Comparison sites and loyalty drive uptake in online sales

By AdNews | 2 December 2014

Shopping sites which combine strong editorial with e-commerce and comparison sites are driving the bulk of online sales in Australia, particularly in the high-end, luxury category.

Rakuten Marketing, the global firm which operates in the display, affiliate and attribution e-commerce sphere, has issued analysis showing that across its network, shopping and comparison sites are the most effective at driving sales volume.

Rakuten Marketing Australia managing director Anthony Capano explained to AdNews: “Comparison sites have been viable here for a considerable amount of time, but what we’re seeing now is ‘comparison 2.0’ which has seen the addition of greater content around the basic pillars of price and product, particularly over the past 18 months.”

Rakuten, which has quietly been making waves in Australia with new clients such as LivingSocial, The Iconic and Karen Millen, stresses that the uptake in sales is driven by the creation of online experiences which go beyond the simple display of product and price. Capano points out that Australian consumers are “looking for a learning, or an inspirational experience.”

“Yes, price plays a part in conversion rates, but good content brings the consumer to that conclusion in the first place,” he added.

Second to the success of editorial-focused sites and comparison is the uptake of loyalty programs, Rakuten states that Velocity eStore, and reward sites such as Pricepal and Reward Gateway, are growing in popularity with Australian shoppers, demonstrating a high conversion rate within the fashion sector at 11%.

The firm claims that shopping outlets in its network, including ShopStyle and Shop Til You Drop, drive almost three-quarters of all luxury purchases in that particular category. Shopping sites also account for 50% of all fashion purchases across the network.

Rakuten’s data shows that shoppers purchasing luxury items typically spend $250 - $300 per order and buy more when using a desktop versus other devices.

In the fashion sector, where an online basket generates an average $150 sales, purchases made from mobile devices have the highest value. It namechecks the success of mobile purchasing apps Stashd and StyleMatch. 16% of purchases on the network are made on tablets.

Capano concludes: “We know that online shoppers rarely make a beeline for a specific item sold by a specific retailer. They want to compare and contrast, get inspiration, make wish lists and hunt for good value.”

For more news:

Advertisers to check pulse of the affiliate industry

Affiliate marketing sector beefs up as new US entrant launches in Australia

Rakuten makes headway into Australian market

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