Affiliate marketing is a key ingredient for any digital marketing strategy. Essentially, it involves earning a commission every time you successfully market somebody else’s product or service.
In the digital era, about 80% of brands have affiliate marketing programs to help boost their reach online. Yet, trends show that affiliate marketing might become even more powerful in the coming years.
To give you a sense of this industry, we’ve put together 75+ affiliate marketing statistics that prove it’s flourishing.
Editor’s Choice Affiliate Marketing Stats
Affiliate marketing is a popular choice for digital media revenue. It’s a highly effective tool that’s responsible for 16% of online orders worldwide.
In fact, it’s set to surpass $30 billion in sales by 2025.
Overall, affiliate marketing has seen 52% growth since 2015. Marketers are taking notice as well and affiliate marketing budgets are predicted to increase by over 10%.
In the U.S. alone, there are 11,400 affiliate programs. Currently, Amazon Associates is the largest of them, with 900,000 active affiliates.
In addition, here are some overall affiliate marketing statistics that show its strong position:
- Affiliate marketing can increase revenue by 30% if done well.
- 50% of affiliate marketing traffic comes from mobile.
- Affiliate marketing fraud is a big issue and it cost around $1.4 billion in 2020.
- 65% of affiliate marketers use social media to connect with potential customers.
- 37% of first-time online shoppers did so through an affiliate link.
- 74% of U.S. online shoppers will check multiple affiliate websites before purchase.
- At 18.5%, product relevance is the #1 factor for choosing an affiliate marketing program.
- Interest in affiliate marketing grew by 300%, according to 2020 Google Trend analyses.
Affiliate Marketing Worldwide
Affiliate marketing worldwide is significant and it’s worth around $15 billion globally.
The Global Growth of Affiliate Marketing in 9 Countries
To start, the U.S., Japan and Germany have affiliate marketing size of over $1 billion. Close behind is Australia, the U.K. and France with over $500 million. In addition, global affiliate marketing trends include:
- About 65% of affiliate marketers worldwide use blogs to get traffic and sales.
- Affiliate marketing traffic sources include 68.83% from the U.S., 13.39% from Europe and 4.46% from the U.K.
- 75% of the Australian affiliate market is owned by one affiliate network called the Commission Factory.
- Content produced by affiliate marketers has increased by 175% in the last few years.
Affiliate Marketing in the U.S.
Affiliate marketing has the biggest presence in the U.S, with a 39% market share of the global affiliate industry.
Furthermore, product categories with the most affiliate marketing growth in 2020 include toys with 109%, software with 103%, home improvement with 86%, housewares with 84% and food/drink with 67%.
Nowadays, over 80% of advertisers and publishers are making use of affiliate marketing. Not to mention that for affiliate publishers, content and blogs generate about 40% of commissions.
Affiliate Marketer Demographics & Perspectives
Over 30% of affiliate marketers are young, between 35-44 years old. They’re about evenly divided by gender: 54.23% men and 42.97% women. In addition:
- 55.32% are married, 33.67% single, and 11.01% widowed or divorced.
- 57.44% are located in the U.S.
- 55.5% worked from home before the pandemic.
- 48.69% prefer direct payments.
Affiliate marketers also tend to have strong perspectives. For example: 90% believe affiliate marketing is a key part of any digital marketing strategy, 38% think it’s one of the best strategies to get new customers, and 40% consider it an important skill.
Top Affiliate Marketing Industries
Affiliate marketing can be successful in many industries. However, according to a report by AMNavigator (2015), it was most common in the fashion industry, which had 18.7% of the total market share.
Sports and health categories weren’t far behind, with 14.6% and 11.1% market share respectively.
In addition to these industries, affiliate marketing is the most common advertising model for 55% of the gaming industry.
Finally, the overall retail industry is the most popular for affiliate marketing, accounting for 43% of total affiliate revenue.
Top Affiliate Platforms
Generally speaking, there are 173,815 companies included in the affiliate networks industry, with 55 companies producing network technology. According to data in August 2021, the market share breakdown is:
- 45.74% Amazon Associate
- 8.18% CJ Affiliate
- 7.85% Rakuten
- 7.09% ShareASale
- 4.85% VigLink
The remaining 26.29% of the market share includes all other companies.
Affiliate Marketing Spending & Earning
Affiliate marketing spending in the U.S from 2010 to 2022 (in billion U.S. dollars)
Affiliate marketing spending has been steadily growing since 2010. In fact, it’s expected to reach $8.2 billion by 2022. Moreover:
- 73% of affiliate marketing programs meet company revenue goals.
- 80% will increase their affiliate marketing revenue in the future.
- 60% get a 20% revenue from affiliate marketing.
- Typically, 10% of affiliates are involved in 90% of sales.
- 91% of companies carefully plan their affiliate marketing budget.
In addition, affiliate marketers earn commission income from their efforts. Worldwide about 48% earn $20,000 a year, while 9% reach $50,000 a year and 3.2% rake in more than $150,000 a year.
The biggest affiliate marketing earner today is Jason Stone, who makes about $7 million a year on Instagram.
Affiliate Marketing Best Practices
The number of products affiliate marketers market differs even more and can reach the hundreds. For example:
- 53% prefer promoting over 300 products
- 42.17% prefer 1–10 products
- 23.18% prefer 11–20 products
- 14.19% prefer 21–50 products
Finally, affiliate marketers use a variety of tactics, including social media or cash-back programs. Here are some current statistics:
- 0.67% of YouTube videos include at least one affiliate link.
- 0.85% of Pinterest pins include at least one affiliate link.
- 43% of affiliate sales involve a cash-back or loyalty program.
- 30% of affiliate sales involve voucher codes.
Affiliate marketing is sure to change over time. We’re already seeing how marketers are using micro-influencers, as well as AI and voice search for their affiliate marketing efforts.
In addition, affiliate marketing may be impacted by third-party cookie tracking, which is set to be heavily reduced by 2022. This may change how marketers reach potential audiences, too.
While affiliate marketing continues to flourish today, we’ll have to keep an eye on whether its estimated growth is as strong as experts say. Stay tuned on our blog for more affiliate marketing stats in the future!