Dan and Amanda of Down Your High Street had a straightforward goal; to create an online marketplace for independent high-street retailers to showcase and sell their products. In 2014, this idea developed into the beginnings of the revolutionary platform which took over a year to complete. Containing built-in features which make it seamless for busy shop owners to update their products and profile and a team that care about the High Street to support them along the way.
In the first year of the website launching over 300 retailers joined the platform with over 20,000 products, and from their valuable feedback this has now grown to over 530 stores and a whopping 57,000 products for customers to enjoy selecting from. Customers have the benefit of buying from multiple shops in one go.
How did the founders Dan & Amanda approach their marketing strategy?
Their strategy starts offline, with independent retailers on the UK High Street who are experts in their field. By collaborating with them to capture their unique experience, “tasting” and sharing it with customers who may not be able to visit the shop in person, something more prevalent during the current COVID-19 crisis than ever. As most UK shop owners avoid selling on billion pound platforms the Down Your High St catalogue of products became quite unique.
The duo then worked through establishing all of the typical channels to be expected to increase visitors: PPC, SEO, paid social and direct marketing.
An affiliate programme was then selected by the team to help Down Your High St reach a wider range of audiences, build brand awareness and drive up sales.
“Awin has always been on our radar as the network within the channel we wanted to try. The new Awin Access package that can be self-run helped us to get set up with minimal cost and the programme started to build traction at a good pace.”
“We regularly invest in UX changes which has doubled the websites conversion rate in the last six months. Affiliate marketing has always been a huge part of our e-commerce strategy and these investments into growing our conversion rate obviously increase the conversion rate of our affiliates which we aim to double again in the next 12 months as well as the number of our products.”
What was the team's experience of launching the programme on Awin?
“Everything has been simple, the onboarding process took our developer no time at all despite having to take steps on a self-managed basis. The Awin platform as a whole is user friendly which is a plus for anyone starting a new programme. Being able to communicate with affiliates and find new affiliates and opportunities is a great benefit too.”
How long do you spend administering your programme each week? What are the typical flow of tasks you complete?
“We spend a great deal of time looking at recruitment, building new affiliate relationships and booking in exposure. With the top performing affiliates we book in activity on a quarterly basis, which we are then constantly building out as new affiliates come on board.”
What advice would you give to a start-up or small business embarking on their first affiliate programme?
“Be open to new opportunities on your programme. We have seen great growth in recent months due to the fact that we are constantly seeking out new partnerships. Communication is also key – ensure you are regularly using the tools within the platform to do so, as this will keep your affiliates engaged in the brand and ensure they are promoting the latest you have to offer.”
Why should publishers join your programme?
"Down Your High Street brings the High Street to consumers online. We offer thousands of unique products from hundreds of independent retailers that you won’t find together anywhere else, becoming the number one shopping destination for anyone who wants to shop the UK High Street."
Michelle O’Sullivan, Business Development Director (UK) comments:
“This programme sums up what we are trying to achieve with the recent introduction of Awin Access for small businesses and start-ups. The goal was always to support grass roots business and eCommerce in the UK, and this proposition embracing affiliate marketing to help high street businesses maintain revenue and expand their customer reach shows we are realising that ambition.
The Down Your High St programme accounts for 26% of the businesses total monthly sales and is their highest converting channel, on average achieving just shy of 3% click to purchase. I look forward to watching them go from strength to strength.”
Publishers interested in promoting this programme can sign up here.
If you are a retailer looking to follow in the successful footsteps of Down Your High St, please contact the team here