We all know that Amazon has introduced a variety of innovations in e-commerce, from one-click purchases and prime rewards, to one-day shipping and even free same-day shipping.
As I post this, we are in the midst of Amazon Prime Day 2018 (Monday July 16), during which the e-commerce giant has hinted that they will be offering shoppers “more than one million deals.” In this, their fourth installment of the annual event that takes place around the anniversary of the company’s founding, experts predict they will do $3.5 billion in sales to people holding prime membership during a 36-hour period. It's like creating a second "Black Friday" or "Cyber Monday" in the US. While $3B+ is likely an unattainable one-day goal for all but the tiniest number of retailer brands globally, there are ways to achieve proportionally aggressive sales goals for your brand. And one key element of achieving e-commerce sales like that is in implementing aggressive partnership strategies.
Partner marketing is a growing business channel that can help in a big way. According to our recently released global survey of 1,200 business leaders, The State and Future of Partnership, the partnership arena is responsible for a massive share of total online revenue. 56% of business leaders surveyed say that the performance partnership channel drives more than 20% of total company sales and 24% said it drives more than 30%.
A key driver of the growth in partner-driven sales has been the broadening of the category to include new forms of partnership, such as influencers, content producers, and other major brands. According to the survey, brand-to-brand and influencer partnerships now account for an impressive 24% of total partnership category sales.
Here are some of the benefits of the leveraging this channel that can help your brand accelerate growth, making every day feel like your very own Prime Day.
Amazon announced earlier this year that their Prime subscription service has over 100 million Prime members worldwide. They didn’t achieve such scale overnight. It takes time to build a loyal community of subscribers. Through partner marketing, you can reach your target consumers at multiple points in their buying journey, driving scale quickly and efficiently. By distributing messaging among various forms of partners, i.e. coupon/deal sites, influencers, and content creators, you can reach people from first point of interest to conversion.
The adoption of a Partner Management Platform, like Partnerize, will give you access to thousands of partners, including companies that you might not immediately think would be active in the partner space. You will also be able to manage partnerships more easily, through better data and insights into how partners are meeting expectations. The ability to rapidly scale campaigns highly focused on ROI, while keeping your brand safe, is a key benefit of adding this type of technology to your marketing stack.
Consumers have grown to trust Amazon implicitly, especially with Prime where they know their sale items will arrive via free two-day shipping and returns will be easy. Aside from streaming prime video content that comes with membership, this is the key feature of the program that gives consumers peace of mind when shopping.
Partnership enables you to “borrow” credibility from trusted partners to improve conversion rates, even for new items with limited brand equity. By associating your brand with the right partner — for example a popular loyalty community— you can more easily overcome the trust issues that befall many new products. And you don't even need to launch your own version of the echo dot smart speaker to get it!
Similarly, the right partner marketing platform allows you to engage in trusted, brand-safe affiliate and performance marketing relationships. Strong anti-fraud protection needs to be an integrated element of your partner marketing technology. With our platform, you can rest easy knowing your channel spend is safe and free of fraud.
Part of the allure of Amazon Prime Day for consumers is knowing they can get the latest cool items at a good price. It isn’t necessarily about getting the biggest discounts on the cheapest items in the category, but finding value on something desired. By strategically planning deals and offers with partners and affiliates, you can deliver great perceived value AND compete with prime day sales in new ways.
There is increasing evidence that retailers are using partnership to intercept purchases that were headed to Amazon on Prime Day. RetailMeNot has noticed that other retailers are targeting Prime Day as a key shopping day. The number of unique retailers issuing Prime Day deals on their site increased 340 percent from 2016 to 2017, and they expect that number to increase this year. Other retailers appear to be adopting their own versions of lightning deals.*
Brand-to-brand partnerships can also deliver unexpected value to consumers. By combining opportunities, such as a car rental and hotel booking or an entertainment ticket marketplace and travel site, brands can capitalize on new audiences and give consumers access to things they need before they know they need them.
While Amazon and Prime Day are not available everywhere around the world, the company has been a strong leader in creating a model that is seamlessly adapted to new markets. For example, in India, the company has addressed very real challenges as regards national distribution and payments where consumers and business services are at a very different stage of development than in the United States.
Many brands today are looking to create global footprints. Partner marketing arrangements can greatly reduce the risks associated with entering new markets because they are performance-driven. With global expansion comes the increased importance of working with trusted affiliates and partners around the world, as well as understanding regional shopping behavioral nuances.
Partnership enables you to leverage local partner knowledge to help drive strong online retailer sales quickly. While there is no substitute for rich market knowledge, partners can help you quickly establish a marketing presence and -- perhaps -- help you avoid some of the big mistakes that brands sometimes make when entering new markets. That matters a lot. Just ask any company that misfired when they began driving Chinese e-commerce.
These are some of the many reasons brick-and-mortar retailers as well as e-commerce companies are rushing to invest in this lucrative growth channel. Whether they are trying to drive sales through sites or an app, partnership can be an effective promotional tool. While Prime Deals are a great reason to take a moment to think through how you can improve your marketing effectiveness using strategies that have been proven by a market leader, the reality is that partnership is a powerful strategy to drive growth 365 days a year. From today's deals, to the holiday season, to back-to-school shopping, to Dads and grads. Are you ready to Partnerize? Request a demo today to get started.
*An Amazon Prime "lightning deal" is a special, limited time offer on a limited quantity of a particular item, like a Kindle Paperwhite.