Search Engines and Online Reviews Represent Affiliate Opportunities

Earlier today eMarketer has published some interesting data on the sources that consumers use in their pre-purchase product research. Two reasons why we couldn’t miss this: (1) the data was from our client,, whose affiliate program we manage, and (2) if you look at the below data carefully, you can actually figure out the percentage of affiliate opportunity in each of these four sectors: Grocery, Health & Beauty, Household Essentials, and Pet Supply.

Subtracting retail websites (the most popular source “used to research products prior to purchasing online”), salespeople and product display in stores, emails and mailings from retailer, advice from friends and family, hard copies of magazines, newspapers and professional reviews, and those who said they do not do any research, we will arrive at the following “percentages of opportunity” (for affiliates) arranged in order of importance/popularity:

Grocery: SEs (13%), online ads (11%), online reviews (11%) , online newspapers (6%), video websites (2%), social (2%);

Health & Beauty: SEs (15%), online reviews (11%), online ads (9%), online newspapers (4%), social (3%), video websites (1%);

Household Essentials: Online reviews (33%), SEs (24%), online ads (16%), video websites (12%), online newspapers (6%), social (7%);

Pet Supply: SEs (22%), online ads (6%), online reviews (4%).

Conclusion: Online reviews and search engine marketing (be it SEO or paid search) win it hands down in 3 of the 4 categories. Online ads take the bronze.

Keep in mind: If you, as an affiliate, are running a review site, remember about the importance of disclosing your relationship with the merchants.

Additionally, it is important to mention that:

a) Consumers may view comparison shopping engines (which are often powered by affiliate datafeeds) as “retail websites”;

b) Thanks to pay-per-call solutions, affiliates can now successfully use those “hard copies” and “offline ads” as marketing channels too;

c) Those 28%-42% who answered “I did not do any research before making the purchase” still represent an opportunity for affiliates. You can target frugal shoppers, shopping cart abandoners, those who are potentially interested in a particular merchant but haven’t even tried shopping with them (through remarketing efforts), etc.

What do you make of Compete’s data published by eMarketer today?

3 thoughts on “Search Engines and Online Reviews Represent Affiliate Opportunities”

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