Desperately Seeking Canadian Shoppers and Affiliates Too!

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Last week, cash registers were on fire during the opening of the first international J. Crew store, which happens to be in Canada. Shoppers flocked to the retailer’s newest location in Toronto at the Yorkdale Shopping Centre. There’s a reason J. Crew and so many other retailers (Target, TopShop, Zumiez, for example) are eyeing Canada. It’s all about the money!

Thanks to conservative banks, low inflation and a high Canadian dollar, the average Canadian has more purchasing power. This doesn’t mean that we’re without issues such as disagreements about government policy, measures to eliminate poverty, and a need for more affordable housing. Canada has its problems just like anywhere else in the world. However, from a financial perspective we are better off compared to some developed nations. This is why businesses like J. Crew are appealing to Canadian shoppers. Equally important is recognizing that in order to appeal to Canadian shoppers, it’s inevitable that retailers will need to provide merchandise through an online platform.

Why are retailers growing more interested in affiliate marketing?
Affiliate marketing is cost-effective because it’s based on performance. The days of having a sole brick and mortar shop are over. Shoppers, especially those from Canada, are looking online in droves for that “trendy” accessory. This means that bloggers and virtual mall owners (basically, affiliates) will want to get in on the fun, and why wouldn’t they? If a merchant launches an online acquisition channel, they soon discover that an affiliate program is a must. A decent commission to compensate affiliates who can sell based on volume can actually help minimize costs.

Why are some retailers choosing tracking software over joining a network?
There are a lot of online marketing acquisition channels out there: CPA networks, affiliate networks, lead gen companies, loyalty rewards programs, and so forth. Sometimes managing all these relationships can be downright daunting. With tracking software retailers get to manage multiple relationships under one roof. Tracking software can also appeal to affiliates because it adds the allure of exclusivity to the value of your business. Also, unlike in a network, retailers can keep the relationship with their affiliates much closer. Companies tend to forget that they are sharing the same pool of affiliates when they join different networks and platforms, alongside other merchants that may or may not be competitors. There are great benefits to both using affiliate marketing software and joining an affiliate network. It’s really up to a retailer to decide what their online needs are.

Why do retailers need affiliates with Canadian traffic?
The beauty of affiliate marketing is that you can be based in one country and obtain traffic from just about anywhere within and beyond your borders. One misconception we’ve seen from experience in the affiliate marketing industry is that people think online Canadian retail traffic is automatically going to be abundant. This isn’t the case. It really depends on several factors, including how well the brand is known in the target region and the price point of the merchandise. J. Crew may have seen a wave of shoppers emerge for their debut in Canada, but in the online shopping space, high taxes and duties, as well as exorbitant shipping fees can make or break a sale online before a customer hits the “submit” button on the virtual shopping cart.

With the Canadian economy continuing to remain relatively calm amid a world of chaos, more Canadians will pursue ecommerce from both sides. From the customers’ perspective, shoppers will rely heavily on how much merchants can supply the demand and facilitate the shopping experience. From the affiliates’ perspective, fashion bloggers, virtual mall owners and other online sales will want to know whether or not a retailer has an affiliate program in order to pursue entrepreneurial interests.

What do you think about the recent influx of retailers to the Canadian market? Share your feedback in the comment box below. You can also follow us on Twitter to keep up-to-date on the content we post or check out our Facebook page.

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