This guest column is authored by Rohan Bhargava, Co-Founder, Cashkaro.com
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. The continuous reliability on the channel is also a validation that marketers are increasingly focusing on profitability and are looking for performance driven platforms that give them increased ROI. 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 cashback when they shop online.
Now as we set foot in the New Year, here are some predictions for Affiliate Marketing in 2017.
- Effects of Demonetization: The cash crunch created by demonetization definitely has a role to play in how the Affiliate Marketing industry will pan out in 2017. A lot of e-commerce companies will look for performance based models which allow them to pay according to sales driven to their platform. The announcement has brought a lot of value consciousness amongst shoppers. Affiliate sites add to their savings through deals and coupons, making them an attractive option while shopping online.
- Cross-Device Tracking becomes integral: The growth of transactions via mobile platforms has been constant and is not slowing down any time soon. Retailers too offer higher commissions to promote their mobile app. Keeping this in mind, it becomes important for affiliates to set up cross-device tracking technologies. For this to happen, it is imperative that retailers enable mobile app sales attribution which currently has been enabled by a few e-commerce websites only. Flipkart, Snapdeal, Shopclues are among the key retailers who are able to do sale attribution for transactions happening on their mobile app. We expect a lot more retailers to enable the same this year. The absence of mobile app attribution today leads to missed revenue and puts affiliates at a disadvantage.
- Content Reign Continues: As it has been for a long time now, in 2017 as well, content will remain the king. Quality content leads to credibility, better SEO, highlights a brand and also gives insights into the products being sold. Whether it is engaging content to drive traffic or product based content to drive sales, the need for high quality content will soar in the coming year as well.
- Influencer marketing will see an uptick: It looks like influencer marketing will be a big player this year. While discount/promo will continue to form the core revenue streams for merchant affiliate programs, stronger and more numerous relationships between content creators and merchants will help to build brands and diversify revenue streams. We will also see more and more bloggers-turning-affiliate marketers as their subscribers/ followers go by their content thus generating revenues for them.
- Refer-A-Friend Gains Momentum: Affiliate companies can be expected to focus on the ‘Refer-A-Friend’ model which will not only help them tap into a larger customer base but also reduce cost per acquisition. With shareable referral links and strong social media connections that users have, this model can become much more lucrative than traditional methods. When this is clubbed with perks such as lifetime referral rewards, the method is bound to create some loyal customers.
- Boom in Cashback and coupons: Indians are programmed in such a way that they’re always up for a good bargain. So much so, that the cashback and coupons based affiliate businesses can never become obsolete. The amount of savings that a user can make through each transaction alone will keep them coming back to such affiliate websites. In 2017 as well, coupons and cash back websites will see a great surge in sales just because they help users get a great deal every time they shop online.
These are few exciting things that we can expect 2017 to bring with it. Here’s hoping for a happy and productive year for affiliates everywhere!