Last Updated: January 5, 2023
The idea of affiliate marketing looks irresistible.
You promote products to a target audience and get a commission for every sale. It’s a win-win situation because you’re making passive income. In turn, the company, whose products you’re promoting, is generating more revenue.
While it’s not the gold mine some are presenting it to be, affiliate marketing is a booming industry with billions in revenue. And we’ve got a great set of facts and figures to prove it.
Here’s something to get things moving.
Mind-Boggling Affiliate Marketing Statistics
- Affiliate marketing will be a $6.8 billion industry by 2020.
- The аffiliate marketing industry has grown 52% for the past 5 years.
- 81% of brands have adopted affiliate marketing.
- There are 11,400 affiliate programs in the US.
- Affiliate marketing accounts for 16% of online orders.
- Affiliate marketing spending increases by 10% every year.
- 38% of marketers think affiliate marketing is a top acquisition channel.
That’s impressive for sure. It seems that businesses recognize the potential of affiliate marketing growth and the effect it has on their sales.
Industry on the Rise
After I hooked you up with some juicy stats, let’s get into more detail.
1. Affiliate marketing is set to reach $6.4 billion in turnover in 2019.
- Affiliate marketing revenues jumped 52% since 2015.
- By the end of 2020, the market will expand to $6.8 billion.
- About 25% of all affiliate spending comes from retailers.
- Affiliate marketing spending increases by 10% every year.
Year after year, affiliate marketing revenue increases. The market is now 52% bigger than it used to be just 5 years ago.
Everyone’s in on it. Most vendors have affiliate programs. Anyone can sign up for a program and sell whatever the company is producing.
About a quarter of the money in affiliate marketing comes from retailers, which makes sense. Retailers are a major spender in the marketing world, investing in anything from outdoor advertising to augmented reality marketing.
2. At the end of 2018, there were 11,400 affiliate marketing programs in the US alone.
(Source: AM Navigator)
- ShareASale is the biggest affiliate network with 5,594 programs or 49% of all affiliates.
- CJ Affiliate comes in second place with 1,709 affiliate programs.
- Japanese retail giant Rakuten’s affiliate network gets third place for hosting 1,412 programs.
These numbers are amazing! Not only do they show the scale of the affiliate marketing industry, but they point out the diversity of products.
You can sell anything through affiliates: cosmetics, supplements, insurances, software, dog food, or toothpaste.
Heck, you can even sell diamond rings! James Allen has an affiliate program that pays out a 5% commission on every sale. That may not sound like much before you realize that the average sale is worth $6500.
Have in mind that the numbers cited above do not include companies like Amazon or eBay that run in-house affiliate platforms. When we add them to the affiliate marketing industry statistics, the size of the niche blows up even more.
3. 81% of brands have adopted affiliate marketing.
- 84% of publishers rely on affiliate marketing to generate revenue.
- 20% of publishers’ revenue is generated from affiliate marketing.
Publishers recognize affiliate marketing as a source of income. That shouldn’t come as a surprise. Big internet companies like Facebook and Google are eating up the revenues from online advertising, which leaves publishers looking for new ways to generate income.
Affiliate marketing companies give them that opportunity. Media outlets have big audiences, making them a perfect channel for affiliate marketing.
But it’s not just media. Influencers are the web’s rockstars. Some of them have tens of millions of fans. Online celebrity PewDiePie, for example, is the first person to break the 100-million fan barrier on Youtube.
But even micro-influencers (people with a couple of followers on social media) have the potential to be great affiliate marketers. They might have access to a very niche audience, making them an extremely effective marketing channel.
So, to answer the question: “Is affiliate marketing worth it?” – oh, yes it is!
4. Affiliate marketing accounts for 16% of online orders.
- Fashion is the most popular affiliate marketing category with an 18.7% share
- 50% of affiliate-referred traffic comes from mobile devices
- 38% of marketers think affiliate marketing is a top acquisition channel
16% may not look like much, but that’s nearly one-fifth of all sales online! This is yet another proof affiliate marketing ideas work and can be an effective communications channel.
It’s so effective that 38% of marketers point it out as their top acquisition channel. This is impressive if you take into account the flourishing variety of marketing channels: social media, TV, online advertising, outdoor, mobile, even print.
Speaking about mobile, those small computers in users’ pockets will become a prevalent source of traffic for the top affiliate marketers. Even now they generate close to 50% of all referred traffic.
Users spend more time on their phones, and this trend is showing no signs of slowing down. So if you’re working on an affiliate program, make sure it’s mobile-friendly.
Social Media and Affiliate Marketing
You’ll be surprised at how many affiliate links there are on YouTube and Pinterest.
5. About 0.67% of Youtube videos contain at least one affiliate URL.
(Source: Princeton University)
- A total of 0.85% of Pinterest posts contain at least one affiliate link.
- 3.6% of Science and Technology videos contain affiliate content, making it the most popular Youtube category for affiliates.
- For Pinterest, the most popular category is Women’s fashion, with 4.62% of posts containing affiliate links.
Everyone’s talking about Instagram influencers, but affiliate marketing trends include all social media.
Youtube is a great example. The platform allows users to embed links in their videos. That’s why you can see so many YouTubers point to the corner of the screen and prompt viewers to click a link.
