The Affiliate Shopper
Recent research by Forrester (find PDF here) makes reference to the term "affiliate shopper" - one who regularly consults the affiliate channel before making an online purchase.
This demographic of consumer is likely to visit a combination of cashback, loyalty and voucher code sites - and Forrester reports that the number of sites visited as part of the research process is directly linked to the amount that shopper is likely to spend. This could be likened to offline shopping too - if you're going to wait in a huge queue to make a purchase, you might as well make it worth your while...
The study also found that these shoppers are more likely to purchase when they see the same product featured on several different websites. Reading between the lines, we can assume that these shoppers are more likely to trust a brand that can be found in multiple places online - if the brand can't be found, the affiliate shopper is likely to migrate to a brand that is visible. Again, this can be compared to shopping offline in a store - if the item you're looking for isn't on the shelf, you'll simply pick something else. Therefore, to be absent from the affiliate channel leaves the space wide open for the competition to swoop in - and believe us, they certainly will!