Ecommerce and Affiliate Marketing

Aug. 15, 2013 | by Kunal Patel

Affiliate Marketing, or Performance Marketing as it is more frequently referred to, is going through a very exciting phase of growth and maturity as the downturn in the economy has prompted clients to allocate their budget spend on reduced risk activity for assured return on investment.

Where there has been the most improvement is in the maturity of the channel in terms of regulation and best practice.

The IAB has played a key role in raising the profile of the affiliate industry, having recently published their revised Voucher Code of Conduct guidelines, designed to help both the businesses that work with the model, as well as the end consumer.

One of the most exciting developments within the affiliate channel has been its move to incorporate other channels into its model and provide clients faster and more cost effective access to areas such as social and mobile than they would have otherwise experienced.

Its ability to adapt and innovate has meant that the affiliate channel has seen a plethora of new mobile apps and optimised sites for customers to access thousands of brands through.  This is sometimes hindered when a brand does not have a mobile optimised site, as it breaks the consumer journey – however, there has been a marked improvement in the number of brands optimising their sites and adding mobile tracking to measure the performance of their mobile channel.

If you want to succeed in affiliate marketing or mobile then you must keep the following in mind:

  • Know your audience – Be very clear on who  you are trying to reach with your products and services
  • Consistency – ensure that consumers see you the same way regardless of the channel they use, whether they visit your site through mobile, tablet or desktop. The experience should be the same, enhancing your brand reputation over time.
  • Track Everything – Make sure you use tracking methods to monitor a consumer’s journey across all sites, whether mobile, affiliate campaigns or offline activity. This will help you decide where to spend your marketing budget for best results.
  • Transparency – This is something the affiliate channel is renowned for. By adopting this, you ensure your brand is protected from controversy and that you are spending money wisely. Consumers should also have transparency on what they are getting and for how much as any ‘hidden costs’ can be detrimental to your business in the long run.

Remember, consumers are much more digital savvy today. As an ecommerce site, you need to be honest with your customers because it won’t take them very long to find you out and, possibly, desert you. A short-term gain in return for long-term losses is definitely not best practice.

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    Please note: the opinions expressed in this post represent the views of the individual, not necessarily those of iCrossing.

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