Youtube is a magnet for marketers and influencers. It is a place where their ads could reach billions of people.
It’s interactive, it’s easy, and it works flawlessly.
Speaking of video making for marketing purposes, according to video marketing stats, creating marketing videos improves the awareness of the brand, effectiveness, and ROI.
As for Pinterest, you may think it’s not as big as other social media, but the platform has other competitive advantages.
93% of Pinners use it to plan purchases, according to marketing industry statistics. So advertising on the platform is only reasonable!
The most popular Pinterest category for affiliate content is Women’s fashion, but Hair and Beauty (2.04%), Sports (1.63%), and Design (1.53%) also attract a lot of attention. Food & drink and Technology are the most popular categories for men.
6. As of August 2019, Google searches for “affiliate marketing” are at a record high level since tracking began in 2004.
(Source: Google Trends, Own analysis)
- Google searches for the phrase have more than doubled since December 2015
- On a national level, most searches come from Bangladesh, followed by Nigeria and Jamaica.
- The most popular similar keyword is “make money affiliate marketing”.
Google Trends is an awesome way to find historical shifts in user intent.
For example, if Google searches for “affiliate marketing” increase, then more people are interested in this term.
Well, guess what? Globally, more users are searching for affiliate marketing than ever before!
What may surprise you is that most of them live outside the US. That’s because the internet gives affiliate marketers the ability to reach audiences from all over the world.
While how much different affiliate marketers make can vary greatly, many of them rely solely on this activity to survive. Heck, some of them become instant millionaires (keep reading to find out more).
7. 74% of users trust social networks to guide them to a purchase decision.
- 40% of Twitter users have made a purchase based on a tweet.
- 49% of people rely on influencer recommendations.
- 49% of consumers make their purchasing decisions based on recommendations from social media influencers.
- 75% of marketers claim to have allocated money for influencer marketing.
As you can see, affiliate marketing, social media, and influencers are tied together.
Users trust influencers, who in turn use affiliate online marketing to make money from their audience.
But why would anyone trust some guy on the internet who may not even be an expert in the field? Because with influencers, it’s personal.
Internet personalities build audience loyalty long before they start promoting stuff on social media. When they finally do, users believe them and are willing to pay, pushing affiliate marketing statistics upwards.
And when it comes to trusting influencers, the latest referral marketing statistics show that up to 92% of consumers trust referrals from the people they know.
8. A single Influencer made $7 million in just a year.
- Jason Stone, known as Millionaire Mentor, earned that money thanks to 2.5 million followers on Instagram.
- As of August 2019, he has 4.8 million followers.
- He makes money solely with affiliate marketing.
Welcome to the world of affiliate marketing millionaires! Stone’s story is somehow unique, though. He deleted his first Instagram account with 10 thousand followers after burglars broke into his home. Criminals followed Stone’s social media accounts and knew he wasn’t home.
Soon after the incident, he realized he could make money from social media, so he started a new Instagram profile. He attracted hundreds of thousands of followers in less than a year.
Stone made millions posting affiliate offers on his profile. He used fellow influencers to promote his posts, and he would do the same for them.
Stone is a good example of the power of affiliate marketing programs combined with the influence of modern-day internet stars. A single person can make a fortune (both for advertisers and themselves) by leveraging their online presence.
Don’t get too excited though. Just because you have a couple of thousand followers on social media doesn’t mean you can convert them to buyers. It takes skills and persistence.
There are no statistics on how many people make it in affiliate marketing, but it’s not an easy game.
9. 83 % of advertisers use affiliate marketing for the discovery and awareness of their products.
(Source: Forrester Consulting)
- 79% of them use affiliate marketing in other stages of a product life cycle like ongoing customer engagement.
- 56% of advertisers host their events to find new affiliates, according to affiliate marketing statistics.
It seems that affiliate marketing is equally useful both for launching a product and keeping sales stable. 4 out of every 5 marketers rely on affiliate marketing to make the product recognizable among the general public.
10. In the UK, affiliate marketing spending reached $670 million in 2017.
- The industry made $10.8 billion in sales, up 9.2% year-on-year.
- For each dollar British firms invested in affiliate marketing, they got $16 back.
- Spending on mobile affiliate marketing went up by 49% year-on-year.
The UK is one of the biggest affiliate markets on the planet. While the data is from 2017, it does show the healthy growth of the industry.
That year, companies invested $670 million in affiliate marketing and generated sales of $10.8 billion. For every buck they spent on affiliates, they had $16 back by the end of the year.
That’s an amazing return on investment! A number like that could persuade almost anyone to become an affiliate marketer as they know there will be no shortage of clients.
It is also very good news for marketing specialists who are always under pressure to bring as much profit as they can.
By pumping up sales numbers and generating passive income, affiliate marketing is making its way to everything from fashion to medicine.
Most advertisers love it because it’s pay-per-action marketing. As an advertiser, you only pay if the user converts into a client. That’s incredibly effective and brings a lot of value to the marketing process.
As affiliate marketing statistics show, a single investment in this type of marketing could bring more than a 1500% return. Wow, huh?
Well, that’s for today’s share of exciting numbers. Till next time!