Last year the affiliate marketing industry celebrated its 20th birthday. With the 21st year of the affiliate industry well underway, quite a lot has changed since the days of PC Flowers & Gifts. Given this nature of change, affiliate marketers are continually looking to gauge which current or future trends will carry the most weight in their affiliate campaigns
While these trends can bounce one way or another, one thing remains constant. Affiliates are always looking to get on board with an innovative publisher or earth-shattering product. But, as we all know, these instances are generally few and far between. Innovation generally occurs on the granular level with gradual recapitulations of previously proven strategies.
Having said that, the following trends are ones that look to build upon these tried and true foundations of affiliate marketing while still delivering a level of innovation that separates them from those of years past.
Increased Opportunities in Mobile
For the first time, 2014 saw mobile commerce outperform traditional ecommerce. This spike in mobile traffic is of course going nowhere and 2015 is projected to be another first as industry experts say overall mobile traffic will surpass that of desktop.
In the last year, ClickBank has seen a 33% increase in overall mobile purchases with nearly 25% of all sales made occurring on a mobile platform. Furthermore, mobile accounted for 30% of all open rates in our email communication. Due to this, it’s becoming increasingly necessary for all affiliate programs to have a strong inventory of mobile creative for affiliate marketers to leverage.
In addition, mobile optimized websites are also of the utmost importance. In a study conducts by Hubspot results showed that over 70% of users who experienced a poor mobile experience failed to complete their purchase.
Proving Affiliate Worth Through Hard Data
As affiliate platforms become more sophisticated, greater data is being pulled to show the value added by key affiliates. Armed with this data, affiliate programs are free to augment their current campaigns to provide more worth to the overall affiliate population. In the same fashion, this data can also bring to light affiliates who are underperforming.
Carefully understanding how your affiliates perform can be instrumental when looking to launch a new product or program. Properly optimized data can show that perhaps affiliate X and Y have had great success in a certain niche or targeting a specific demographic. While volume is great, value can be even greater.
International Affiliate Programs
Many big name retailers with popular affiliate programs are already getting on board with their international affiliate programs. Companies like Retailmenot and ShopStyle have gained quite a bit of traction in their international efforts.
With $1.5 trillion dollars projected for 2015, the global e-commerce scene is ripe for the picking. Programs that are looking to break borders should be aware of certain differences in the global market.
- Unlike Europe who’s affiliate programs differ form country to country, affiliate programs in the US cover a much larger geographical area
- Establishing brand awareness outside of your country can also be a challenging hurdle to overcome, local practices and customs can add to this complexity
- Compliance and standards can also add to the difficulty of branching out overseas, especially in European countries where the IAB has set the industry standards