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Strategies to Thrive in Western Europe’s Shifting E-Commerce Landscape

In 2022, e-commerce sales in Western Europe declined by 4.5%. By the end of 2023, e-commerce sales should experience a slight rebound of 3%. However, overall retail sales growth is slowing in the region due to a shift in consumer spending habits, which is being fueled by the cost-of-living crisis.

Fortunately, the news isn’t all bad for European retailers. For starters, mobile e-commerce (m-commerce) sales are growing rapidly and outpacing other e-commerce transactions. In the former EU5 (France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the U.K.), over two-thirds of digital shoppers will make a purchase using their tablet or smartphone in 2023.

In order to weather the retail sales decline, your brand needs to tailor its partnership marketing strategy to target m-commerce shoppers. What steps can you take toward a more effective m-commerce approach? Let’s dive in.


Invest in digital

First, you must double down on your digital investments. While brick-and-mortar retail sales lag, e-commerce, particularly m-commerce, is experiencing a resurgence.

To capitalize on this shift, you need a strong digital presence and a robust marketing strategy. When investing in digital, look beyond just traditional pay-per-click and SEO marketing. Set your sights on affiliate partnerships, which are one of the most powerful digital growth tools for retailers.

Working with influencers is another great way to rapidly expand your reach among consumers and connect with new audience segments. This strategy is particularly effective among younger consumers, who are also more likely to engage in m-commerce transactions.


Boost your retail media capabilities

Building your presence organically can often take a long time, which means you’ll fail to seize fleeting e-commerce opportunities. Fortunately, you can give your retail media capabilities an immediate boost by connecting with established organizations and brands.

One great way to expand your retail media capabilities is to partner with a mass media publisher through the affiliate channel. These publishers already have large, well-established audiences and can produce quality branded content to promote your products.

With the right partners in your corner, you can get the word out about your latest products or deals, target specific audience segments, and gain footholds in new markets. When seeking a retail media publisher, focus on entities that specialize in mobile-friendly content so you can get in on the m-commerce niche.


Prioritize omnichannel strategies

Omnichannel strategies not only use multiple marketing channels but also rely on a diverse assortment of partners. Instead of working only with traditional affiliates, you can add influencers and nontraditional partners like buy now, pay later (BNPL) affiliates.

Integrating BNPL partners into your strategy can prove particularly effective. In fact, Acceleration Partners helped one of our global retailer clients tap into the power of BNPL to connect with Gen Z and millennial women.

The program was an overwhelming success. Our client generated $46 million in revenue via its BNPL partners, 49% of which came from millennials. The top-performing BNPL partner generated $1.3 million in revenue.


Focus on sustainability, not quick fixes

A large-scale, pay-per-click campaign can drive immediate traffic to your site and boost sales, but is this strategy sustainable? Absolutely not. Eventually, your pay-per-click budget will dry up, and you will find yourself right back where you started.

To avoid this boom/bust cycle, focus on creating a sustainable marketing strategy that leverages traditional and nontraditional affiliates. An experienced affiliate marketing management agency can help you achieve this by offering:

  • Strategic partner acquisition and optimization capabilities
  • A tailored, outcomes-driven approach
  • Unmatched, in-region support
  • Access to an abundance of affiliate marketing expertise and resources

The strategic use of nontraditional affiliates hit a home run for one of AP’s clients, a major mattress retailer that shifted its approach to recruit and implement quality search engine monetization (SEM) affiliate partners.

With the help of AP, the brand achieved 160% incremental ROAS, a 15% increase in its conversion rate, and $1.44 million in incremental revenue in just one quarter.


Want additional tips for thriving in the Western European market?

By leveraging these tips, you can thrive in the Western European market and capitalize on current consumer trends.

To kick-start your efforts, check out Acceleration Partners’ EMEA Affiliate Marketing Handbook. This comprehensive resource provides a road map for using affiliate marketing to expand into these key European markets.


Looking for personalized support in your partnership marketing growth journey?
Connect with AP and let our global team propel your business to new heights!