Affiliate marketing requires you to make calculated decisions — from choosing an affiliate product to knowing how to promote blog content.
Admittedly, it may take some trial and error before you come up with a repeatable formula that works for you.
The good news is, you don’t always need to start brainstorming from scratch.
In this post, I’ll show you 104 eye-opening statistics about affiliate marketing to help direct your strategy.
Let’s get started.
Table of Contents
- 1. Affiliate Marketing Industry Statistics and Trends
- 2. Affiliate Marketing Networks
- 3. The Demographics of the Affiliate Marketing Industry
- 4. Affiliate Marketing Strategies and Practices
- 5. Affiliate Marketing Niches Statistics
- 6. Key Takeaways
- 7. Affiliate Marketing Statistics – Frequently Asked Questions
- 8. Conclusion
Affiliate Marketing Industry Statistics and Trends
When it comes to monetization, affiliate marketing has been a blogger’s bread and butter for as long as I can remember.
The practice is as simple as it gets: promote another company’s product and get paid in commissions for sales closed.
If you’re still not sure about affiliate marketing, perhaps the data below will help make up your mind:
- The affiliate marketing spend in the US is observed to grow by 10.1 percent each year. (Source: Mediakix)
- By 2020, the affiliate marketing spend in the US is forecasted to reach $6.82 billion. (Source: Statista)
- The annual affiliate marketing spend overall is approximated at $12 billion. (Source: SoftwareFindr)
- The interest in the search term “affiliate marketing” has been steadily on an incline for the past 5 years. (Source: Google Trends)
- 81 percent of all businesses used affiliate marketing to drive sales in 2016. (Source: Mediakix)
- Affiliate marketing accounts for 15 percent of the entire digital media industry’s revenue. (Source: Business Insider)
- According to 38 percent of all marketers, affiliate marketing is among the top customer acquisition methods. (Source: National Retail Federation)
- Affiliate marketing generates 16 percent of all e-commerce sales in the US and Canada. (Source: Business Insider)
- In 2017, affiliate marketing generated 5 billion clicks and 170 transactions worldwide. (Source: IncomeSiteBuilder)
- Affiliate marketing is responsible for 15 percent of the total digital advertising revenue. (Source: SoftwareFindr)
- Affiliate marketing worldwide spend is increasing at a 27 percent Compound Annual Growth Rate or CAGR. (Source: SoftwareFindr)
- 40 percent of all online marketers believe that affiliate marketing is a crucial skill to have. (Source: Hosting Tribunal)
- It’s possible to make well over $1,000 in a single sale. Some top-paying affiliate programs even reward marketers with $8,000 in one conversion. (Source: Bengu Online)
- A survey revealed that 9 percent of affiliate marketers make over $50,000 annually. (Source: VigLink)
- High-income affiliate marketers, including million-dollar-earners, have pulled the average salary of affiliate marketing up to $50,617. (Source: PayScale)
- 65 percent of merchants that use via affiliate marketing said that it produced 5-20 percent of their annual revenue. (Source: VigLink)
- Affiliate marketing spending in the UK soared by 15.1 percent between 2016 and 2017. (Source: IAB UK)
- In the UK, affiliate marketing has an average ROI of 1:15. That means that, for every £1 spent on affiliate marketing, brands make £15. (Source: IAB UK)
- In 2017, affiliate marketing generated £8.9 billion in sales. (Source: IAB UK)
- More than 80 percent of advertisers and 84 percent of publishers leverage an affiliate marketing program. (Source: Rakuten Marketing)
- Roughly 90 percent of advertisers believe that affiliate marketing is important to their digital marketing strategy. (Source: Rakuten Marketing)
- Over 80 percent of advertisers allocate 10 percent of their budget to affiliate marketing. (Source: Rakuten Marketing)
- 60 percent of large merchants that make over $5 million have used affiliate marketing for over 5 years. (Source: VigLink)
- On Google, the query “affiliate marketing” got 30 percent more searches from 2016 to 2017. (Source: Awin)
- 85 percent of all merchants stated that their affiliate marketing budget either stayed the same or increased in 2015-2016. (Source: VigLink)
- Lastly, 91 percent of all merchants shared their plans to maintain their current affiliate marketing budgets. (Source: VigLink)
- In the UK, creating a price comparison website is the most popular way to start an affiliate marketing business. (Source: Hosting Tribunal)
- 73 percent of merchants say that their affiliate revenue met their needs and expectations. (Source: VigLink)
- 62 percent of merchants, however, are worried about the quality of publisher content where affiliate products are promoted. (Source: VigLink)
- From 2015 to 2016, 77 percent of publishers saw an increase in their affiliate marketing revenue. (Source: VigLink)
- 76 percent of publishers said that affiliate marketing made website monetization easy for them. (Source: VigLink)
- Affiliate marketer Jason Stone proved that you don’t necessarily need your own product or service to make millions online. In one year, he managed to earn $7 million through affiliate marketing sales alone. (Source: Medium)
- From 2012 to 2017, merchants and publishers who use affiliate marketing increased by 49 percent and 40 percent, respectively. (Source: Social Media Today)
- In 2020, US affiliate marketing will contribute to $70 billion in sales. (Source: Forrester)
Affiliate Marketing Networks
Looking for the right network is pivotal to affiliate marketing success.
