Affiliate marketing allows retailers to grow e-commerce sales
Dickies is a world-renowned workwear and apparel brand founded a century ago in Fort Worth, Texas. They began by making sturdy clothing for workers, including overalls and the iconic Eisenhower jacket, developed for soldiers during World War II. Today, Dickies operates in more than 100 countries across the globe; designing, manufacturing and retailing workwear, skatewear and streetwear product ranges
Artefact has been active in the affiliate market since 2004, managing more than 20 advertisers in as many countries. Artefact has a broad network of both local and international contacts, coupled with a data-first approach to performance tracking.
In November 2021, Artefact took over affiliate channel management for Dickies UK, undertaking a program strategy revamp. Artefact enhanced and modernised core partnerships to fit the purpose, introduced and onboarded new versatile partnerships and cleanses their mature program of any fraud risk, which is vital in affiliate marketing.
Dickies were impressed with the results that followed and asked Artefact to launch new territories in France and Germany in Spring 2022, with the vision to expand into many more at a later stage.
Q4 is a key period for the fashion industry, including important sales periods such as Christmas and Black Friday, and Dickies is no different. The challenge for Artefact was to grow their revenue and number of sales through the Q4 period without increasing their budget, meanwhile adding value by onboarding new partnerships without additional spending.
“Artefact have secured additional visibility, improved efficiency and optimised the attribution model. This has enabled us to improve channel performance, saving budget for further investments and incremental revenues,”
Katia Sciscioli, DTC Marketing Manager at Dickies.
Dickies aimed for growth in all of its affiliate markets, including the French and German markets, where Artefact recently expanded the affiliate program to; as well as the British market.
To fit Dickies’ brand proposition, Artefact’s strategy was to focus on three major pillars of affiliate marketing:
Student Discount Providers: to target large audiences within this vertical and increase conversions
CCS Partners: to maximise reach and target users at the beginning of their customer journey
Closed User Groups: which have accelerated as a sector in recent years due to both the economic climate and pandemic
In addition, to capitalise on growth, Artefact took a strategic approach to cashback and promotions, aligning activities with the client’s KPIs to scale.
Student discount providers are organisations that offer student discounts or Dickies products through an affiliate programme. They partner with affiliates, such as student organisations or websites, to promote discounts to their audiences. The affiliates receive a commission on any sales that result from clicks on their unique link, while Dickies benefits from increased exposure and sales.
Partnering with Student Discount affiliates allows Dickies to reach a targeted audience of students with the right products and offer a personalised user journey to increase conversions. It also offers students access to a one-time discount on Dickies clothing, potentially driving repeat sales. Our student strategy was to issue single use codes, as well as an effective validation process, to eliminate any abuse of the system. This combined with well negotiated commercials, lead to significant ROI for the client.
CSS Partners helped us promote Dickies products via a unique link or code, which they promoted, allowing Dickies to reach a wider audience through their respective networks. We negotiated rates to improve Dickies’ ROI, whilst maintaining it cost-effective for partners to optimise. We implemented a policy to eliminate duplicates. As a result, we were able to successfully target large upper funnel audiences through a select CSS partners whilst avoiding cannibalisation.
Closed User Groups were our third strategic pillar, limited to a specific closed group of affiliates providing a more exclusive marketing environment. This enabled us to target more precise audiences, each with a different product-specific incentive, for instance durable workwear for fieldworkers. Our CUG action plan was developed with cashback and promotional sites. We used previous learnings and an exclusive top product push, with incentivized commissioning at the core. This resulted in strong ROI from several sites in both the UK, Germany and France.
The campaign was successful, delivering a significant increase in both clicks and sales, with a 109% year-on-year increase in UK clicks for Q4 alone. This coincided with a 27% year-on-year increase in total number of sales through the affiliate channel.
Q4 generated a 13% increase on UK revenue versus the previous year, over-delivering on the channel target by 14%. This was primarily generated through student discount partners, who were accountable for 39% of sales, with CSS being accountable for 29%.
Our ROI generated was 13, higher than the fashion industry average.