Affiliate marketing, in which a business pays a commission referring websites that promote its products, provides retailers with a way to expand their reach using new avenues to interact with potential customers.
The affiliate marketing channel continues to gain popularity year over year. One study¹, by Forrester Consulting, predicted that affiliate marketing investment would continue to grow by 10.1% every year, reaching a total of $6.8 billion in 2020. This enormous amount refers only to online-to-online sales made through affiliate links, without accounting for online-to-offline purchases.
The same study found that 90% of advertisers rated affiliate programs as important to their overall marketing strategy, with more than 10% of total marketing budget devoted to funding affiliate programs.
While affiliate programs help marketers expand reach and drive sales at all stages of the consumer journey, there are some problems associated with managing affiliate marketing networks:
1. Finding the right affiliate.
It can be challenging to find the right affiliate to promote a specific retailer: one that has audiences that are similar to yours, but not the same; one that aligns itself with your brand messaging and values; and one that is connected to the industry without being a competitor.
2. Setting parameters.
Both the retailer and the affiliate must have a clear understanding of what specific circumstances will satisfy a commission. Additionally, the brand must ensure that the affiliate understands the messaging, values and restrictions around communications to potential customers.
3. Tracking commissions.
Attributing sales accurately to affiliates is a significant issue for retailers, particularly those wishing to track sales from digital referrals to in-store purchases. Tracking an online interaction to an online sale is one thing, but measuring online-to-offline conversion from affiliates is extraordinarily tricky without a smart offer system in place.
How to Attribute Your In-Store Sales to Your Online Affiliate Marketers
Trackable smart offers provide a solution to the challenge of accurate attribution tracking, connecting the dots between online interaction and offline purchase. A trackable smart offer is a digital coupon that incorporates unique identifiers that provide information on when and where the offer was downloaded, allowing a retailer to track an in-store sale directly to an affiliate website.
With a reliable way of associating purchases to a specific affiliate, a marketer can not only disburse commissions accurately, but they can also gain insight into the consumer path-to-purchase, and gain data to evaluate the affiliate marketing program on a group or individual affiliate level.
Retailers can have confidence in the ROI of affiliate marketing networks while growing relationships with their affiliates, empowering them to promote in-store offers and generate considerably higher commissions.
Find out how RevTrax enabled a retail marketer to drive 100% more revenue from their affiliate marketing programs in one month, resulting in $2 million of in-store sales using trackable affiliate marketing solutions. Download the success story here.
Jonathan Treiber is the CEO & Co-founder of RevTrax