Rakuten LinkShare has declared a healthy fourth quarter performance. The affiliate network’s brands witnessed a 35% increase in sales compared to the same period in 2011, which was also triple the growth rate of the wider industry.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) had already reported how non-store retail sales saw an 11.8% in the volume of sales compared to Q4 2011. Rakuten LinkShare believes that these figures emphasise a growing difference between online and traditional sales.

LinkShare gave special mention to a number of brands that it said performed particularly well in the final quarter of last year. Space.NK, Mango, notonthehighstreet.com and Farfetch all achieved increased online sales through the network.

Affiliate engagement drives sales

Elena Carasso, online director and executive committee member at Mango, discussed the fashion brand’s work with Rakuten LinkShare. She believed engagement on affiliate sites has been of great benefit to the company’s sales success.

“A typical shopper will visit several sites before making a decision to buy and our work with Rakuten LinkShare ensures that we have a presence on all the websites, blogs and mobile sites that our shoppers go to for inspiration, to browse and make purchases,” she said.

Sales on Boxing Day last year were up by 88% and on the 27th December they saw a rise of 69% year-on-year. The network’s statistics are in line with the BRC-Google Online Retail Monitor for Q4 2012, which had searches hitting their peak on Boxing Day.

Cyber Monday proved especially fruitful for LinkShare with sales increasing by 48% compared to the same day in 2011. It revealed that the next largest shopping days for the company were the 5th and 10th of December.

Mark Haviland, MD of Rakuten LinkShare, was happy with his company’s performance in the latter quarter of 2012. “We’re very pleased that these results signify a strong end to a great year across the network,” he said.