THE NATIONAL ONLINE RETAILERS ASSOCIATION driving growth through partnerships


Ayaan Mohamud,

It’s been a challenging and transformative two years for the Australian retail industry. Challenging as it’s had to grapple with lockdown, reduced footfall and stringent public health requirements; transformative as we’ve seen both consumers and retailers embrace and accelerate the move to ecommerce and accompanying digital marketing capabilities. Indeed, a massive 5.5 million households shopped online in January 2022, a YOY increase of 16.6% according to Australia Post. 

However, the surge in the number of ecommerce players means that retailers are having to work even harder to grow market share – not least as many are scrambling to sustain double digit growth with zero increases to marketing spend.

This is why partnerships are becoming an increasingly attractive (and lucrative) customer acquisition channel for retailers. In fact, partnerships have been tipped by Deloitte’s annual Global Marketing Trends report to be one of the most influential drivers of marketing activity in the years to come. And little wonder given that innovative partnerships can help expand revenue channels beyond sales and marketing, drive innovative customer experiences and deliver long-term sustainable growth. 

With its roots in the affiliate world, the concept of performance-based partnerships has been around for decades (if not centuries). However, the digital innovation of the last few years has seen it emerge as a reinvented and stand-alone channel which is creating exceptional results for innovative brands such as Booktopia and Big Red Group. No longer confined to big brand tie-ups or traditional affiliate marketing, partnerships have exploded to include social influencers (micro and macro and all the ones in between), brand-to-brand, mobile apps, premium publishers, charitable collaborations, ambassadors and more. 

Generates incremental revenue

The partnership channel is extremely lucrative, with a Forrester research study revealing companies with high maturity partnership programs contribute 28% of overall company revenues. And critically, the technology now exists to track, measure and optimise revenue – no matter how big or small the partnership is. In fact,’s partnership management platform manages the whole life-cycle of a partnership from discovering potential partners, through recruiting and contracting, compensating, managing, measuring and optimising. This makes determining ROI simple, scalable and 100 percent transparent.

One Australian retailer that has been particularly successful at reimagining its partnership strategy is Booktopia. So much so that in just 18 months they increased their number of partners by 275%, resulting in a YOY revenue increase of 219%

Another company that has an incredible partnership success story is the Big Red Group (BRG). With the aid of’s partnership management platform, BRG was able to connect with more community-driven partners than ever before and gained complete visibility into every stage of the customer journey. BRG achieved a 117% year over year increase in return on ad spend (ROAS) and a 32% increase in partnerships revenue in just five months. 

Partnerships are now a core business strategy for leading retailers such as Coles, David Jones, Adidas, New Balance, The PAS Group, eBay, Decathlon and many more. Read all about the partnership economy and the technology that powers it at

Ayaan Mohamud - APAC Regional Vice President, Marketing