Wow. It’s big news Tuesday. Rakuten has just announced that it’s agreed to acquire cash-back shopping site Ebates for $1 billion. We just heard it direct from Dr. Evil: One beeeelllliiiooon dollars!
“The combination of Rakuten and Ebates is entirely unique and will revolutionize e-commerce,” commented Rakuten, Inc. founder and CEO Hiroshi Mikitani. “This is all about the consumer and we are excited to be able to empower our members with even more ways to enjoy shopping on Rakuten and Ebates. Combined, Rakuten and Ebates will be able to offer our members access to what will undoubtedly be the world’s largest selection of products across the broadest range of categories. It will also give our members the greatest incentives to keep shopping.”
Rakuten said it believes that the combination of the two companies will help create the world’s most attractive and innovative membership-based, loyalty-driven marketplace for consumers.
ChristopherandBanks.com will be expanding its assortment and launching a new, improved website. The plus-size assortment currently found only on CJBanks.com has been added onto ChristopherandBanks.com. Shoppers can look forward to more sizes and a better shopping experience.
• All clothing sizes are going to be in one place, allowing for more consumer choices
• Larger image sizes will improve the visual design & customer experience
• The new navigation will allow her to immediately chose her size: Missy, Petite or Women
• Check-out process has been simplified and will be easier than ever
Schaaf-PartnerCentric is now managing the affiliate program for Macphun, which creates photography software for iPhone, iPad and Mac. Macphun apps have more than 22 million users around the globe. The company won the 2012-2013 Best of Mac App Store titles and many other software awards.
Macphun software inspires photographers of all levels to create the most stunning pictures ever. With devoted users around the world, their photography applications for iPhone, iPad and Mac literally help millions of photos become more eye-catchy daily.
The Macphun affiliate program is managed by affiliate program management agency Schaaf-PartnerCentric on Avangate, the leading customer-centric, digital commerce solution with a complete tool set for successfully selling software and online services to individual customers. The Avangate affiliate network is the global affiliate network for software and SaaS. The network features digital goods and services for global distribution, leverage a growing database of software products, advanced marketing tools and expertise and the industry’s highest commissions.
Home and garden is a popular and lucrative category for affiliates – and the opportunity to turn your customers’ green thumbs into green cash money just went into full bloom. Schaaf-PartnerCentric is pleased to announce that we are now managing affiliate programs for two of Gardener’s properties.
Gardener’s, if you don’t already know, has been the No. 1 source of products for home gardeners for more than 30 years. This company is the largest direct marketer in the gardening industry. With your help,
Gardener’s would like to continue to grow its online business through these two affiliate programs.
MyPotsandPlanters.com is the No. 1 online destination for pots, planters and planter accessories. MyPotsandPlanters.com has unparalleled access to unique, often exclusive, gardening products, and have earned reliable industry backing to support to help them reach their ambitious growth targets.
RaisedBeds.com offers the biggest and best selection of raised beds, elevated gardens, DIY garden accessories, and best in class garden products, including many exclusive and propriatery products. RaisedBeds.com is committed to offering the best value proposition in the industry, including a guarantee on the lowest order cost and free shipping on almost everything being sold. Raised beds is the fastest growing segment in the gardening industry during the past four years.
Both of these affiliate programs are under our management on the ShareASale network. Affiliates earn a 7% flat commission, and the VIP commission may go as high as 11%. This affiliate program offers a datafeed that is updated daily.
We’re pleased to announce that we’re now managing the 99designs affiliate program. This opportunity is a great fit for any publisher whose customers need logos or other graphic design elements for work or pleasure.
99designs is the premier marketplace for crowdsourced graphic design, and as a 99designs affiliate, you can enjoy great commissions on sales placed at 99design’s logo store, as well as on any design projects that you refer!
Earn the highest commissions in the industry. We now offer $75 per design contest and 25% commission on ready-made logo purchases.
99designs offers great designs at competitive prices. Join the 99designs affiliate program today and start promoting this great brand. The 99designs affiliate program offers 60 day cookie terms and custom banner and link creation. Just ask, and 99designs will supply you with the best producing ads for your site.
We’re excited to announce a new client – ADASA.com – that’s a perfect fit for publishers who specialize in women’s fashions.
ADASA.com offers a marketplace that aggregates products from women’s contemporary boutiques, connecting shoppers with today’s most coveted labels. The company has partnerships with America’s best independent and designer boutiques. This innovative and engaging fashion community delivers unique edits and signature style.
Consumers are able to shop one or many boutiques with one simple checkout and the best in boutique-style personal service.
Since 2005, the number of workers who telecommute has increased by more than 60%, according to Inc. Magazine. Today more than 2 million Americans work from home at least part time, and the affiliate marketing industry has long been a leader in this shift away from traditional office jobs.
According to the 2014 Affiliate Summit AffStat Report, the majority (45.5%) of affiliate marketers work from home, while 21.6% of affiliate markers surveyed commute to an office and 32.8% do a combination of the two.
If recent surveys are to believed, these numbers will continue to grow. Inc. Magazine also reports that 69% of all office workers said they would work from home at least part-time if their companies allowed it.