To help you make the best decision for your blog, let’s look at what the numbers have to say:
- Next to Amazon Associates, the six biggest affiliate networks are VigLink, CJ Affiliate, SkimLinks, Rakuten, ShareASale, and Awin. These affiliate networks are listed in order. (Source: Datanyze)
- By 2008, Amazon Associates already had over 2,000,000 affiliates on board. (Source: North American Job Bank)
- The three pioneers in the affiliate marketing industry are Amazon Associates, Be Free, and LinkShare or Rakuten. These companies made their mark in the industry way back in 1996. (Source: Hosting Tribunal)
- Amazon Associates remain dominant in the affiliate marketing landscape with a market share of 39.30 percent. (Source: Datanyze)
- 79 percent of advertisers attend events to look for affiliate partners. In the same study, 83 percent use affiliate networks. (Source: Rakuten Marketing)
- The commission rates for Amazon Associates programs range between 1 percent and 10 percent. (Source: Ryan Robinson)
- CreativeLive rewards affiliates with a 20 percent commission rate for new customers. This is reduced to 10 percent for returning customers with a $1 payout for new registrations. (Source: Ryan Robinson)
- In Udemy, the commission rate for new customer purchases is 15 percent. (Source: Ryan Robinson)
- BigCommerce pays affiliates a 200 percent commission fee for the customer’s first monthly payment. Affiliates also receive up to $1,500 for every enterprise customer. (Source: Ryan Robinson)
- ConvertKit pays a recurring 30 percent commission each month for every customer. (Source: Ryan Robinson)
The Demographics of the Affiliate Marketing Industry
Understanding your competition is the key to getting ahead. In some cases, looking at how you fit in the industry gives a dose of motivation.
Fortunately, the internet has tons of data about the affiliate marketers of the information age:
- The affiliate marketing population is estimated to be 54.23 percent male and 42.97 percent female. The remaining 2.80 percent chose not to disclose their gender. (Source: Affstat 2016 Affiliate Marketing Benchmark Report)
- In 2016, a little over 5 percent of all affiliate marketers are between 18 and 24 years of age. (Source: Statista)
- The bulk of affiliate marketers or 31.86 percent, to be exact, are between 35 and 44 years of age. (Source: Statista)
- 57.44 percent of affiliate marketers in 2016 were based in the US Only 1.85 percent were based in India while 9.71 percent were based in Canada. (Source: Affstat 2016 Affiliate Marketing Benchmark Report)
- 55.32 percent of affiliate marketers are married while 33.67 percent are single. The remaining 11.01 percent are either divorced or widowed. (Source: Affstat 2016 Affiliate Marketing Benchmark Report)
- 62.35 percent of affiliate marketers have children. (Source: Affstat 2016 Affiliate Marketing Benchmark Report)
- The US is the primary traffic target of 63.83 percent of affiliate marketers. (Source: Hosting Tribunal)
Affiliate Marketing Strategies and Practices
Getting to know competitors is useless if you don’t make an effort to understand their strategies.
