Rakuten Rewards and Advertise Purple
January 3, 2023

Publisher Spotlight: Rakuten Rewards

By Alex Cramer

What better way to ring in the new year than a bump in affiliate sales?  

If you want to drive big sales, then you need to work with big publishers, and in affiliate marketing, few are bigger than Rakuten Rewards. Rakuten is a loyalty rewards program that connects brands with over seventeen million shoppers who actively use their service. 

That’s why we saw it as a major accomplishment when Rakuten named Advertise Purple as a platinum advertising partner, which we achieved by generating over $30 million in sales on their network in a single year.

We spoke with Strategic Alliances & Channel Partnerships Manager, Raymund Bautista, to learn how they’ve become one of the most successful loyalty publishers (and networks) in the affiliate space.

AP: Tell us about Rakuten Rewards.

RB: Rakuten Rewards is the largest loyalty publisher in e-commerce. We make shopping more rewarding for brands and their customers. Formerly known as Ebates, Rakuten Rewards was founded in 1998 and is based in San Mateo, CA with offices in multiple locations in North America. 

AP: What sets Rakuten Rewards apart from other loyalty publishers?

RB: Rakuten Rewards makes it easy to reach over 17M shoppers with highly-personalized shopping experiences and targeting opportunities. By incorporating Rakuten Rewards’ first-party data with best-in-class engineering, we are able to connect shoppers to brands – creating the most relevant, rewarding experience for both. Cashback is a strategic lever to deliver consumer value aimed at achieving marketing objectives from acquiring net new shoppers to reengaging those who haven’t shopped in a while. 

AP: In the current economic climate, what’s the best way for brands to connect with customers?

RB: With consumers trading down (still purchasing but cutting spend), this is an opportunity for merchants to capture customers that they would usually not reach. Merchants need to take advantage of retail holidays, capture early holiday demand, and have a strong focus on pockets of inventory that differentiate from competitors. Consumers are looking for value in this market, and cashback can change behavior in an efficient manner. 

AP: Which verticals is Rakuten seeing the most success with?

RB: Rakuten Rewards members are shopping in over 20 categories such as clothing, electronics, home furniture, and travel. 

AP: What’s one piece of advice to help brands stand out against their competitors?

RB: Elevate cashback to boost performance and ensure loyalty. In a time of fickle consumers, participate in promotions/events, invest in media, and use personalized offers to drive retention and long-term value.


Short and sweet, just the way we like it, Raymund. Make sure to add ‘affiliate recruitment’ to your list of new year’s resolutions this month, starting with Rakuten Rewards.


Are you getting started in affiliate marketing or looking to improve your current program?

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