How the affiliate marketing landscape is changing


In the world of ecommerce, technology is constantly advancing. Marketers who don’t stay current on developing technology quickly fall behind. Affiliate marketing is one area of ecommerce that has changed a lot in recent years due to advances in technology and changes in consumer behavior. Marketers bent on doing affiliate marketing the same way they always have won’t be getting the results they’re used to getting. Here are a few ways that the affiliate marketing landscape has changed and what marketers should do about it. 

Emphasis on performance

Affiliate marketing is about forming partnerships in which affiliates are paid in exchange for driving traffic to merchants. While it would seem like common sense for affiliates to be paid according to the number of leads they direct towards the merchant, many affiliate programs still operate on flat rates. As technology allows companies to do a better job of measuring success, more and more affiliate marketers are turning towards performance-based marketing. Affiliate marketing strategies such as pay-per-click or pay-per-call are becoming more popular as affiliates are only paid according to the results they produce.

Better attribution models

Along with a greater emphasis on performance, better attribution models are giving merchants a clearer picture of where their leads are coming from. With larger affiliate networks, a merchant might have dozens of different partners sending in leads. The more affiliates the harder it can be to figure out who success can be attributed to. In the past, attribution has always been a challenging aspect of affiliate marketing. Merchants couldn’t be sure how they should spend their affiliate marketing dollars. Today, merchants have an easier time determining which affiliates are producing results. If they find that 10% of their affiliates are manufacturing 90% of their leads, they know where their marketing dollars need to be spent and they know which affiliates can be cut.

Near Field Communication

Near Field Communication (NFC) is an exciting technology that is changing the way we shop. It also has interesting implications for affiliate marketing. NFC allows retailers and marketers to know when a person enters a given store. Furthermore, it allows them to know which department they are in within a store. Many retailers are teaming up with affiliates to capitalize on this technology. An affiliate might send a mobile coupon to a customer that has just entered a retail store. When that customer redeems that coupon, the retailer than pays a portion of the profit from that sale to the affiliate. Technologies like this one are bridging the gap between ecommerce and in-store experiences thus making affiliate marketing a more lucrative opportunity than ever before for both retailers and affiliates.