The statistics below can give you a clear idea of how affiliate marketers run their business:
- 83 percent of marketers who utilize affiliate marketing target customers in the discovery and awareness stages of their sales funnel. (Source: Rakuten Marketing)
- The average conversion rate of affiliate marketers sits between 1 and 5 percent. (Source: CoSpot Affiliate Marketer Blog)
- In recent years, the content pool generated by affiliate marketers has grown by 175 percent. (Source: Awin)
- At the same time, publishers who focus on content marketing increased their profits by 240 percent. (Source: Awin)
- While content marketing costs 62 percent less than ads, it’s known to generate as much as 3 times more leads. (Source: Awin)
- Although “pay per call” affiliate marketing is more intensive, it’s enjoying a high conversion rate of 10-15 percent. (Source: Awin)
- 80 percent of affiliate marketers track their mobile and desktop sales. (Source: Rakuten Marketing)
- The overwhelming majority of affiliate marketers prefer email to be their primary means of communication between affiliate managers. (Source: Affstat 2016 Affiliate Marketing Benchmark Report)
- In Q3 of 2016, 42.1 percent of sales were made by mobile phone users. (Source: Awin Quarterly Mobile Update 2016)
- In 2018, the impact of “Black Friday” on consumer activity diminished since it’s easier to find special deals online. (Source: Awin Report 2019)
- Digital affiliate products commonly reward 50 percent commissions since they can be replicated at zero cost. (Source: Neil Patel)
- 67.32 percent of affiliate marketers use social media to connect with customers. (Source: Affstat 2016 Affiliate Marketing Benchmark Report)
- 69.22 percent of affiliate marketers leverage SEO to generate site traffic. (Source: Affstat 2016 Affiliate Marketing Benchmark Report)
- If you plan to use push notifications, know that they have an average click-through rate of 2.09 percent. (Source: Mobidea Academy)
- In the US, pop-up traffic is at least 100 times less expensive than push notifications. (Source: Mobidea Academy)
- Cross-promotion between desktop and mobile device users is one of the trends in affiliate marketing in 2019. (Source: Mobidea Academy)
- Instagram influencer marketing, which overlaps with affiliate marketing, grew from approximately $700 million to $1.7 billion in two years. (Source: Influencer Marketing Hub)
- With an optimized keyword targeting, SEO can yield as much as 7 times more conversions for affiliate sites. (Source: Mobidea Academy)
- Only 34.28 percent of affiliate marketers are willing to invest in PPC methods to generate traffic. (Source: Affstat 2016 Affiliate Marketing Benchmark Report)
- 42.17 percent of affiliate marketers like to promote 1-10 products on their site at the same time. (Source: OnlineMLMCommunity)
- 23.18 percent of affiliate marketers aim bigger by promoting 11-20 products. (Source: OnlineMLMCommunity)
- It may sound crazy, but 7.53 of affiliate marketers prefer promoting over 300 products. (Source: OnlineMLMCommunity)
- 64.48 percent of affiliate marketers use blogging to generate traffic. (Source: Affstat 2016 Affiliate Marketing Benchmark Report)
- 62.32 percent of affiliate marketers allow advertisers to post listings on their site for a fee. (Source: Affstat 2016 Affiliate Marketing Benchmark Report)
- When it comes to their partner’s attribution model, 55.69 percent of affiliate marketers have zero clue. (Source: Affstat 2016 Affiliate Marketing Benchmark Report)
- 61 percent of Australian affiliate marketers use the “last click” attribution model. (Source: Hosting Tribunal)
- 45 percent of publishers trust affiliate marketing because it doesn’t affect the user experience on their website. (Source: VigLink)
- 54.28 percent of affiliate marketers run their operations at home while 19.21 percent work at an office. 26.51 percent do both depending on the workday. (Source: Affstat 2016 Affiliate Marketing Benchmark Report)
- In the majority of affiliate marketing programs, only 10 percent of affiliates contribute 90 percent of sales. (Source: AM Navigator)
- 43 percent of US affiliate marketing sales in 2018 were done by loyalty and cashback partners. (Source: Statista)
- Vouchers, on the other hand, make up 30 percent of US affiliate marketing sales in 2018. (Source: Statista)
- Search ads, display ads, email, and tech partners are responsible for only 1 percent of affiliate marketing sales each. (Source: Statista)
- On Awin, around 50 percent of affiliate traffic came from mobile devices. (Source: Awin)
- Direct deposits are preferred by 48.69 percent of affiliate marketers when it comes to receiving payments. (Source: Hosting Tribunal)
- 19.16 percent of affiliate marketers prefer using PayPal as a mode of payment. This is followed by 2.69 percent of affiliate marketers who are willing to use Bitcoin. (Source: Hosting Tribunal)
- You can boost your affiliate marketing sales by improving your website’s loading speed. In fact, 47 percent of online consumers expect websites to load in 2 seconds tops. (Source: Neil Patel)
- 40 percent of potential customers will abandon your website if it takes over 3 seconds to finish loading. (Source: Neil Patel)
- A 1-second delay in your website’s loading time can result in 7 percent fewer conversions. It’s also observed to cause 11 percent fewer page views. (Source: BigCommerce)
Affiliate Marketing Niches Statistics
Just getting started with affiliate marketing?
Here’s a piece of advice: pick your niche and affiliate programs extremely carefully.
