How affiliate marketers fared during the 2016 holiday shopping season

Lisa Strickland
Lisa Strickland
January 16, 2017

Affiliate marketers enjoyed a prosperous sales extravaganza from Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday of 2016. For instance, OneClickRetail reports that third-party sellers on Amazon experienced strong year over year growth of 40%.

This, of course, was to be expected considering the significant uptick in the number of retailers using affiliate marketers as an additional distribution channel for their products. reports: “The market for Affiliate Marketing is booming. It has become mainstream in the last couple of years as more and more retailers are using the channel for customer acquisition … E-commerce firms have also variously claimed that between 12% and 20% of their total business comes from affiliate marketers and that it works better than ATL advertising for them. Consumers are too warming up to the idea of discount coupons and cash back when they shop online.”

Overall for the weekend beginning on Thanksgiving and ending on Cyber Monday, third-party sellers accounted for 78 percent of the promotions on Amazon, which goes a long way toward explaining the 40 percent growth in third-party sales achieved in 2016.

Mobile Shapes the Sales Numbers for Affiliate Marketers

Mobile devices played a huge part in racking up overall sales for affiliate marketers during the holidays. AvantLink, an affiliate marketing network for over 500 retailers, reports that on Black Friday, 31.6 percent of all sales running through its network originated on mobile devices. On Cyber Monday, 28.4 percent of sales going through the AvantLink network were completed on mobile devices.

With affiliate marketers becoming more and more proficient at mobile marketing, the numbers of mobile users making purchases through affiliates is likely to continue to trend upward in the coming year.


New Customer Acquisition and Average Order Value Inch Upward

In addition to mobile devices taking a larger role, affiliate marketers also experienced a rise in the percentage of new customers this holiday season. Of all the transactions handled by AvantLink on Black Friday, 45.7% represented a consumer’s first affiliate purchase. This number is statistically significant, as last year’s new customer percentage was only 40.6%.

Also encouraging is the fact that the average order value increased for at least part of this holiday season. While the average order value in 2015 on Black Friday was $141.61, 2016 Black Friday numbers stand at $152.86 per order. The same did not occur on Cyber Monday, however, as the average order value for that day decreased by 7.7 percent from last year’s figures.

Click rates increased across the board, which may be attributed to a growing comfort level with mobile shopping, a willingness on the part of consumers to do online research before purchasing a product either online or in-store, and the huge push of affiliate marketing promotions during the holiday weekend.


The Takeaway

All in all, affiliate marketers fared well this holiday season. However, 2017 may prove to be an even better year for affiliate marketers who take note of lessons the season teaches. What lessons?

Affiliate marketing success comes from having a strong mobile marketing strategy, running the right promotions at the right times, and working to retain the new customers acquired over the recent holiday by building a strong relationship all year long.

As you employ these strategies in 2017, don’t forget to ensure smooth payment processing for your mobile consumers. Check out Payoneer’s global payment solutions for affiliate marketers today!

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