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Building a More Efficient Affiliate Program

RBL brings an incremental $1.3 Million for fashion retailer ModCloth prior to acquisition by Walmart

Key Results

  • 13% increase in Affiliate Program Revenue

  • 3% increase in Average Order Value

  • 21% increase in revenue share coming from the affiliate program versus other channels

  • 19% improvement to Conversion Rate.

  • $1.3M in incremental revenue as a result of new partner development and existing partner optimization


The Opportunity

ModCloth offers women's clothing with unique styles & original prints in sizes a truly full range of sizes ranging from 00-28. From dresses to shoes they aim to empower women.

The ModCloth marketing team, VP of Marketing, and CEO needed an expert to assess a mature affiliate channel. They experienced very rapid growth with a highly engaged audience but needed to continue to bring operational efficiency, growth, and marketing leadership to a drastically evolving space and increasingly more competitive market segment.

ModCloth was eager to nurture and grow a diverse group of partners ranging from PR, Direct Relationships, bloggers, influencers, coupon, loyalty, and emerging platforms.

ModCloth shop website page

The Strategy

The Round Barn Labs team took a deep dive into the existing program. We met in person with various ModCloth stakeholders in design, product, engineering, UX, Paid Marketing, Merchandising, SEO and email marketing. We gathered data from both in house platforms and third-party platforms and data sources and reviewed existing affiliate referring traffic, new versus existing customer purchases to assess program needs. From this, we identified a list of immediate opportunities allowing ModCloth to increase revenue and maximize Return On Ad Spend (ROAS).

Giving the changing legislation around internet retail tax, ModCloth needed to manage and understand changing NEXUS legislation and identify opportunities for improved long term strategy while improving short term tactics. We also identified a strategic opportunity to shift marketing resources toward new to file customers.

Systematic Prioritization

While the program had a lot of top affiliate partners, there was not a systematic strategy and plan applied to the program. We noticed a gap in “top of the funnel” and new customer discovery affiliate opportunities. Each major affiliate opportunity was stack ranked based on revenue potential (impact), cost, and effort.

ModCloth channel test table

Each opportunity is scored from 1 - 5 with 1 being the worst and 5 being the best. We can take a similar approach as we look to test elements within a specific channel and evaluate growth for the business.

Cost Cutting, Diversification, Optimization, and Messaging Consistency
We identified a significant number of new

4:1 ROAS on influencer placements

Given the need for more awareness, discovery, and new customer acquisition from the affiliate channel we recognized an opportunity to recruit and engage with a select number of influencer networks. We collaborated with a number of fashion bloggers with an interest in boosting % new customer acquisition and test the channel more for volume and ideally ROAS.

We aligned seasonal campaigns with CPA, ROAS and affiliate volume objectives to identify the most profitable influencers and networks. Jillian Harris was a great example of a fashion blogger with over 130k unique visitors per month. We build a customized collaboration with her to promote ModCloth’s fall 2015 collection.

Obedient dog sitting by woman

The Success

This particular collaboration posting on her site and social media following yielded over $10k in revenue and a 4:1 ROAS. The best part was that it proved out our hypothesis that particular influencers and influencer networks tested could yield a higher % of new customers thansome of ModCloth’s legacy partners.


 

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