Luxury spending booms on mobile: Rakuten report

By Lucy Carroll | 25 September 2015

Australian shoppers have more than doubled their spending on luxury items online in the past two years, with the average single order value now hitting $420, according to new data released by Rakuten Marketing.

The luxury basket value has jumped from $190 in 2013, a surge the online marketing agency attributes to high-end brands building stronger “online propositions” and a major shift to sales made on mobile.

Rakuten Marketing Australia managing director Anthony Capano said the influx of luxury brands and investment in technology means high-end retailers “are taking their online offering a lot more seriously.”

“People are now a lot more confident about purchasing expensive items online. The technology used to bring products to life is highly sophisticated,” he said.

The significant upward swing in mobile purchasing means advertisers are investing in user friendly mobile experiences, with shopping on mobile becoming increasingly efficient.

“There are fewer steps to conversion and video is a lot more digestible on mobile. Consumers are getting similar user experiences to what they get on desktop. In previous years mobile was a research tool and now its a tool for transacting,” said Capano.

According to Rakuten's data, mobile purchases make up 21% of total luxury sales, compared to only 11% on tablet. About 12% of total sales in fashion and beauty are made on mobile.

Capano said another major growth area is in homewares and small appliances, particularly as interior, home and tech bloggers build stronger followings.

“Bloggers who are writing about a new fridge or slow cooker are hyperlinking to products and converting directly to retailer. They are enhancing their offering by providing a direct link for consumers” he said.

Head of marketing at Appliances Online, Trent Allan, said partnering with Rakuten allows the retailer to connect with audiences that would otherwise prove elusive.

“Given publishers like Qantas, Flybuys and Virgin have very specific audiences we are able to create unique promotions for those audiences. Its very heard to achieve elsewhere,” Allan said.

“Although affiliate marketing is not one of our biggest channels it is one of our more profitable channels. The conversion rate of the Rakuten channel is up to three and a half times that than traffic through Google.”

He said in the next year Appliances Online plan to work closer with their top ten publishers in order to build the company's affiliate marketing offering.

Rakuten's CEO Tony Zito said within the next 12 months the company will focus more attention on cross-device tracking and targeting users to deliver custom messaging.

“When a consumer is researching a product they'll jump between multiple devices and either purchase in store or online. What we're doing is tying devices to users which enables us to have a more complete picture of how the user is interacting with the brand,” said Zito.

“The most valuable information is seeing how mobile is leading to in-store purchase behaviour. We are able to link the consumer to their offline purchases and target a user in the area of the store,” he said.

Earlier this month Rakuten reported a tripling of revenue, picking up nine new staff and adding a spate of high profile retail clients including Coles, Lorna Jane, SurfStitch, Vinomofo and Big W.


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