2010 Stats and Trends: UK Affiliate Marketing

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UK Affiliate Marketing Buyer's GuideLast month Enconsultancy released its “Affiliate Marketing Buyer’s Guide 2010”. This 140-pager “provides details on the issues and trends affecting this £4.6 billion sector, as well as information about best practice and tips for choosing a suitable supplier”, and today I have finally found some time to browse through it.

The Guide can be roughly broken down into 5 sections: (i) The Market, (ii) Costs & Pricing Models, (iii) Tips & Pitfalls, (iv) Network Market Positioning Charts and Network Matrix, and (v) Network & Agency Profiles (where “network” stands for an affiliate network, while “agency” for an affiliate marketing and program management agencies). The latter section occupies over 64% of the report (90 of the 140 pages)

Three charts have caught my eye:

First of all, there is a chart that shows the overall growth of the UK affiliate marketing industry over the past 7 years.

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2004-2010 Growth of UK Affiliate Marketing

UK Affiliate Marketing Growth 2004 - 2010

Econsultancy has pointed out that during all these 7 years “the valuation for the affiliate marketing sector … underestimates the total value of affiliate marketing, because it does not include sales value outside the online shopping basket.” However, since “substantial commissions within the affiliate marketplace are based upon leads,” those should be included in the above calculations too.

The Guide also points out that “although the overall percentage of online retail sales driven by affiliate marketing is 8%, for many ‘blue chip’ merchants, particularly in retail and travel, this figure is much higher” [emphasis added by me].

Secondly, two network market positioning charts do a good job visualizing the situation with UK affiliate networks: their business models, as well as their sizes and focus:

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Business Model Chart – UK Affiliate Networks

UK Affiliate Networks - Business Model Chart

Looking at business models of eight major UK affiliate networks, Econsultancy has come up with the above chart where the vertical axis “charts to what degree the network has a focus on services versus focus on technology”, while the horizontal axis shows whether the network “is exclusive an affiliate marketing network” or if they are “part of a broader suite of marketing services” available to merchants.

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Size & Focus Chart – UK Affiliate Networks

UK Affiliate Networks - Size and Focus Chart

Here the vertical axis “indicates the number of merchants” on the affiliate network, while the horizontal one “charts whether affiliates are focus on a specific sector” or if there is a fairly “equal focus across a range of different sectors”.

If you’re doing e-business in the UK, this is a very good report to get your hands on. You may download a sample of the Affiliate Marketing Buyer’s Guide here or purchase the full report from Econsultancy here (on some of their membership levels it will actually come free).

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