Rakuten LinkShare Network Data Reveals Sweetest Valentine’s Day Opportunities for Online Advertisers and Publishers

  Rakuten LinkShare Network Data Reveals Sweetest Valentine’s Day
  Opportunities for Online Advertisers and Publishers

   Affiliate Marketing Key Driver of Online Sales for Valentine’s Day Gift

Business Wire

NEW YORK -- February 7, 2013

Rakuten LinkShare today unveiled online shopping data from its performance
marketing network that provides deeper insight into consumer Valentine’s Day
purchasing behaviors. By identifying the biggest online shopping days and top
selling products during the Valentine shopping season, online advertisers and
publishers can develop more targeted and strategic campaigns.

For retailers looking to maximize their reach and align their marketing
strategies with online consumer behavior, affiliate marketing is a
strategically important channel. In a recent study by Forrester Consulting, in
conjunction with Rakuten LinkShare, it was found that consumers visit on
average 2.7 sites before making an online purchase.^1

“For Valentine’s Day gift ideas, consumers are looking across the Web for
selection and value,” said Nilton Duque, director of marketing, Ice.com.
“Affiliate Marketing continues to be a strong channel for driving traffic,
finding new customers and driving sales because it helps consumers find
exactly what they’re looking for while helping us to promote our entire
product inventory.”

According to the data, the top three sales categories for the years 2010-2012
were luxury items, jewelry and flowers. Further, the highest overall sales
spike across these top three categories occurs from February 6-10 with
February 8 being the day with the highest peak, on average, in online sales.
However, each category has its own sales peaks.

Specifically, online luxury sales peak on February 9, jewelry sales increase
consistently from January 30 through February 10 with the peak occurring the
first weekend in February, and online orders for flowers spikes from February
5-13 with the peak occurring on the 13^th. Based on the information gathered
over the past three years, online advertisers can anticipate similar behaviors
this Valentine’s Day.

“While performance marketers have always built online campaigns around these
traditional Valentine’s Day purchases, data from the Rakuten LinkShare network
provides additional insight that will influence campaigns and the types of
real-time offers that will prompt consumers to respond,” said Alex Czurylo,
senior director of analytics and reporting, Rakuten LinkShare. “When you have
a tremendous opportunity and such a short window of time, it’s critical to
know exactly when to amplify your efforts so that you are reaching the right
customers with the right offers at the right time and our network data helps
retailers identify these trends year-over-year.”

According to the National Retail Federation, consumers spent an estimated
$17.6 billion last year on Valentine’s Day and twenty percent of purchases
were made online.^2 As consumers become more comfortable buying luxury items
online and technology enables last minute purchases, Valentine’s Day presents
more opportunities for advertisers and publishers to see increased sales and

About Rakuten LinkShare Corporation

Rakuten LinkShare provides online retailers and other businesses with expert
online marketing services and solutions. Rakuten LinkShare’s affiliate
marketing network, search marketing services, lead generation campaigns and
retargeting solutions can acquire new customers, increase revenue and drive
overall results while achieving target return on ad spend. Rakuten LinkShare
clients are Fortune 500 and other prominent companies doing business online,
including J.C. Penney, 1-800-Flowers.com, American Express and Avon Products.
The company was founded in 1996 and is headquartered in New York City, with
offices in San Francisco, Chicago, Tampa, London, Tokyo and Sydney. For more
information, please visit: www.linkshare.com.

About Rakuten

Rakuten, Inc. (JASDAQ:4755), is one of the world’s leading Internet service
companies, providing a variety of consumer- and business-focused services
including e-commerce, e-reading, travel, banking, securities, credit card,
e-money, portal and media, online marketing and professional sports. Selected
by Forbes as 7th among the World’s Most Innovative Companies of 2012, Rakuten
is expanding globally and currently has operations throughout Asia, Western
Europe, and the Americas. Founded in 1997, Rakuten is headquartered in Tokyo,
with over 10,000 employees worldwide. For more information, visit

Additional Resources
Check out the LinkShare Blog
Follow us on Twitter @LinkShareblog

^1 Source: “Affiliate Marketing – The Direct and Indirect Value that
Affiliates Deliver to Advertisers.”

^2 Source: National Retail Federation.


Rakuten LinkShare
Scott Allan, 646-943-8231
Blanc & Otus
Kathy Keating, 617-451-7355
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