35 Latest Affiliate Marketing Statistics, Facts & Trends

Affiliate Marketing Statistics

What is the state of affiliate marketing?

Affiliate marketing is one of the most popular ways to earn money online. And for businesses, it provides an effective way to generate sales.

In this post, we’re sharing the latest affiliate marketing statistics, facts, and trends you need to know.

Ready? Let’s get started:

Global affiliate marketing statistics

These are some general affiliate marketing statistics that will paint you a picture of where the industry is today. And while the numbers are drawn from different sources, these should be enough to tell you where affiliate marketing is headed. Here’s what you need to know about how affiliate marketers earn.

1. Affiliate marketing spend has an annual growth rate of 10%.

A report published by Forrester forecasts that US affiliate marketing spend will have an annual growth rate of 10% between 2015 and 2020. This indicates that the value will grow to over $6.8 billion.

Affiliate Marketing Statistic 12 Affiliate marketing annual growth

Source: Forrester via DocPlayer

2. More than 80% of advertisers allocated 10% of their budget for affiliate marketing.

In a 2016 survey, advertisers admitted that most of them (80%) set 10% of their marketing budget aside and earmark them toward affiliate marketing.

Source: Rakuten Advertising

3. 15% of the digital media industry’s revenue comes from affiliate marketing.

While publishers generate most of their revenue from advertising, 15% of their total revenue now comes from affiliate marketing.

Source: Business Insider

4. Affiliate marketing statistics indicate that the average conversion rate is 0.5% to 1%.

In a Business 2 Community post, it says that the average affiliate conversion rate is 0.5% to 1%. However, it’s also quick to point out that some affiliates have much higher conversion rates.

Source: Business 2 Community

5. The United States is the largest affiliate marketing country.

The United States has a $6.8 billion affiliate marketing industry. Just behind it is Japan at $3.3 billion. Japan has a 15% domestic market growth each year. Other big markets include Germany at $1.34 billion, Australia at $930 million, and the United Kingdom at $634 million.

Source: Cheq

6. Affiliate marketing generates 5% to 25% of online sales for big brands.

In the book Kickstart Your Own Affiliate Marketing Business, it’s said that affiliate marketing is a complicated channel that generates anywhere between 5% to 25% of the world’s biggest brands. Also, major multi-channel marketers run an affiliate marketing program of some kind.

Source: Kickstart Your Own Affiliate Marketing Business

7. Affiliates get recruited within affiliate network dashboards.

83% of affiliate recruiters search for new affiliates through affiliate network dashboards. 79% attend events hosted by affiliate networks. 71% use a “join network” button on their website. 56% will host their own events to find new affiliates.

Affiliate Marketing Statistic 18 Affiliate network dashboards

Source: Forrester via DocPlayer

8. US marketing spend on affiliate marketing will reach $8.2 billion by 2022.

Affiliate marketing stats reveal that marketing spend by 2022 will reach $8.2 billion which is up from 2017 with recorded figures at $5.4 billion.

Source: Statista

9. 50% of shoppers bring digital coupons when shopping in-store.

50% of shoppers bring digital coupons with them when they shop in-store. And 39% of shoppers bought a product sooner than they expected because they had a coupon for it. Also, 39% said that they bought from a brand they wouldn’t normally buy from because of coupons.

Source: Inmar Intelligence

10. Publishers found that affiliate marketing is just behind Google AdSense as a revenue generator.

Affiliate marketing just comes behind Google AdSense when it comes to creating revenue for publishers. Also on the list are display advertising, brand sponsorship, paid product reviews, and other forms of native advertising.

Affiliate Marketing Statistic 21 Affiliate marketing vs Google Adsense

Source: Viglink

11. 7.5% of retailers’ digital spend is on affiliate marketing.

Affiliate marketing industry statistics show that affiliate marketing accounts for 7.5% of total digital spend among retailers.

Source: eMarketer

12. The average affiliate marketer’s salary is $51,639 per year.

According to PayScale, the average salary of an affiliate marketer is $51,639 per year. The base salary can be anywhere between $38,000 to $72,000 before taxes and deductions. This does not include additional pay like bonuses, benefits, or commissions.

Affiliate Marketing Statistic 23 Average affiliate marketer salary

Source: PayScale

13. Most affiliate marketers make $20,000 or less per year.

Affise conducted a poll where they asked affiliate marketers how much they make in a year. 22 respondents said they only make $20,000 or less which makes up 18.80% of all surveyed marketers.

