Can You Really Make Affiliate Marketing Work For You? YES.
Building a network of affiliates can be a smart way to attract and engage new customers. Unfortunately, consumer behavior changes so quickly, it can be challenging for these publishing networks to deliver on their promise. What’s more, affiliates have suffered from common misperceptions over the years—namely, that affiliate sales offer lower Average Order Values (AOVs), and that they highjack sales from other channels. This couldn’t be farther from the truth.
To be successful in today’s online retail environment, marketers need to expand their brand’s reach while driving transactions across a full range of mediums—online, offline, mobile, and through multi-channel applications. U.S. consumers now spend more than half of their time on retailers' websites using smartphones and tablets. By 2018, purchases on tablets and mobile phones will account for more than a quarter of all online sales. The big question on all our minds is: How can we convert these mobile browsers to purchasers?
Thankfully, affiliate marketers are aware of the changing nature of ecommerce, and are quickly adapting to today’s omnichannel world. While they aren’t always converting at the mobile level, they most certainly influence a great deal of consumer behavior. Consider the numbers: When affiliates are positioned as “influencers” at the top of the booking funnel, AOV can jump as much as 21 percent over the site average. Plus, affiliates are versatile—they work with other channels prior to conversion 81 percent of the time. So it’s clear that affiliates do have a role in the research process—nearly half of all people who close via an affiliate become steady customers.
That’s the good news.
The challenge is that there are a lot of players in the space.
At eBay Enterprise, our philosophy is to activate only those publishers who are best suited to help sales. We connect brands with their partners, and also keep an eye out for new affiliates and innovations. That way, the brand is always connecting with the partner who is in the best position to affect its bottom line.
Working with a fashion brand, our approach helped spark a 98% YOY increase in gross sales alongside a 100% increase in orders and a 700% return on investment. Plus, we helped the brand make more informed decisions and deliver a more engaging customer experience.
With these numbers in mind, isn’t it time you made affiliates a part of your marketing strategy?