Here are a few interesting facts about affiliate marketing niches and programs:
- Fashion is the biggest niche in affiliate marketing — accounting for 23.27 percent of all affiliate programs on the web. (Source: AM Navigator)
- For the year 2019, optimizing for voice search is one of the most prominent trends in affiliate marketing. (Source: Entrepreneur)
- The “sports and outdoors” is the second-biggest niche. It makes up 18.16 percent of all affiliate programs online. (Source: AM Navigator)
- Travel, gardening, electronics, health, business, education, and finance belong to the top 9 niches. (Source: AM Navigator)
- Despite its importance, affiliate marketing is the least mastered area of digital marketing by Chief Marketing Officers or CMOs. (Source: AM Navigator)
- 41.04 percent of affiliate marketers prefer to promote products under the computers and electronics category. (Source: Hosting Tribunal)
- Only 29.88 of affiliate marketers prefer to promote online services. (Source: Hosting Tribunal)
- As for the clothing and apparel category, 39.84 percent of affiliate marketers prefer the niche. (Source: Hosting Tribunal)
- For travel sites, comparisons drive 20 percent of sales. It comes next to coupons at 21 percent and cashbacks at 24 percent. (Source: Awin Report 2019)
- Despite being less popular than fashion, health is regarded by many affiliate marketers as the most profitable niche. (Source: Authority Hacker)
- 81.16 percent of affiliate marketers make their own decision when choosing affiliate programs. Interestingly, 0.47 percent let their spouse make the decision. (Source: Affstat 2016 Affiliate Marketing Benchmark Report)
- For most marketers, the relevance of a product or service is the most important factor when choosing affiliate programs. The affiliate program’s reputation comes in second. (Source: Affstat 2016 Affiliate Marketing Benchmark Report)
- Only 6.49 percent of affiliate marketers choose a program by focusing on their potential partner’s terms and conditions. (Source: Hosting Tribunal)
- 24.46 percent of affiliate marketers learn about affiliate programs on the merchant’s website. (Source: Affstat 2016 Affiliate Marketing Benchmark Report)
- Only 30 percent of website owners think that there aren’t enough affiliate products that are relevant to their readers. (Source: VigLink)
Always remember that affiliate marketing, just like any other area of digital marketing, is a game of numbers.
You should never have room for guesstimates and half-baked ideas, especially with the abundance of data floating around the web.
Hopefully, the statistics I collected above will answer some of the questions you have about affiliate marketing. Better yet, they may help you devise foolproof action plans that will up your affiliate marketing game.
To summarize, here are some of the key takeaways that you should remember when entering the world of affiliate marketing:
- Affiliate marketing grows more saturated every year — if you ever wish to make money blogging, jump in now.
- Affiliate marketing is proven to be more cost-effective than advertising when it comes to generating leads and sales.
- Fashion, sports, and outdoors are the biggest niches in affiliate marketing. This trend aligns with each niche’s prominence in platforms like Instagram where influencer marketing is big.
- Amazon Associates is still the biggest affiliate network around with the most active affiliate sites.
- You don’t necessarily need an affiliate network to become an affiliate. Do your homework and research if your favorite online services, from online courses to web hosting, also offer affiliate programs.
- You can fulfill most of your affiliate marketing tasks effectively at home.
- To optimize your affiliate marketing conversion rate, start tracking your desktop and mobile sales.
- Don’t ignore your website’s mobile-friendliness if you want to generate more affiliate sales.
- Use push notifications and mobile pop-ups to bring more traffic to your affiliate site.
- Focus on generating more organic traffic if you want to increase your conversion rate.
Of course, there’s a lot more to learn from the compilation of statistics above.
I’ll leave it up to you to piece together useful data to refine your affiliate marketing strategies.
At this point, all that’s left for me to do is to share more resources about affiliate marketing:
- Getting started from scratch: Affiliate Marketing: Complete Guide for Beginners
- Keyword research for affiliate marketing: How to Do Keyword Research for Affiliate Marketing?
- Making money with your affiliate site: 23 Affiliate Marketing Tips to Increase Affiliate Sales
- Looking for profitable affiliate programs: 10 Best High-Paying Affiliate Programs for Bloggers
- Looking for affiliate networks: 7 Best Affiliate Marketing Networks for Bloggers to Find HQ Affiliate Products
Affiliate Marketing Statistics — Frequently Asked Questions
Is affiliate marketing worth it?
Yes. As a blogger, affiliate marketing has proven to be an invaluable source of income.
How much do affiliate marketers make?
The average income of affiliate marketers is estimated at $50,000. Various sources also claim that 35 percent of affiliate marketers make $20,000 a year or more.
What is a good conversion rate for affiliate marketing?
The ideal conversion rate for your affiliate marketing business depends on how much commissions you earn per sale. However, anything above 5 percent is a great goal to have.
How much does it cost to join an affiliate marketing program?
Most legitimate affiliate programs should be free to join. The actual expenses should come from creating your website, producing content, and promotions.
Ready to take your affiliate marketing campaigns to the next level?
I have one small favor to ask of you first.
If you have suggestions, feedback, or any questions related to what you just read, please leave a comment below.
You — the Master Blogging community — are the fuel that motivates me to keep producing quality blog content.