Rakuten Proves Incrementality Of Its Cash Back Program

Proving incrementality has been something brands frequently ask Rakuten about. Now the company’s marketers believe it has the data that proves incrementality of its Cash Back program. 

“It’s a straightforward request from brands, but challenging to execute,” says Rakuten Managing Director Julie Van Ullen.

Rakuten worked with a high-end department store to test the incremental value gained from their Rakuten program. The data shows that a significant portion of revenue would not have been realized without offering Cash Back through the Rakuten platform.

The study set out to answer two questions: Would consumers make a purchase without Rakuten, and if Rakuten provided higher cash-back rates, how much more would shoppers spend? The analysis examines net sales per shopper.  

The group analyzed three Cash Back rates: 2%, 5%, and 10%. The test examined the relationship between the base and higher rates, and how the program’s media impacts performance.

Buyers receiving at least 2% Cash Back through Rakuten drove a 13% lift in incremental revenue. Cash Back also drove 29% more shoppers than the retailers would have seen without the incentive.

Some visits resulted in a positive impact to conversion with more than 61% lift in incremental sales per buyer.

Average order value saw an incremental lift of more than 64%.

Rakuten also offers advertisements, emails and push notifications. It tested half of campaigns with media and the other without media to analyze to the lift that occurred on each. The analysis showed hat media drove additional performance when offered along with the Cash Back program.

The media strengthened the campaign, creating a multi-day halo effect for sales when paired with increased Cash Back rates.

For example, when an email was opened by about 1,498 consumers on September 17, sales spiked on September 19, about $39,063. The same thing happened in a test done on September 28. Sales spiked on October 2.

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