A well-run affiliate campaign can account for as many as one in three of an advertiser’s sales and with marketing spend on the channel approaching £2bn in the UK, the industry is in rude health.
As British retailers look for continued online growth, so many are looking overseas for ongoing expansion taking advantage of the demand for UK goods and services. 2017 presents a combination of unique challenges that could mean foreign demand takes on a heightened importance. The devaluation of the pound has made British products more attractive to overseas buyers, and with concern about whether rising prices may hit domestic consumer spending, markets outside of the UK look increasingly attractive.
Affiliate marketing can be one obvious route to market for brands looking to tap into these latent markets. Here, in a nutshell, are five reasons why.
1. Affiliate marketing has no borders.
One of the significant benefits to retailers located in just one market is the ability to attract affiliates from all over the world. In 2016, affiliates on our UK network applied from more than 160 countries in order to promote British brands running affiliate programmes. Some of these are tapping into ex-pat communities now settled in other countries. Others will be looking at international expansion as a way of growing their own footprint as well as exporting certain affiliate models that may be underdeveloped or non-existent in other countries.
2. There is a significant demand for UK products.
The UK remains one of the most successful e-commerce nations. By taking the best of US tech and combining it with the logistic advantages of a country roughly the same size as Florida, Britain’s fiercely competitive retail sector boasts the biggest e-commerce trade surplus of any nation. This means it’s much easier to get overseas eyeballs in front of British products and affiliates have a natural audience to facilitate that.
3. Affiliate models are becoming increasingly universal.
Many affiliate markets have evolved at different rates that roughly mirror the e-commerce maturity of those countries. Increasingly universal affiliate models are being adopted and these are helping to drive consumers to buy online. Voucher, or coupon, sites for example are now universally understood and have witnessed exponential growth. This has helped formalise working practices and increase consumer awareness. It also means that established markets like the UK can export their current thinking.
4. Local retail events are becoming more widely adopted.
On Black Friday 2016, the first few hours of the day witnessed almost 15% of retailers’ sales on the network originating from China. Many consumers were buying health and beauty items, boosted by the double whammy of a devaluating pound and Black Friday discounting. An increasing awareness of retail events such as Black Friday and Singles’ Day is driving general awareness on certain days of the years that there are deals to be had. Affiliates in turn are looking to offer the best deals to their audiences, wherever they are in the world.
5. Because affiliates offer an easy route to market.
For anyone with a blog, web presence or access to an engaged audience, affiliate marketing has always been an obvious monetisation option. With network and technology platforms offering availability to retail brands in dozens of countries, there will always be the opportunity to partner with an unexplored niche or capitalise on an unexpected demand. Whether it’s Japanese cycling enthusiasts or Scandinavian beauty bloggers, some British brands are seeing their products being reviewed and promoted on affiliate sites across the world. For those offering compelling delivery options, competitive prices and excellent customer services, the opportunity is obvious.
Kevin Edwards, Global Client Strategy Director, Awin
Tel: +44 (0) 844 557 9240