Affiliate Marketing: Key to Ecommerce Revenue Growth

March 15th, 2018

Affiliate marketing was once considered a tool for driving consumers to the actual sales event, but today it is becoming more than clear that it is also a powerful channel for consumer discovery which leads to incremental sales and improved brand engagement as well as impressive returns on investments (ROI). This is why it is safe to say that affiliate marketing is key to e-commerce development and revenue growth.


E commerce – Search Engines, SERP Injection


Surveys made by Rakuten Affiliate Network have shown that almost 90% of all advertisers asked considered affiliate programs either important or very important for the overall marketing strategy. The majority asked claimed that affiliate marketing partnership brought over 20% of their annual revenue.

Forecasts show that the annual growth of the US affiliate marketing spending is expected to increase by more than 10% from 2015 to 2020 and reach the $6.8 billion mark.

Online businesses and marketers use various affiliate programs at any given stage of the customer journey, including an average of 83% for targeted customers in the initial discovery and awareness stage, 79% during the conversion stage and another 79% during the ongoing stage for creating and keeping customer engagement.

Expected developments in affiliate marketing for 2018

Given the fact that affiliate marketing has been a thing ever since the first days of doing business on the internet, it is only natural that it will also be prone to developments and changes with the evolution of technology and the boost of e-commerce in the past few years. Here is what to expect from affiliate marketing in 2018 if it wants to meet the latest customer expectations, the various challenges and different opportunities and trends:

  1. The further development and growth of AR and video content

Humans are naturally more attracted and responsive to visual stimulus and content, which is why the Internet has been developing in this direction as well. Video has already become the most predominant and preferred type of online content including for online business. About 85% of the online marketers use videos, and this use is especially essential for affiliate marketing where if you don’t use video content you are most likely losing a massive chance to engage more visitors and videos. Videos are easier to watch than reading through content which is why users tend to prefer them.

Augmented reality is also becoming a “thing” in the latest years. Now that AR technology and software is much more accessible and affordable than it was when it first got introduced, there is no doubt that it will become a commonly used tool for affiliate marketing for e-commerce pretty soon as well.

  1. Growth and development of EPC-based payments

The earnings per click (EPC) model for affiliate payment is already widely used, but expectations are that it will grow even further in 2018 due to the fact that it provides in-depth and useful insight about both advertisers and affiliates.

  1. A number of affiliate networks will pre-orient themselves or disappear in 2018

This is because the number of these networks are constantly growing and a huge surge from the Chinese networks is overcoming the industry which means bigger competition and possible disruptions.

  1. Affiliate marketing will grow with the boost of e-commerce

The greater the boost in e-commerce sales, the higher the participation of affiliate marketing as advertising will be.

  1. Increasing popularity of voice searches

Voice assistants are becoming ever so popular, which means that experts in the affiliate marketing business need to quickly take advantage of this fact and to work on adapting their programs to more natural speech patterns and keywords.

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