Last week came the news that the owner’s (Rakuten) of one of the world’s largest couponing networks, Linkshare, acquired one of the largest couponing feeds, Popshops.

Popshops was founded in 2006 and provides product and coupon feeds to over 25,000 publishers world wide. How is their purchase by Rakuten impactful in Canada and within the Couponing industry?

Thousands of Canadian publishers rely on Affiliate networks like Linkshare, Commission Junction, ShareAsale or Avantlink to obtain retail coupons that they can then promote on their sites to consumers. However, the process of working with multiple affiliate networks and integrating all their feeds into a site is tedious and not efficient. Instead, Popshops created a coupon feed engine where they become the supplier of coupon feeds from several of the top Affiliate networks. Publishers now simply need to register with Popshops and enter their affiliate network credentials and start highlighting which stores they wish to receive coupons from (if available). Popshops then automatically grabs available coupon feeds from all affiliate networks they work with, thus significantly reducing the amount of time a publisher needs to invest in obtaining coupons from thousands of online stores.

The acquisition of Popshops by Rakuten means that Linkshare (owned by Rakuten) will be an Affiliate network of choice for Popshop publishers. Coupon integration and services will mostly likely be far better with Linkshare than any other Affiliate network. The acquisition makes a lot of sense for Rakuten.

What about Canadian publishers, online stores and consumers?

Linkshare and other affiliate networks are expanding in Canada because they see growth in the amount of online stores being created in this country. There are more online stores than ever before, there are more online coupon sites than ever before and more and more consumers are being exposed to savings through the use of coupons and deals. Linkshare would like to grow its Canadian presence by attracting more and more online stores to join their marketing and affiliate network service. The acquisition of Popshops enables Linkshare to arm themselves with even more reasons for online stores and online publishers to work with them.

The full Press Release of the acquisition is found below.


Rakuten Marketing Acquires PopShops

Data Analytics Engine from Product Feed and Deals Content Aggregator Boosts Portfolio of Digital Marketing Assets

NEW YORK CITY – August 12, 2013 – Rakuten Marketing today announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire PopShops, a Seattle-based technology company that provides online advertisers and publishers with a data analytics engine for intelligent product feeds. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Founded in 2006, the PopShops platform and tools enable more than 4,000 advertisers and 25,000 publishers, including comparison shopping sites, coupon portals, blogs, and loyalty programs to access the most up-to-date product information on millions of online retail products from a single source.

PopShops, now known as Rakuten PopShops, complements Rakuten Marketing’s portfolio of digital marketing technologies and services, which include: affiliate marketing, display, lead generation, loyalty, retargeting, and search marketing.

“Having built a long-standing partnership with PopShops, we were already impressed with the quality of its analytics engine and ability to help drive online sales,” said Yaz Iida, chief executive officer, Rakuten Marketing. “Through this acquisition, we’ll continue to outpace the competition and strengthen our assets across all of the vital areas of digital marketing that will benefit from PopShops’s powerful analytics engine.”

Using PopShops, advertisers are able to increase sales by distributing the most current product information to publishers. More specifically, when consumers are shopping online, the quality of the data feed directly influences the likelihood of purchase. Inaccurate, incomplete or outdated information results in lost sales. Yet being able to provide accurate and optimized information is an extremely time consuming process. This is why leading advertisers and publishers rely on PopShops to continuously provide refreshed product, coupon and deals information.

“PopShops started with a single focus on being the top product and coupon feed platform and in just a few years, we were able to draw the attention of thousands of brand name advertisers and publishers,” said Ashish Pandey, managing director, Rakuten PopShops. “Today we celebrate the results of our efforts and look forward to our continued success as part of the global Rakuten Marketing family.”

All Rakuten PopShops employees will remain with the company at its headquarters in Seattle and report into newly appointed Rakuten PopShops President Rohinee Mohindroo.

About Rakuten Marketing Rakuten Marketing provides advertisers and marketers with expert technology and services for affiliate marketing, retargeting, display, search marketing, lead generation, and loyalty. The company is headquartered in New York City and has offices in Australia, Canada, Japan, the United Kingdom, and throughout the United States. As part of Rakuten, one of the world’s leading Internet service companies, Rakuten Marketing includes Rakuten LinkShare, the #1 ranked performance marketing network and Rakuten MediaForge, a leader in retargeting and display recognized for its pay-for-performance consumer engagement business model.

About Rakuten Rakuten, Inc. (JASDAQ: 4755), is one of the world’s leading Internet service companies, providing a variety of consumer- and business-focused services including e-commerce, e-reading, travel, banking, securities, credit card, e-money, portal and media, online marketing and professional sports. Selected by Forbes as 7th among the World’s Most Innovative Companies of 2012, Rakuten is expanding globally and currently has operations throughout Asia, Western Europe, and the Americas. Founded in 1997, Rakuten is headquartered in Tokyo, with over 10,000 employees worldwide. For more information, visit