13.68% (16 respondents) said they make anywhere from $81,000 to $120,000 per year. 15 respondents said they make $121,000 to $200,000 per year.

Affiliate Marketing Statistic 24 Most affiliate marketers earn less

Source: Affise

Affiliate marketing facts

The more facts you know about affiliate marketing, the better. Affiliate marketers generate traffic and get commissions. Learning more about who to partner up with and what they have to offer can only help you succeed.

14. Amazon Associates cut commission rates due to the pandemic.

In 2020, Amazon Associates cut back its commission rates in several product categories. For example, furniture and home improvement products went from 8% to 3%. Grocery products came down to 1% from a high of 5%.

Affiliate Marketing Statistic 01 Amazon Associates cut commision rates

Source: CNBC

15. Instagram to launch affiliate and shop features for creators.

During the latter half of 2021, Instagram will test its new native affiliate tool. This allows its creators to recommend products that are available at checkout and share them with followers. This will allow them to earn commissions for sales that come from their posts.

When creators make posts that have the affiliate feature enabled, an “eligible for commission” text will appear under their username just about where the sponsored content labels also appear.

Source: TechCrunch

16. Apple now has an affiliate program for podcasters.

You can now join Apple’s affiliate program which gives you access to the company’s reporting data on all your linked podcast marketing activities including email, social promotions, digital ads, and more. You’ll earn a commission for every subscription purchase made from an affiliated link that you share.

This is designed to be another revenue source on Apple Podcasts.

Source: Apple Podcasts for Creators

17. 74% of users trust social networks to guide them toward purchase decisions.

74% of people have no problem leaning on social media to influence their purchase decisions. 49% of people say that they rely on influencer recommendations. Also, 40% of Twitter users say that they bought a product based on a tweet.

Affiliate Marketing Statistic 04 Users trust in social networks

Source: Tradedoubler

18. Affiliate networks made £2.16 billion in 2006 in the U.K. alone.

Affiliate networks in the U.K. made £2.16 billion in 2006 according to the book Affiliate Marketing for Beginners: 12 Steps to Your Affiliate Marketing Business in 2021.

In the same year, another record stated that worldwide revenue from affiliate marketing was $6.5 billion.

Source: Affiliate Marketing for Beginners: 12 Steps to Your Affiliate Marketing Business in 2021

19. 90% of advertisers said affiliate programs are important.

In 2016, nearly 90% of surveyed advertisers said that affiliate programs are important for their overall marketing strategy. And most publishers revealed that 20% of their annual revenue was due to affiliate partnerships.

Source: Rakuten Advertising

20. 74% of shoppers visit non-retail sites before making a purchase.

Even US-based shoppers who already intend to buy a product will stop by two or three non-retail sites before buying a product. 16% even said they’d visit more than four websites.

Source: Business Insider

21. More people have shown interest in affiliate marketing in the last five years.

According to Google Trends, there’s a growing interest in affiliate marketing in the last five years. The term “affiliate marketing” has a Google Trend score of 100, meaning it reached the peak popularity as of June 2021. This is far from its Jan 2017 score of just 24.

Affiliate Marketing Statistic 08 Increase interest in affiliate marketing

Source: Google Trends

22. 34% of publishers with fewer than 5,000 unique visitors earn from affiliate marketing.

According to publishers with fewer than 5,000 unique views per month, affiliate income is their primary source of generating revenue.

However, the same source is quick to point out that 64% of publishers report that they were unable to meet their affiliate marketing revenue targets. 77% of publishers acknowledged that the revenue generated from affiliate marketing programs from 2015 to 2016 increased or remained consistent.

Source: Viglink

23. You can thank CDNOW.com and Amazon for taking affiliate marketing mainstream.

According to the book Affiliate Program Management: An Hour a Day, mainstream affiliate marketing owes its birth to CDNow.com and Amazon. CDNOW launched a BuyWeb program which was the first program of its kind back in 1994. Amazon used the same formula for its Amazon Associates program in July 1996.

As of 2010, Amazon claimed to have 1 million associates worldwide.

Source: Affiliate Program Management: An Hour a Day

24. It can take a while before you generate revenue from online purchases.

According to Affise, it usually takes at least six months before you make money from affiliate marketing. It will all depend on how creative you can get with your content and SEO optimization.

Social media and email marketing also play a role in how well your passive income strategy works. You’ll need to generate search interest so there’ll be a demand.

