Rakuten Marketing reveals strong results for the first quarter of 2014 across all of its digital marketing channels, and announces new brand signings across its Rakuten MediaForge and Rakuten LinkShare services.

Advertisers signed up with Rakuten MediaForge for display and retargeting campaigns in the UK include Topshop, Gourmet Gift Baskets and my-wardrobe.com, and Rakuten.de has signed in Germany. Meanwhile, Cambridge Satchel Company will be launching campaigns with Rakuten MediaForge in the US and UK and MATCHESFASHION.COM in the US, UK, and Australia.

MATCHESFASHION.COM also begins an affiliate campaign with Rakuten LinkShare, the affiliate arm of Rakuten Marketing, in Australia. Rakuten LinkShare adds new clients around the world; in the UK these include advertisers Wordery andPetit Bateau, and in the US Booking.com, Ticket Club, Forbes, Flight Club, Dune and Vistaprint.L’Occitane, an existing display client, begins an affiliate campaign in Australia.

“Like most digital marketers, we’re regularly challenged with having to determine which channels will be most effective for each campaign and how to appropriately recognise the role each channel played in the sale,” said Mark Blenkinsop, Digital Marketing Manager, Dune. “With Rakuten Marketing’s pay-for-performance model and seasoned client services team, we know our investments in affiliate and display will meet or exceed campaign goals.”

Advertisers saw notable double-digit growth through the company’s affiliate, mobile, and search marketing technology and services. Highlights of the quarter include:

· The global affiliate marketing channel reported the following year-over-year (YOY) same-store sales growth: 31 percent growth in the UK, 23 percent increase in the US, 21 percent growth in Canada, 11 percent growth in Japan, and the recently launched Australian performance marketing network saw a 252 percent increase.

· Mobile orders continue to rise in the affiliate channel with the following YOY results: 113 percent growth in the UK, 99 percent growth in the US, 251 percent growth in Canada, 21 percent growth in Japan, and 35 percent increase in Australia.

· Further, tablet commerce continues to drive opportunities for the affiliate channel. Specifically, in the UK growth was 30 percent, YOY growth in the US was 36 percent, in Canada it was 35 percent, in Japan it was 59 percent, and in Australia it was 27 percent.

· The company’s display and retargeting group saw 100 percent growth in its client base YOY. They also expanded internationally through offices in the UK, Brazil, Japan and Australia. Part of this growth comes from referrals from the company’s other digital marketing channels. This growth also enabled the display and retargeting group to increase staff by 65 percent over the past year.

· Additionally, the display and retargeting group reports a 279 percent YOY increase in the number of smartphone purchases and 246 percent YOY increase in the number of purchases made on tablets.

· The company’s search marketing clients saw strong YOY same-store results. Specifically, sales increased 18 percent, conversion rates increased 13 percent, the return on ad spend (ROAS) increased 10 percent, and the cost-per-click decreased by four percent.

“When you look at the latest global e-commerce forecasts, which anticipate this sector will reach $1.5 trillion this year, you realise that while there’s opportunity, there’s also increased competition and confusion about the value each marketing channel delivers,” said Yaz Iida, chief executive officer, Rakuten Marketing. “By working alongside our customers and providing insight into the performance of each marketing channel, we’ve been able to help drive strong results as evidenced by today’s announcement.”

About Rakuten Marketing

Rakuten Marketing provides advertisers and marketers with expert technology and services for affiliate marketing, retargeting, display, mobile, search marketing, lead generation, and automated product feeds. The company is headquartered in New York City and has offices in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Japan, the United Kingdom, and throughout the United States. As part of Rakuten, one of the world’s leading Internet service companies, Rakuten Marketing includes Rakuten LinkShare the #1 ranked performance marketing network, Rakuten MediaForge, a leader in retargeting and display recognised for its pay-for-performance consumer engagement business model, Rakuten Search a full service search engine marketing company, and Rakuten PopShops, a data analytics engine and product feed and deals content aggregator.

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, logistics 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/.


Beth Sissons



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