One of the most frequently asked questions we get asked by clients is how to run a thriving luxury programs in affiliates. Having worked on these premium accounts for more than three years, I’ve personally been asked this question many times.
The good news is that at iProspect we manage programs with a focus on luxury-first, so are well-versed in this space.
In this blog, I’ll address the biggest challenges when working with high-end luxury programs and reveal the key considerations for reaching brand KPIs. Just as some of the best films and books have sequels, this blog will be the first in a two-part series on luxury in affiliate marketing.
Focus on incentives
High-end luxury retail products are a niche offering with top-tier Average Order Value (AOV) often at £500 or more. These high-end luxury retailers have strict brand protection guidelines that limit the offer messaging you can promote through your publishers.
Make sure you focus on what you can use. For example, most luxury brands will offer complimentary shipping and returns, cross-market shipping and even free next-day delivery to use as incentives.
Explore the possibility of limited exclusive incentives, such as bespoke experiences like complimentary monogramming. Please remember that incentives don’t always have to be geared towards discounts.
Take advantage of out-of-peak seasons
In luxury, high street retail, you’ll have peak and out-of-peak periods. These are more pronounced in line with the high AOV. Your publisher portfolio will be smaller and geared towards luxury content partners, while excluding cash back and vouchers to protect brand image.
Make sure you build strong partner relationships while unweighting and aligning bought media with your peak volume-driving periods. This could be mid-season sale, winter sale etc.
Utilize OOP (out of peak) periods for testing new technologies and partnerships in order to build a reliable data-led strategy.
Choosing the perfect affiliate tracking solution
In high luxury retail, the focus and KPIs will be reflective of an environment that is very different from other verticals, such as insurance or even high street retail. The choice of affiliate tracking solution should be aligned with the brand strategy and KPIs.
If you have strong internal resources and a market-leading strategy, your decision may be geared towards optimizing forecast, delivery and efficiencies, where you might lean towards a SAAS provider.
To better grow your presence globally from a centralized location, the correct affiliate network may be better positioned to expand your reach. This is because affiliate networks have specialized resource which help adapt your capabilities to the affiliate environment in different markets.
Luxury is not only just emerging in the affiliate space; it’s already here. What’s more, it’s growing on a global scale. This presents a huge opportunity for advertisers but often brands don’t realize their full potential, which poses an even greater set of challenges.
Watch this space for part two of this blog series on luxury when we’ll continue to explore how premium brands can make the most of their affiliate strategy and outperform the competition.