Affiliate Marketing and Mobile Commerce

Mobile commerce marketing has seen considerable growth as consumers become increasingly more comfortable shopping online using a variety of mobile devices. So what does this mean for the affiliate channel?

Mobile commerce marketing has seen considerable growth as consumers become increasingly more comfortable shopping

Mobile commerce marketing has seen considerable growth as consumers become increasingly more comfortable shopping online using a variety of mobile devices. So what does this mean for the affiliate channel?

In June 2012 we reported that Kevin Edwards, strategy director at Affiliate Window, presented some staggering statistics with regards to affiliate marketing and mobile commerce, stating that an estimated £27million of affiliate revenue wouldn't be tracked in 2012 due to the absence of affiliate tracking on many merchants' mobile sites.

Affiliate Window also reported a great increase in traffic and sales generated from a mobile device 2012. Therefore, in order to keep affiliate marketing programmes up to date in 2013, merchants must seriously think about how they can move into the mobile commerce market while ensuring that their affiliate marketing programme continues to function fully and be effective across a variety of mobile devices, whilst fairly rewarding affiliates for all the sales they generate.

A mobile optimised site complete with affiliate tracking equals competitive advantage for the merchant. There have been significant increases in affiliates who will only work with a merchant who has a mobile optimised site. Affiliate Window also currently highlights every merchant that has a mobile optimised site complete with tracking to allow affiliates to exclude any merchants that do not track through mobile devices.

Steps to take to ensure affiliate marketing success on mobile commerce

  1. Install Tracking on Your Mobile Site

Tracking is the foundation of any affiliate marketing programme however, tracking provided by an affiliate network may not automatically function on a mobile site. And so, this may require a separate installation of tracking. Be sure to test this - don't just assume it works!

  1. Know your Consumers

With consumers becoming more and more comfortable buying from a wide range of mobile devices it is important to understand how your consumers are shopping and what devices they are shopping from to plan a successful online marketing strategy.

  1. New Partnerships

Many affiliates today are testing mobile commerce applications, sites and strategies. Therefore, affiliates are a great source of information and knowledge when it comes to mobile commerce. They will gladly offer advice on how to be successful in mobile, because they want to earn commission. Therefore, by having strong relationships with affiliates, merchants can benefit from valuable resources and advice from affiliates when developing mobile optimised sites.

  1. End-to-End Shopping Experience

Successful affiliate marketing strategies for mobile commerce must also take into account the end-to-end shopping experience starting on the affiliate site.

An affiliate application or affiliate website designed for mobile commerce needs merchant sites that are optimised for mobile. This is important as if consumers have a great experience on affiliate site only to click on a merchant site and be brought to a desktop site that doesn't convert to a mobile device, then no one makes any money and the consumer leaves unsatisfied.

Point to consider

While traffic is increasing greatly on mobile devices, conversion is not growing at the same advanced rate. This suggests that while some consumers are beginning to shop via a mobile device, many are still not comfortable going through the full purchase process on a mobile device. Therefore, while consumers may begin their journey on a mobile device, using their mobile device for search purposes, they may then move onto a desktop or laptop to make the final purchase. In doing so, the consumer may then go directly to the merchant site to make the purchase, meaning that the affiliate who initiated the purchase loses out on their commission. With this in mind, it may be worth considering rewarding affiliate mobile traffic instead of just conversion.