So I’ve reached out to AvantLink — to ask them a few questions about affiliate marketing in Canada, in general, and their recent launch, in particular. My interviewee is Chad Waite (CW), AvantLink’s Marketing Manager, and you may find his answers to my (GP) questions below:
GP: Chad, you have recently launched in a Canada-oriented affiliate network. Why the choice of the country, apart from the proximity to the U.S.?
CW: Canada was a logical choice for several reasons. First and foremost is the explosive growth of Canadian eCommerce. It’s growing at a rapid rate and is predicted to maintain that trend. Secondly, we’ve had demand from merchants, affiliates and even OPMs for affiliate programs on a platform specific to Canada, so it made sense to provide a solution.
GP: I’m hearing that the Canadian market is “less than 1/10th the size of the US” [source]. What niches are especially strong in Canada?
CW: Despite a smaller market, there’s still ample demand in the Canadian market and no other dedicated and completely exclusively-Canadian affiliate networks outside of AvantLink.ca. We’re finding anything fashion/clothing/apparel or outdoor recreation related are two very strong verticals.
GP: What, in your opinion, is the largest obstacle to the development of affiliate marketing in Canada?
CW: One large obstacle to developing affiliate marketing in Canada (or any market) is educating both advertisers and publishers on the integrity and value proposition of the performance marketing channel. People who aren’t familiar with affiliate marketing are often hesitant because they don’t understand the opportunity or potential, and they are rightly concerned about rogue practices or fraud.
GP: Finally, what do you view as the biggest opportunity for Canada-geared affiliates (and merchants)?
CW: To provide their Canadian traffic with far more relevant advertising. Obviously affiliates will want to take advantage of the rapid growth of the Canadian market. Having access to a network focused entirely on that market can help the affiliate get paired up with programs that will compliment that rapid growth and give them more applicable advertising options for their Canadian traffic.
Canadian ecommerce is very interesting, and, undoubtedly, has a great potential. Great to see a new affiliate network servicing that market, and looking forward to seeing how the market develops further.