as they work to build their global affiliate channel. The study also looks at spending patterns and other online behavior on a country-by-country basis to help inform decisions related to online marketing strategies.

For example, the research uncovered that U.S. and U.K. shoppers typically spend more when they buy through the affiliate channel. It also found that U.K. shoppers are more likely to reconsider an abandoned shopping cart if they receive an offer, while Australians are the least likely to respond given the same scenario. Other nuances to the online shopping experience revealed that Canadians are most likely to buy from outside of Canada and 56 percent of shoppers in Brazil plan to increase their percentage of imports next year. Additional topics covered in the report include payment preferences, shipping costs, and duties and taxes.

The research findings were unveiled at the Rakuten LinkShare Symposium New York event, where more than 600 advertisers, publishers and agencies gathered to learn more about the future of affiliate marketing. The full report is available for free via the Rakuten LinkShare website: www.linkshare.com/internationalresearch.

About Rakuten LinkShare Corporation
Rakuten LinkShare Corporation provides online retailers and other businesses with expert online marketing services and solutions. Rakuten LinkShare’s cost per action (CPA) affiliate network, search marketing services, lead generation campaigns and retargeting solutions can acquire new customers, increase revenue and drive overall results while achieving target return on ad spend. Rakuten LinkShare clients are Fortune 500 and other prominent companies doing business online, including J.C. Penney, 1-800-Flowers.com, American Express, Avon Products, and The Body Shop. The company was founded in 1996 and is headquartered in New York City, with offices in San Francisco, Chicago, Tampa, London, Tokyo and Sydney. For more information, please visit www.linkshare.com.

About Rakuten
Rakuten, Inc. (JASDAQ: 4755), is one of the world’s leading Internet service companies, providing a variety of consumer- and business-focused services including e-commerce, e-reading, travel, banking, securities, credit card, e-money, portal and media, online marketing and professional sports. Selected by Forbes as 7th among the World’s Most Innovative Companies of 2012, Rakuten is expanding globally and currently has operations throughout Asia, Western Europe, and the Americas. Founded in 1997, Rakuten is headquartered in Tokyo, with over 10,000 employees worldwide. For more information, visit http://global.rakuten.com/corp/.

Rakuten LinkShare
Scott Allan

Blanc & Otus
Kathy Keating

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