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How partnerships help retailers sustain festive cheer all year round

(Source: Supplied.)

As a retail brand, you know how important the upcoming festive season is going to be: 11.11, Black Friday, Cyber Monday and, of course, Christmas generate some of the biggest single-day spending in the retail calendar. 

This year, however, a global cost-of-living crisis brought upon by massive inflation is likely to make consumers more reluctant to open their wallets. If mega sales and seasonal shopping events aren’t going to be as profitable for your brand this time around, then the logical solution is to offset the shortfall by connecting better with consumers throughout the whole year. That just so happens to be precisely what partnerships can offer.

Partner up for long-term revenue growth

Partnerships are collaborative, mutually beneficial relationships between brands, businesses, individuals and even communities. Brands form such partnerships to reach new and existing audiences in creative, authentic ways.

Compared with some forms of traditional digital advertising, performance-based partnerships are a lower risk with measurable return on investment (ROI). You pay only for the results your partners deliver, instead of for impressions that don’t necessarily lead to conversions. When you’re expecting decreased profit margins, partnerships can be a great way to reduce the strain on your marketing budget.   

Partnerships also build trust between your brand and consumers. According to an Ipsos study, 69 per cent of shoppers no longer trust advertising. What they do trust, however, are the pre-existing relationships they’ve formed with businesses they patronise, publications they read and influencers they follow.

In times when consumers require extra motivation to spend, these long-term relationships can make a world of difference. A generic sales promotion targeted at the mass market has no incentive apart from cost, but it’s an entirely different story if the discount comes with a vote of confidence from a trusted source.

This combination of reduced costs and incentivized buying is what makes partnerships such an attractive option for retailers looking to sustain revenue growth beyond the festive season.

Variety is the spice of life (and partnerships)

You may be surprised by just how many types of partnerships you’re now able to form. In addition to the traditional affiliate partnerships you may already be familiar with, you can also take your pick from the likes of:

  • Strategic B2B partnerships (including native software integrations and loyalty programs).
  • Influencer partnerships.
  • Corporate social responsibility (CSR) and charity partnerships.
  • Content partnerships.
  • Ambassador partnerships.

With a wealth of options for reaching people and acquiring customers, you can choose the models that best align with your business and acquisition strategy. The most robust partnership programs contain a mix of different types to maximise growth opportunities from this often underutilised channel.

One platform to manage them all

There’s another feature that healthy and profitable partnership programs share, especially in the retail sector: they often use a sophisticated software-as-a-service (SaaS) partnerships platform to keep track of all the nitty-gritty details.

Leading Asian fashion retailers Zalora and Love, Bonito both experienced massive jumps in ROI and revenue after switching to Impact.com’s partnership management platform. 

The functionality of Impact.com’s powerful automation and reporting tools enabled Zalora to grow its activation rate by 450 per cent and achieve a 50 per cent increase in ROI. Love, Bonito’s statistics were even more impressive – a 1700 per cent month-over-month growth in active partners and 253 per cent quarter-over-quarter revenue growth.

With growth at this scale to look forward to, there’s no reason for your brand to feel the crunch even if shoppers spend less than usual this festive season. Partnerships are your ticket to spreading some festive joy across the whole year.