Editor’s Note: We’re back with more coverage from the Affiliate Management Days conference. If your business offers an affiliate program, this article covers some of the latest trends in affiliate sales. More coverage of #AMDays.
This is a live blogging recap of the session “Trends & Innovations in Affiliate Marketplace.” Below is coverage from the session featuring speaker Ali Pasha (pictured left), Product Manager for Google Affiliate Network.
Ali personally believes that 80% of his time needs to be focused on future based innovation . . . what’s the next big thing? Ali believes the three big buckets are Social, Mobile, and Commerce.
Ali pointed out the multiplication factor of Social and how affiliate’s now have offers passed through social media on a tremendous scale. He points out that celebrities currently have a scale and reach we haven’t seen previously.
He posed this question:
“If you have a huge reach, why wouldn’t you become an affiliate?”
As such, the affiliate space has grown from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of publishers virtually overnight. How do we manage that approval process? Can it still be manual? Is it automatic?
Ali believes the 3 key steps immediately for brands looking at this are:
- Create a social presence
- Offer your followers incentives
- Engage your partners who are already building social
It’s a function issue and a competitive issue. Google shows a statistically significant lift in coversion rates on mobile devices if that user is given a custom mobile experience. Secondly, if your company isn’t moving in this direction, your competitors likely are. Google also works with some specific affiliates that are actively seeking merchants with dedicated, trackable mobile sales capability. (Visit the Google site on tactics for going mobile.) Added that creating a complimentary offline experience and coupon experience, both that support proper affiliate tracking.
The success of coupon affiliates is undeniable and popular coupon related affiliates are becoming well branded. They are exerting more and more influence over the online shopping experience. End users hold the belief that coupon sites (affiliates) are likely to run better offers than the merchant themselves and shoppers that visit coupon sites are likely to spend more online.
Understanding the Channel in it’s Entirety
Ali offered that Google has started to look past the “end of funnel” component that affiliates bring in closing sales and have started looking at ways that affiliates influence the sales process.
This is exciting for analytics folks, but exciting for affiliates as well.