Is the affiliate marketing industry growing?

Affiliate marketing will continue to grow. More people than ever are buying online and brands are increasingly turning to affiliate networks to sell their products. Get personalized training or report creation services See all the data sources that Supermetrics integrates with. If you're not sure which product or plan to choose, we can help.

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Take your marketing analysis to the next level with our live sessions and on-demand webinars. Check out our open positions and apply today. Advertisers or merchants who manage affiliate programs or have joined affiliate networks can leverage affiliate content to increase brand awareness, encourage customer engagement, and drive more purchases. And all this without the usual cost of customer acquisition.

According to a Forrester report commissioned by Rakuten, 81% of advertisers and 84% of publishers use affiliate marketing. And more than half of the affiliate publishers surveyed in the same report stated that affiliate marketing accounted for more than 20% of their annual revenues. This illustrates how the affiliate channel has gone from being an industry dominated by coupons to a serious marketing channel. It is now used by major advertisers looking to accelerate their growth.

More than 80% of them also dedicate more than 10% of their marketing budgets to affiliate programs. In the graph above, we see the global interest in searches over the past 5 years. The numbers represent search interest relative to the highest point, with 100 being the peak popularity of this query. This trend is in line with the general increase in online shopping and the decline in physical retail.

And it's only exacerbated by the current pandemic. As people spend more time online, they start looking for alternative sources of income. That has given rise to this search trend. Many small businesses lack the financial resources to invest in online marketing effectively.

That's why the performance model that affiliate marketing provides is an invaluable tool for boosting both brand awareness and real sales. And there's nothing stopping larger companies from using it as well. Thanks to the low barrier to entry, thousands of small and medium businesses and large companies rely on affiliate marketing as an additional traffic and sales channel. But there would be no traffic or sales possible without a large network of affiliate partners.

Quick research on affiliate networks shows that the largest affiliate networks have at least 100,000 active affiliates. Other membership activities included, for example, visiting coupon code and loyalty websites or consulting expert websites and independent blogs. A Kenshoo research article reports that 85% of online shoppers turn to Google for ideas and information before making a purchase. This makes visibility in search results crucial for affiliate marketers.

Especially when you consider that these users already have a high intention to buy. Seasonality plays a role in all verticals. While it has a minor impact on sales in the B2B and SaaS industries, the holiday seasons always add some fluctuation. Revenues in the affiliate marketing industry as a whole are still largely driven by consumer goods.

And they are known to be more susceptible to seasonal fluctuations in demand. While they may be a bit out of date, data from AffStat's annual affiliate marketing reference report reveals that an overwhelming majority of affiliate marketers promote B2C offers. In fact, 81.4% of them work with affiliate programs that operate in the B2C sector. The remaining 18.6% focus their efforts on B2B products and services.

Of course, there is also some overlap. The top 3 traffic sources for these affiliate product categories include SEO (69%), social media (67%), and blogs (64%). SEO and blogs are obviously intertwined. But it's interesting that email marketing only ranks fourth (41%) in the survey.

Another sign of the transition from coupon-focused affiliate marketing to a more serious marketing channel is the increase in the share of commissions earned by affiliate content marketers. According to the Awin report, content websites and bloggers earned nearly 40% of publishing fees in the U.S. UU. This is part of the growing diversification of affiliate channels.

Since affiliates focus on optimization, it's no surprise that they prefer to maximize their opportunities to work with merchants. According to the Forrester report, 71% of the United States,. Affiliate publishers belong to 3 or more affiliate networks. Only 6% work only with an affiliate network.

Similarly, AffStat reported that 42% of affiliates belong to between 1 and 10 affiliate programs. However, it's worth noting that Groupon and other coupon websites have recently experienced a decline in revenue. The coupon model is reducing markers' margins. And that leads to a lower quality customer base and also to lower commission amounts for affiliates.

It is also vulnerable to changes in the economic cycle, such as those we witnessed during the pandemic. What's especially relevant for content-focused affiliate marketers is that organic search is the channel that offers the most traffic to websites. According to BrightEdge, organic search has an average traffic share of 53% in all sectors, while paid search accounts for 15%. And technology and B2B companies generate more than half of their revenues from organic search.

So, while ranking for the right keywords in organic search is very competitive, it's still a good channel for anyone willing to continually strive to publish optimized content. Choosing the right products first and knowing how to improve your ranking ability helps if you're planning to generate affiliate sales through organic traffic. In their affiliate marketing study, IAB UK, together with PwC, reported that mobile affiliate spending grew by 49% year-on-year. This is a good trend for affiliates who focus on mobile traffic.

When choosing which affiliate program to join, it might be worth checking how much of the merchant's total traffic comes from mobile devices. That is, if you are generating mobile traffic with your promotions. A merchant whose website only generates desktop traffic wouldn't be an ideal option in that case. You can see the mobile traffic share of any website in SEO tools like Semrush.

You may also have found some surveys in affiliate marketing forums where affiliates were asked about their annual income. However, these samples are usually not large enough to make reliable estimates. In addition, many affiliates use affiliate marketing as an additional source of income and devote only minimal effort to the channel. Some focus on a single affiliate program, while others promote multiple affiliate products through different programs and networks.

If we only look at affiliate sales data, it doesn't make much sense to calculate the average commission amount. The range is simply too wide. And it also matters if they are recurring or one-time fees. Thanks to the subscription-based pricing model in SaaS companies, for example, most affiliate commissions are recurring, adding to the cumulative earnings of affiliates.

Earn 20% recurring commissions on every subscription sale you offer us. Johannes, partner marketing manager at Supermetrics, is focused on expanding the Supermetrics partner program and collaborating with its current partners. It also works with SEO and content on a regular basis. Don't hesitate to contact him on LinkedIn.

Get full access to Supermetrics with a 14-day free trial. Start your free trial See pricing Supermetrics for Google AlloyDB Supermetrics for Azure SQL Database Supermetrics for Google Cloud Storage. The FTC reports that a group of affiliate marketers who lured consumers to a business and investment counseling plan known as My Online Business Education (MOBE) had to pay millions of dollars in assets to settle the Federal Trade Commission charges. By contrast, 3% of advertisers and 3% of publishers say they have no plans to include affiliate marketing in their strategy in the near future.

A survey conducted by Forrester on behalf of Rakuten Marketing reveals that 94% of publishers use two or more affiliate programs. However, the same source is quick to point out that 64% of publishers say they haven't been able to meet their affiliate marketing revenue goals. For example, influencers who have already created a sizeable audience are much more likely to make a lot of money from affiliate marketing than people without names who try to create a site from scratch. Previously, Amazon filed five lawsuits against fraudulent affiliate marketing schemes and won several court orders to stop them.

Affiliate marketing only lags behind Google AdSense when it comes to generating revenue for publishers. If you're wondering how to start your affiliate marketing journey, make sure you subscribe to more than one network. The importance of search engines for affiliate marketers has grown rapidly over the past five years, as searches on the topic have doubled. Effectively, e-commerce affiliate marketing occurs when an online merchant promotes another company's products, services, or websites in their e-commerce store.

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