In our latest case study, we interviewed Yuting Wu, the Senior Account Manager and Regional Lead for the APAC region at Acceleration Partners, to uncover how Swarovski’s affiliate program achieves continuous growth through commerce content and partnering with Skimlinks after their 2021 rebranding.
Could you tell us a bit of background about you and your role at Acceleration Partners?
I am the Senior Account Manager and APAC Lead at Acceleration Partners, specializing in performance marketing. With a decade of experience, I focus on affiliate marketing and have been with Acceleration Partners for over four years. My responsibilities include coordinating three affiliate programs in APAC, managing accounts, and leading a team. I prioritize team happiness and work-life balance, providing training and resources to support the growth of each team member.
Affiliate marketing is still very nascent in certain countries in APAC (e.g. Hong Kong and Taiwan). How did you approach the market?
In APAC where we still have a limited number of quality publishers to work with compared with other regions, we partner with commerce content monetisation platforms, such as Skimlinks to tap into the quality local publishers in this region. In this sense, Skimlinks is definitely one of our valued partners to support our affiliate program in the APAC region. Given that Acceleration Partners is a global company, our primary market focus lies in English-speaking countries. However, we do have language experts proficient in Korean, Japanese and Greater China region, including mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan in APAC.
How does Swarovski work with Skimlinks?
Swarovski’s global affiliate program has partnered with Skimlinks, a commerce content monetisation platform, to enhance the brand’s image following its rebranding in 2021. Swarovski has shifted its strategy away from coupon partners and exclusive promo codes, focusing instead on providing free shipping as the primary incentive. While this approach has posed challenges, working with Skimlinks for content marketing purposes has proven beneficial.
Skimlinks’ Account Manager has provided invaluable support in optimizing performance. Monthly performance reviews are conducted to assess overall performance and discuss new strategies for improving conversions. Skimlinks prepares comprehensive reports that include insightful recommendations, feature best-selling products, highlight local shopping events, and test different landing pages.
The assistance provided by the Account Manager and the Skimlinks team has been greatly appreciated. Their support enables Swarovski to effectively meet its brand objectives, making this partnership a prime example of a mutually beneficial collaboration. Thank you for your time and consideration.
Can you explain how Skimlinks’ partnership with key publishers enhances transparency in your work processes?
Skimlinks stands out due to its exceptional transparency, which is highly valuable to us. Currently, we collaborate with several subnetworks across different markets, and unfortunately, about half of them are not actively sharing the necessary information to reveal the publishers involved. They only provide a generic publisher ID if we reach out to the subnetworks via email, however this process can be time-consuming. It often requires additional investigations to verify legitimacy. However, Skimlinks provides complete transparency by granting direct access to the publisher sites promoting our brand. This allows us to assess the content’s relevance and quality firsthand, ensuring the integrity of our brand promotions. I genuinely appreciate Skimlinks’ transparency, as it saves time and provides peace of mind for our brand.
How has Skimlinks helped Swarovski in APAC since the partnership started?
Skimlinks is an invaluable global commerce content monetisation partner for Swarovski, particularly excelling in key markets such as the US, UK, and APAC region. We also monitor performance in Australia, Hong Kong, and Singapore, where Skimlinks has a strong presence among influential publishers. The convenience of accessing high-quality publishers through Skimlinks has greatly contributed to our success. We have collaborated with Skimlinks extensively, optimizing our partnership to engage content publishers during Swarovski’s major on-site campaigns. To accommodate the longer time it takes for public content publishers to see results, we offer extended commission increases compared to other partners. With Skimlinks’ support, Swarovski’s brand content gains exposure on premium publisher sites, resulting in positive traction and performance over the past two years.
E-commerce landscape and consumer behavior have changed post pandemic, how do you see this will evolve and affect your business? Are there any trends you are excited about this year?
For Swarovski, in recent years we observe increased average order value. On one hand this is really because of Swarovski’s new branding which is an affordable luxury brand. And we do launch quite a batch of new products that are actually at a higher price point. But somehow we do see the performance still maintained. People are still making purchases, even after the increase of price point. This means that people are starting to accept Swarovski’s new branding. This is something that we are very happy to see.
What are your plans for 2023 in APAC? What are the plans for Swarovski? Is there any specific country you are focusing on?
Swarovski’s APAC plan for 2023 targets seven key markets, with Thailand as the next focus. The online consumer activities in Thailand are booming, creating competition and opportunities. Swarovski aims to include Thailand as a Tier 2 market, alongside Tier 1 markets Japan and Korea, as well as Singapore, Hong Kong, and Malaysia in Southeast Asia. Partner interaction optimization will be conducted in these markets. India is also a focus, and the expansion of Skimlinks in the region will attract quality publishers. Apart from Swarovski, Acceleration Partners has other programs entering India, offering potential for scaling and optimization.
Any advice for merchants who would like to work with you?
One advice for the brand is to prioritize efficiency when planning marketing activities. The pandemic has brought significant changes to the world, leading to weaker economies and budget cuts in marketing for many brands. This has affected organic performance in various channels, except for affiliate marketing, which stands out for its efficiency compared to other channels with rising costs. The outlook for the affiliate industry seems cautiously positive. In this turbulent time, it is crucial to stay vigilant and adaptable. Within my company, we focus on delivering results and ensuring brand satisfaction. We regularly hold internal company calls and closely monitor client feedback to continuously improve our services. This is how we remain competitive in the industry. For the brand, considering affiliate marketing as an option while maintaining other marketing activities could be beneficial.
What do you love most about Skimlinks?
One aspect I truly appreciate about Skimlinks is the unwavering commitment of your team to maximize performance. The account management team has actively engaged with our APAC team, conducting strategy sessions and providing valuable optimization advice for our entire portfolio of programs, extending beyond just Swarovski. This level of support surpasses what we have encountered with other network partners, and we sincerely value all the efforts made.