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The Cambridge Satchel Company

Iconic British brand reaches Chinese Shoppers with multi-channel strategy


The Cambridge Satchel Company was founded in 2008 on a £600 budget. The brand is now a fast growing business, selling quintessentially British handbags and accessories to over 120 countries online and in its UK-based stores.

2014 proved to be a pivotal year for The Cambridge Satchel Company’s international expansion, as its products began selling on China’s largest online marketplace, TMall. The nation’s growing desire for luxury British produce was the perfect reason to expand amongst this demographic, and the adoption of a multi-channel digital strategy made it feasible.


Given the popularity of the products in China, The Cambridge Satchel Company wanted to embrace the nation’s largest consumer holiday, Singles Day. This shopping holiday has surpassed Black Friday in terms of global commercial revenue, illustrating the buying power of Chinese consumers.

The Cambridge Satchel Company wanted to execute a multi-channel Single’s Day campaign, as a way of tapping into the Chinese demographic and tasked Rakuten Marketing with the following:

  • Raise brand awareness through promoting bespoke Single’s Day campaign
  • Acquire new customers and drive incremental revenue
  • Target Chinese speaking demographic in the UK and US who have not previously visited the brand’s website
  • Develop partnerships with top Chinese influencers


  • Rakuten Affiliate Network and Rakuten Display worked with The Cambridge Satchel Company to execute a Single’s Day marketing campaign to reach Chinese customers across the UK and US
  • Key to success depended on partnering with the right affiliates and targeting the right websites that hold a sterling reputation amongst Chinese shoppers
  • Planned multi-channel activity over a 2 week period, in line with the shopping event
  • Partnered with Red Scarf, UK lifestyle site written in Chinese, and Dealmoon, the largest Chinese-American Shopping site with over 18m monthly visitors
  • Created a bespoke offer across marketing channels through the premium publisher sites to promote handbags in “Chinese red”, proven very popular amongst Chinese consumers
  • Complimented the Affiliate strategy by overlaying a range of Display Prospecting Solutions. Rakuten Display employed audience-based targeting to drill down into the Chinese speaking demographic, contextual targeting of Chinese content sites and geographic regional targeting to identify key consumer groups
  • Premium Chinese content sites like Red Scarf were targeted, promoting the same banners as Affiliate to create a seamless and tailored brand experience across digital touchpoints



  • £3:1 ROI
  • 20% increase in visitors to site, with 7.14 conversion rate


  • +525% sales and +200% traffic growth in November 2015 (YoY)

 “By combining Rakuten Marketing’s Display and Affiliate marketing channels we were able to effectively build upon our Chinese customer base, acquiring customers and generating brand awareness for The Cambridge Satchel Company across digital touchpoints and at scale to deliver a strong return on investment.” Amy Montague, Global Ecommerce Manager, The Cambridge Satchel Company