Strong First Half Performance for LinkShare Illustrates Value of Performance Marketing in Down Economy

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LinkShare, a leading performance marketing network provider, today announced the addition of 244 new companies to its network of advertisers in the first half of 2009. This new customer roster demonstrates the importance of performance-based marketing programs - and quality affiliate partners - in expanding a retailer's brand awareness, especially in a tough economy.

New Info Shoppers, Recession Buyers, and the 2009 Online Shopping Outlook

LinkShare, a leading performance marketing network provider, today announced the addition of 244 new companies to its network of advertisers in the first half of 2009. This new customer roster demonstrates the importance of performance-based marketing programs - and quality affiliate partners - in expanding a retailer's brand awareness, especially in a tough economy.

"Our customers are more focused on profitability today than ever before," said Yasuhisa "Yaz" Iida, Co-President, LinkShare Corporation. "Many retailers are looking for new ways to increase ROI from their marketing spend. At LinkShare, we have made a commitment to developing and maintaining a network of quality affiliates that not only help promote our retailers' brands, but become important partners to help them meet their business goals."        

While retailers are looking for more ways to reach and drive sales among online consumers, those same consumers, according to a recent survey sponsored by LinkShare,* are most concerned with finding the best value. This new breed of online consumer, known as the "value hunter," evolved from a previously identified group of online consumers - "recession shoppers"** - who have turned to the Internet during the economic downturn to find the best deals. "Value hunters" are known for their commitment to search for value - in quality, price, convenience and time - even as the economy starts to turn around.

Utilizing this knowledge, LinkShare is able to provide its growing network of retailers and affiliates with "best practices" to find success with these "value hunters." Some of these best practices include:

  •     Identifying, creating and offering value.
  •     Distinguishing themselves from the competition through value offerings in terms of pricing, quality and experience.
  •     Creating an online experience built on value.

"Retailers understand they need to start thinking differently in today's world," said Jonathan Levine, Co-President, LinkShare Corporation. "Consumers are changing how they shop online. That presents an opportunity for savvy marketers. LinkShare's expansive network of quality affiliates helps our advertisers reach a wide audience, and allows them to broaden their consumer base while creating - and renewing - awareness for their brands."

First-half additions to the LinkShare network include companies within the Internet's fastest-growing and most dynamic markets, including retail, media and fashion. Looking to expand its brand, The North Face is one of the companies to recently join LinkShare.

"We needed the right partner to bring our e-commerce site to a new level. LinkShare's reputable affiliate network and easy to use technology - they have the easiest to use interface in the market - made incorporating an affiliate network program into our business model an effortless process with high value," said Diana Gee, Interactive Marketing Coordinator, The North Face. "We saw a jump in traffic to our site and a spike in online sales in a short window of time. More importantly, our extended reach through a vast network of quality publishers has allowed us to give people new ways to experience our brand."

*Survey "The State of Online Shopping: Value is the New Black" conducted by Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates, Inc., June 2009

** Survey "New Info Shoppers, Recession Buyers, and the 2009 Online Shopping Outlook" conducted by Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates, Inc., January 2009

Additional References

About LinkShare:
LinkShare Corporation provides ecommerce businesses with a wide range of online marketing services including Search Marketing (SEM), Lead Generation and Affiliate Marketing. Advertisers can increase their online sales by leveraging LinkShare's massive performance marketing network along with expert consultative services and patented technology. Superior service combined with technology innovation allows advertisers and publishers to acquire and retain new customers, increase revenue and drive results.

LinkShare clients include Fortune 500 and other prominent and emerging companies doing business online, including J.C. Penney, 1-800-Flowers.com, American Express, and Avon Products. LinkShare was founded in 1996 and is headquartered in New York City, with offices in San Francisco, Chicago, London and Tokyo. LinkShare is a division of Rakuten, Inc.

About Rakuten, Inc.:
Headquartered in Tokyo, Rakuten is one of the world's largest and most comprehensive Internet service companies, providing leading services in e-commerce, portal & media, travel, financial services, and professional sports. Rakuten focuses on new business development and increasing its scope in order to improve and diversify service offerings. Rakuten, Inc. is a publicly traded company in Japan (JASDAQ: 4755).

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Kristin Parran
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