While companies might once have been inclined to believe telecommuting was the domain of parents and slackers, the numbers paint a picture of increased productivity among those who work from home.
Stanford University conducted a study last year in which some call center employees were allowed to telecommute. Those work from home employees were 13% more productive than those who remained in the office.
Here are some more statistics that might inspire employers to re-think strategies regarding telecommuting:
Telecommuters with creative jobs are, on average, 20% more productive than their office-bound peers.
Telecommuters are twice as likely to work more than a 40-hour work week.
Employers can save as much as $11,000 per employee if the individual telecommutes even half the time.
Check out our Infographic: Home Work on the Rise for current facts and figures about telecommuting as the new way of doing business.
Schaaf-PartnerCentric is sending a large crew to the Big Apple later this week for Affiliate Summit East 2014, which starts Sunday at the New York Marriott Marquis.
We’ll be taking meetings in our suite throughout the three-day conference. If you’d like to set up a time to meet with us, you can email us today and we’ll schedule a time.
If you’re attending sessions, you can hear our CEO, Brook Schaaf, present at a session called “Advertisers: Why Commission Segmentation Matters to You” from 2 – 3 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 11 in the hotel’s Majestic Complex.
Here’s who will be attending Summit East. Look for us there!
Between now and 2018, Forrester Research Inc. expects purchases made online to reach $414 billion, up from $294 billion this year. Is your business ready to capitalize on the tremendous growth that’s coming through e-commerce in the coming months and years?
Have a Toolbox of Exclusive Offers Ready to Go A great way to get organized for Q4 now (and avoid stress later) is to create a toolbox of multiple exclusive offers that you can disseminate during Q4 in exchange for placements. Publishers will be requesting exclusives, and we recommend you have at least seven exclusive offers ready to go. “Creating your exclusive offers now gives you as the advertiser a chance to really think about the type of exclusives you can offer,” said Schaaf-PartnerCentric Affiliate Program Manager Julie Stepkowski. “Consider what types of offers would allow you to stay profitable while also enticing the customer to make the purchase.”
Secure Your Placements Now
Placements are to affiliate marketing what location is to real estate. In other words, Placements! Placements! Placements! We recommend that you secure your placements as early as possible. “To be ahead of the game, set your budget for Q4 now and start booking placements today to ensure you get prime spots,” said Senior Affiliate Program Manager Lisette Howard. “Some publishers even provide discounts for booking so far in advance.”
Be Ready for Cyber Week
Q4 is the busiest shopping season of the year, and within that mania is Cyber Week, which includes Black Friday and Cyber Monday. If there’s ever a time to make sure you have bases covered, this is the week. Do you have enough staff? Exclusives? Bandwidth? Check out how Schaaf-PartnerCentric performed for clients during Cyber Week 2013 and you’ll get a better sense of why Cyber Week is such a big deal:
Do Your Homework by Taking a Look at the Trends
E-commerce trends from Q4 2013 are a good barometer for how things might go this year – so take a look back at your analytics and those within the larger online landscape. But don’t stop there. “Try to read as much as you can about this year’s forecasts within your niche or category,” said Affiliate Program Manager Tessa Szymkiewicz. “How is your vertical trending this year? Are there any trends you should be planning for now?”
Don’t Forget About Mobile
If you’re going to capitalize on Q4 this year, your strategy must include a mobile component. In 2014, tablet orders are expected to approach 15% of total Q4 orders, while mobile phones will make up 10%. “This is not a time to leave mobile consumers out in the cold,” said Affiliate Program Manager Tessa Szymkiewicz. “If you do, you’ll be missing a big opportunity.”
Review Past Q4 Successes
Reviewing past holiday performance can help you assess what placement to pursue for the best ROI. “When reaching out to publishers to secure Q4 placements, I’ve found that sharing what we did the prior holiday season that worked and didn’t work helped us come to a more thought-out plan for the future,” said Senior Affiliate Program Manager Tracie Gross. “We can eliminate placements that underperformed and optimize and test areas that we know have been successful.”
Design Creative that Highlights Your Hottest Products Q4 is a busy time for you AND your affiliate partners. Help them out by making them aware of your best-selling products or services, and provide them with banners and text links to promote those hot products. “This is the time to put forward any inventory you’re looking to move in Q4,” said Affiliate Program Manager Kristiné Kirschke. “A unique landing page featuring these products is also a good idea.”
While You’re At It, Refresh ALL Creative
It’s great to have creative ready for your top-selling products but Q4 is, for most merchants, the biggest sales push of the year. “Don’t let outdated creative stand in the way of selling your products or services,” said Affiliate Program Manager Tessa Szymkiewicz. “This is the time to have all creative links performing at the most optimal level possible.”
Block Out Your Holiday Schedule in Advance
While you’re making preparations for Q4, keep in mind that many of your employees will be taking time off during the holidays. “It’s important to make sure you have coverage throughout the busy holiday shopping season,” said Julie Ávila, Schaaf-PartnerCentric’s Director of Affiliate Management. “Take the time now to plot out your employees’ days off so you can make a plan for days when your team is spread thin.”