With the holiday shopping season coming to a close it is time for marketers to analyse the data and finish plans for 2017! As the results roll in, be sure to keep your eyes on affiliate marketing statistics and predictions.
Market researchers predicted that affiliate sales would hit $4.78 billion in 2016 (a 13.5% increase over 2015) influencing a total 14.3% of all e-commerce purchases. That puts affiliate marketing alongside both email (15.8%) and organic search (22%) for top revenue channels (eMarketer.com).
Affiliate marketing is no longer just a curious sideshow. It’s now an integral, front-and-center component of every brand’s marketing mix.
Predictions for 2017 have already begun to surface. Experts agree that the market will see better attribution modelling for cross channels, but some also suggest that the New Year will see:
- Cross-device will become the norm.
- Late adopters to prioritise Mobile compatibility.
- Continued strength in coupons, deals, cashback, and loyalty programs.
- Increased importance of leveraging relationships with content / influencer publishers.
- Cross Channel View / Attribution, with a focus on overall customer journey.
- Migration from BIG data to “Smart data”.
- Improved technology solutions for recruiting, activating, and optimizing publishers.
- Continued industry mergers and acquisitions.
There is no doubt that we will see the continued rise of influencers in 2017. eMarketer estimates that in 2016, influencer marketing revenues on Instagram alone will total more than $570 million. Pinterest also announced that affiliate links would be allowed on the plateform in 2016. That suggests this space is easily a multibillion-dollar industry right now, and it’s likely to grow.
Working with influencers is like having your own private army of brand ambassadors. According to our network data, fashion influencers increased their orders for luxury goods at a rate of 35 percent in 2016. Luxury advertisers have a lot of room for growth from these partnerships, as many shoppers use influencers to gain exposure to new products and brands.
Another critical component to influencer growth will be the ability of networks to create tools that make it easy for influencers, to create beautiful product showcases for the brands they love.
Tracking Cross Device:
Advertisers will close the loop on tracking. Cross-device tracking is no longer a nice-to-have feature, but a foundational component for analysing performance.
Additionally, the ability to track which online publishers drive consumers to convert in-store will be critical to truly measure success.
Similarly, as more brands prioritize and publishers are building dedicated mobile apps. To drive up take publishers can be incentivised to encourage app downloads and in-app purchases. Having tracking in place to capture these mobile conversions will be integral when analysing mobile app performance.
Understanding the story behind your data:
Most importantly, identifying trends in your data that tell the bigger story about your customer. If you know your customer, you should be able to use your data to reasonably predict their shopping patterns, and then play to these strengths when building your marketing calendar.
Additionally, affiliate networks will provide more opportunities for publishers to leverage data to drive conversions. Through tools and technology, publishers will have the ability to personalize the affiliate experience, using insights that will allow them to display more relevant offers to consumers.
The universal appeal for saving money:
There are some things that will always endure the test of time — that is, the popularity of coupon and deals sites, cash-back and loyalty. Consumers have been counting on discounts to save them money since 1887, when Coca-Cola invented the first coupon.
And for luxury brands — fret not. Shoppers will continue to employ loyalty and cash-back sites to help them access brands that they would not necessarily be able to.