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Meli Melo Case Study


Founded in 2005, Meli Melo is a British luxury handbag and accessories brand. Meticulously crafted in Italian leathers which are renowned for their distinctive shapes and impeccable construction.

Due to an increasingly competitive market, Meli Melo’s growth had started to decline after five years of 100% growth year-on-year. The brand was being challenged by its resellers who were able to undercut them on price. Furthermore, Meli Melo’s marketing was managed by various providers working in silos and with limited client input. This approach led to a disconnect of strategies which had impacted performance.

With a need to be smarter with marketing budget, Meli Melo looked to Rakuten Marketing to develop an integrated and agile marketing strategy across affiliate, display and search, with the aim to maximise digital investment and drive incremental revenue.


Meli Melo needed to achieve 20% growth YoY in sales while maintaining a healthy return on ad spend (ROAS) without eroding margins. As a luxury brand, Meli Melo also needed to retain exclusivity and brand equity, and ensure growth was driven without relying on sales and discounts.


Rakuten Marketing began by auditing Meli Melo’s existing marketing strategies which uncovered several areas which were driving inefficiencies and preventing Meli Melo from reaching the new audiences needed to support growth. Therefore, multiple changes were introduced to reach the outlined objectives:

  1. The number of geographical markets in which marketing campaigns were being run was refined. This allowed Rakuten Marketing to focus on the US and UK markets where brand awareness was higher, presenting a larger opportunity for growth than other markets.
  1. A full-funnel, multichannel strategy was designed to acquire new customers at scale through a combination of prospecting, partner optimisation and retargeting. With a more concise geographical strategy, the budget was less diluted, which meant more investment could be made into key tactics.
  2. Meli Melo’s search activity became less reliant on branded terms, which were limiting and saturating the brand’s growth. New forms of targeting were assessed for their ability to drive new users and customers with continuous optimisation.
  3. All activity was aligned with Meli Melo’s promotional calendar, which was extended to incorporate promotions for additional global events such as Singles’ Day and Labor Day as well as traditional sales events such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
  1. All activity was delivered through a single team at Rakuten Marketing. By aligning performance marketing channels towards the same goal and budget, channels supported each other to amplify Meli Melo’s investment. Messaging and promotions were consistent and communications centralized to deliver a more efficient way of working.


Thanks to this integrated approach, Meli Melo’s performance and growth continue to soar, delivering results and significant changes for the business:

  • Top-line revenue for Q4 increased by +34% YoY (exceeding the 20% growth target)
  • Rakuten Marketing’s revenue share of voice grew to 69%, +176% YoY
  • Refining Meli Melo’s geographical markets saw visits reduce by 190K (-13% YoY) with no impact on conversion rate which was 0.6% +75% YoY indicating more efficient use of budget and reduction in wasted spend
  • Larger margin retained with more sophisticated promotional periods and only a minor reduction in AOV at £335 -9% YoY
  • A ROAS of £8 for every marketing pound spent with Rakuten Marketing during Q4 2018


“We partnered with Rakuten Marketing at a crucial time for our brand when our ecommerce revenues were falling. We were losing confidence in our marketing spend and Rakuten Marketing quickly turned this around and gave me the confidence to increase our investment. We have always been a very ROI focused business and this integrated marketing strategy has exceeded my expectations, delivering a unified approach to performance marketing which was the absolute goal I had in mind.”

Doug Ker, CEO of Meli Melo