With the goal of bringing the best Japanese products to Chinese consumers, Rakuten launched a beta version of a new online marketplace on JD Worldwide this month. Plans are underway to expand the merchandise range over time, with an initial focus on categories such as cosmetics, snacks and health food products.
When the parent company of an affiliate network also buys one of the largest affiliates in the space, it raises a lot of red flags and also leads to an important question: Is an affiliate program and its data the property of the retailer, the affiliate and/or the network, and who can it be shared with?
Answering that question requires creating more transparency in the affiliate industry. For many retailers that means transitioning from Generation 1 to Generation 2 affiliate programs and ensuring that, first and foremost, their best interests are being represented.