Rakuten has reached a milestone to increase the flexibility of affiliate and cash back marketing programs. The company on Thursday released details of its Personalized Rewards capability that now — for the first time — allows brands to segment Cash Back offers on a one-on-one basis, supported by automated audience targeting.
Amit Patel, CEO, Rakuten Americas, says Personalized Rewards is the first of several innovations the company plans to roll out during the next year to “elevate affiliate marketing and Cash Back as essential ingredients of every sophisticated digital marketing mix.”
Rakuten initially announced the offering in October 2020. It took a year to gain traction.
Now Saks Fifth Avenue, and footwear company FitFlop are among those saying they successfully use Personalized Rewards, which combines the automated technology of Rakuten Advertising and the Rakuten Rewards program.
FitFlop used Personalized Rewards to attract new customers to its full line of comfortable and fashionable footwear. It offered varying levels of Cash Back rewards to select customers to incentivize purchase and conversion.
The company saw a 149% increase in new-to-file buyers, 83% of which were net-new to FitFlop. This improvement in new-to-file buyers helped FitFlop achieve an overall increase in shopping trips by 195%.
Overall, companies using this personalized cash-back method see an average 128% lift in new shoppers and a 125% lift in sales, Rakuten said.
When using Personalized Rewards, shoppers are served relevant cash-back offers based on their interests and shopping preferences, increasing the likelihood they will make a purchase.
Marketers will have an option to develop better commission strategies that align with specific business goals, whether that is customer acquisition, increasing conversion rates, or driving larger basket size.
Rather than relying on cookies, Personalized Rewards allows brands to use proprietary data from their customer-relationship databases and anonymized Rakuten Rewards’ first-party data to recognize consumers in real-time.
When identifying a customer and its attributes, Personalized Rewards delivers an optimized Cash Back offer to incentivize a first-time or repeat purchase or to focus the attention on high-margin products.
Personalized Rewards aims to give marketers greater control over their consumer rewards strategies by enabling them to optimize outcomes, improve campaign performance and better understand the efficacy of budgets they spend.
Allowing greater control over audience segmentation rather than affiliate marketing’s traditional dynamic commissioning, it lets marketers target individual consumers with products and unique offers based on the customer’s status, as well as product and category preferences.
Combining the affiliate technology of Rakuten Advertising with Rakuten Rewards first-party publisher data, as well as the merchant’s CRM data provides the key to personalized rewards.