Online marketing services supplier, Rakuten LinkShare, has reported a strong fourth quarter performance, which saw brands on its network enjoy a 35% increase in sales compared to the same period a year ago.
According to the company, brands in its network enjoyed triple the rate of growth reported by the wider industry. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) recently reported non-store retail sales saw an 11.8% increase in the volume of sales compared to Q4 2011. When compared to the negative figures much of the retail sector is reporting, this further emphasises the growing difference between online and traditional sales said Rakuten.
Brands including Space.NK, Mango, notonthehighstreet.com and Farfetch were reported to perform particularly well in Q4, seeing increased online sales through the Rakuten LinkShare CPA network, compared to the same period in 2011.
The 26 and 27 December 2012 drove large sales for online retailers in Q4 2012, said Rakuten.
The popularity of going online to spend Christmas money or shop the sales straight after Christmas is increasing at an even faster rate than Cyber Monday, traditionally one of the busiest day in the online shopping calendar, the company said.
Rakuten said brands in its network saw sales on Boxing Day increase 88% and sales on the following day, 27 December 2012, increase 69% when compared to 2011. This is supported by the BRC-Google Online Retail Monitor for Q4 2012, which shows that retail searches hit a peak on Boxing Day, with more than twice as many searches taking place across all devices than on Christmas Eve, it said.
The trend of shopping online on Cyber Monday is well documented and Rakuten said brands in its LinkShare’s network saw an increase in sales of 48%, compared to Cyber Monday in 2011. The biggest online Christmas shopping days after Cyber Monday were the 5 and 10 December 2012.
Elena Carasso, online director and executive committee member at fashion brand Mango, said: “We know online shoppers are vital to the success of our business, as the percentage of sales through the online channel continues to grow.
“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. This is particularly important in the fourth quarter of the year, as it’s typically our most successful time of year.”
Mark Haviland, managing director of Rakuten LinkShare, said: “The fourth quarter of 2012 demonstrated a strong online offering is vital for retailers, however many brands are looking for guidance as to where to invest their time and money as the multi-channel environment is a complex one. We have worked hard to enable profitable partnerships between retailers and publishers, and give advice marketers can trust so their investments will be most productive. We’re very pleased these results signify a strong end to a great year across the network.”