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7 Growing Affiliate Marketing Trends In 2021

7 Growing Affiliate Marketing Trends In 2021

Affiliate marketing trends to watch out for as we enter the 2nd half of 2021

  • The affiliate marketing industry is expected to grow from $6.4 billion in 2019 up to $6.8 billion by 2020
  • 84% of online publishers and 81% of marketers rely on affiliate marketing to generate up to 21% of revenue
  • 16% of online shopping can be attributed directly to affiliate marketing
  • Fashion remains the most promoted category by affiliate marketers with 18.7% share
  • Awin affiliates generated over 147 million sales with the network paying out more than $700 million to affiliates.
  • 50% of affiliate referred traffic came from mobile
  • 67% of YouTube videos and 0.85% of Pinterest pins contain, at least, one affiliate link.

Many more people are interested in affiliate marketing and digital media than ever before. Except in 2014, when Google search for ‘affiliate marketing’ trended downwards, it has since hit a record high.

The growing interest in affiliate marketing does not come as a surprise as consumers go online and to trusted social networks before making purchasing decisions.

It has become both effective and profitable for affiliate marketers and companies to try to capture their attention online and recommend products and services to them.

The promise of working from home or any location for that matter, as long as one can connect to the internet, is attractive to individuals who want a lifestyle change.

When done right, one can earn a livable passive-income from affiliate marketing or even scale the business into a multi-million-dollar company by follow appropriate strategies like conversion rate.

All of these factors combine to push interest upward in affiliate marketing. With so many ways to reach potential customers, whether on mobile phones, laptop or desktop computers the possibilities are endless.

Affiliate marketing statistics 2021 – A fast-growing industry

The affiliate marketing industry is changing fast. Many companies are rolling out new affiliate offers.

And, the industry is expected to continue on its upward growth trend.

According to AM Navigator, there were 11,400 affiliate marketing programs in the US alone.

A breakdown of the numbers shows that ShareASale has 49% of the market share, making it the single largest affiliate network.

There are over 5,594 programs on the platform.

affiliate marketing

Commission Junction has 1,709 affiliate programs coming in second place, and the Rakuten affiliate network comes in at third with 1,412 programs.

Marketers on these platforms have access to a wide variety of products and services, ranging from supplements, software, exercise, and fitness programs to E-learning, cosmetics, insurance, and dog food.

The best part is, the affiliate marketing industry still has a long runway to go in terms of growth.

The industry has grown by more than 52% since 2015.

In 2019, the affiliate marketing industry was projected to hit the $6.4 billion mark and is expected to expand further to $6.8 billion by the end of 2020.

Brands are turning to affiliate marketing to shore up revenue

A 2020 industry report from Awin, show that 84% of publishers now rely on affiliate marketing to generate revenue.

With big tech companies like Facebook and Google capturing more and more of advertisers’ money – what traditionally used to be their turf – publishers and media houses have no choice but to look elsewhere to generate revenue.

affiliate rakuten

Promoting affiliate products and services gives them that opportunity.

Leveraging on their huge audience, publishers are recommending products and services to their readers.

Interestingly, it is not only publishers that are leveraging their audience.

Social media influencers are also monetizing their followership via affiliate marketing.

According to the Business Insider Intelligence report, the influencer marketing industry is on track to be worth $15 billion by 2022 up from as much as $8 billion in 2019. (source)

And, affiliates don’t necessarily have to have a large following to get a cut of the pie.

Anyone with a niche-specific, engaged audience can recommend products and services to their audience and make money off it.

16% of online purchases are attributable to affiliate marketing

16% of the total e-commerce sales worldwide can be traced to the impact of affiliate marketing.

On the surface, the number might look insignificant.

However, when you consider that the total global retail e-commerce sales in 2019 were $3.53 trillion, according to Statista, you begin to appreciate the reach and importance of affiliate marketing.

A breakdown of the niches shows fashion and clothing as the most popular category affiliates favor with an 18.7% share.

affiliate marketing statistics

Sports and outdoors category came in second with 14.6% while health/wellness niche and beauty came in third and fourth with 11.1% and 8.6%, respectively.

Is it any wonder, that 38% of marketers believe affiliate marketing is their most effective and profitable marketing channel?

Due to how effective affiliate marketing is, many companies in the US are allocating more resources to the marketing channel to increase their affiliate marketing revenue.

A 2017 Mediakit report, found that there is a 10.1% increase in affiliate marketing spending year on year.

Meaning, by 2020, affiliate spending is expected to reach $6.8 billion. (source)

Awin Affiliates generated over 147 Million Sales in 2019

Last year, affiliate marketers on the Awin network generated more than 147 million sales.

With the company distributing well over $700 million to its affiliates.

Jason Stone of Millionaire Mentor earned over $7 million in affiliate commission, making him the highest-grossing affiliate marketer in a single year.

Stone often promotes his affiliate offers on his Instagram page, which has over 4.2 million fans at the last count.

74% of customers read social media reviews before making a purchase decision

Social media is a significant channel to drive traffic and sales.

While most people’s attention is on Instagram, 40% of Twitter users say they have made a purchasing decision based on a tweet.

Influencer marketing is playing a more leading role in driving affiliate sales.

49% of people say they rely on recommendations from trusted influencers to make a purchasing decision.

It’s no wonder, nearly 75% of marketers say they have allocated more money to influencer marketing.

perpetual income

50% of affiliate-referred traffic comes from mobile

Following the general trend in internet traffic, affiliate marketers see more traffic from mobile users than any other device.

The implication is that improving the user experience for mobile users and optimizing a site to become mobile-first will significantly boost ranking and traffic to an affiliate website.

YouTube and Pinterest are also important channels for affiliate marketers

0.67% of YouTube videos contain at least one affiliate link.

On Pinterest, 0.85% of all pins are linked to an affiliate offer.

The Women’s Fashion category on Pinterest is the most popular with affiliates.

However, Hair and Beauty at 2.04%, sports at 1.63%, and Design at 1.53% attracted sizeable attention.

On YouTube, 3.6% of Science and Technology videos contain an affiliate link making it the preferred category for affiliate marketers.

Wrap up

Affiliate marketing is, no doubt, one of the most effective ways to earn passive income online. By using email marketing, native advertising and digital media to increase lead generation and ultimately paying customers.

The stats and trends show the industry is poised for more growth.

While advertisers love affiliate marketing because they only have to pay out when a prospect converts, affiliate marketers have an opportunity to earn without any caps on the amount they can make—a win-win situation for all parties.

Do you want to get started with affiliate marketing – check out our beginner’s guide – Affiliate Marketing for Beginners: 5 Steps for Success

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