Source: Affise

The latest affiliate marketing trends

Here’s a roundup of the biggest affiliate marketing trends that you should keep an eye on. These should give you a better idea of where the industry is headed. Understanding them will result in more affiliate traffic.

25. Top affiliate marketers use a full-funnel affiliate strategy.

Affiliate marketing trends reveal that you can capture customers at any point in their journey. 83% were captured during the discovery and awareness phase. Marketers captured 79% during conversion and 79% were captured during ongoing customer engagement.

Source: Rakuten Advertising

26. Based on different affiliate networks, fashion is the category with the most affiliate programs.

According to an affiliate marketing industry report, the fashion category has the most number of affiliate programs at 18.70%. It’s followed by sports and outdoors (14.60%) then health and wellness (11.10%).

Affiliate Marketing Statistic 26 Fashion has most affiliates

Source: AM Navigator

27. Coupons affect a customer’s purchasing behavior.

Coupons have an effect on affiliate marketing sales. 83% of consumers say that coupons are the main reason why they bought a product during regular shopping trips.

Source: Inmar Intelligence

28. Affiliate marketing strategies are on the rise as it’s expected to fill the void left behind by third-party cookies.

As third-party cookies get pushed further out of the picture, more people are looking into affiliate marketing. According to AdWeek, affiliate marketing campaigns give marketers a chance to get in front of their target customers in their native environments.

That means marketers are able to deliver in-the-moment experiences where their content can match the sites where they’re served.

Source: Adweek

29. Brand affinity is important for an affiliate program.

Forbes suggests that you think about one value that makes your affiliate program a great choice for your partners. For example, if you’re really good at paying partners on time, you should do everything you can to get that point across. Doing so will endear you to your partners better than if you just market your offers.

Source: Forbes

30. Part of affiliate marketing budgets are allocated toward affiliate marketing according to publishers and advertisers.

81% of advertisers and 84% of publishers include affiliate marketing as part of their overall marketing strategy. In contrast, 3% of advertisers and 3% of publishers say that they don’t have any plans on including affiliate marketing in their strategy in the near future.

Affiliate Marketing Statistic 30 Affiliate marketing budgets

Source: Forrester via DocPlayer

31. Choosing the right affiliate products will result in better profits.

In the book Affiliate Marketing Success, it’s mentioned that selling affiliate products like ebooks can result in keeping 70% or more of the profit. Choosing the right products to promote improves your affiliate marketing average income.

Source: Affiliate Marketing Success

32. Software affiliate programs are lucrative.

The commission for software affiliate programs can be as high as 30% for every payment. But because of the high return, it’s also one of the most competitive programs out there.

Travel affiliate programs are also worth trying as there are different niches you can get into. For example, selling flight tickets gets you 1% to 3% commission. The accommodations industry has a 3% to 12% commission based on the total order value (Booking.com, Agoda, Hostelworld).

Source: Affise

33. Most marketers work with influencers.

84% of all marketers work with influencers in some capacity. To make the most of these partnerships, you should do four things.

First, you should define the objectives of your influencer campaigns. Second, you should develop your relationship with influencers. Third, you should get the content right. And lastly, you should have a working budget so that you could run tests to see which strategies are working for you.

Source: Tradedoubler

34. Don’t forget eBay.

eBay has a large commission rate. It offers 50% to 70% of the profit that they make. But it will depend on the type of product you sell. Fashion products get you a 70% commission while electronics will only get you 50%.

There are other affiliate platforms to explore like Etsy.

Source: One More Cup of Coffee

35. More and more people are owning mobile devices.

Affiliate marketers will have to think about mobile users in their upcoming affiliate marketing campaigns. Out of 97% of those in the U.S. that have a cellphone, 85% of them are smartphone users.

With more and more people using smartphones to buy online, you’d have to think about how you advertise and approach these people. Mobile affiliate marketing is the future.

Source: Pew Research

Affiliate marketing industry statistics sources

Final thoughts

The affiliate marketing industry is huge and it is continuing to grow.

Affiliate marketing reduces the barrier to entry when it comes to marketing and monetization. You can use it to add an extra revenue stream to your business or use it to drive sales directly.

For bloggers, it remains one of the most popular monetization tactics.

The affiliate marketing statistics we’ve covered in this article will help you get a better understanding of the industry and adjust your marketing strategy accordingly. Knowledge is power.

Want to dig into more statistics? Check out these articles:

Affiliate Marketing Statistics