Rakuten LinkShare Survey, M-Commerce Push and Golden Link Award Winners

There was a lot of news coming out of Rakuten LinkShare this week. The affiliate network announced the results of a study on value of affiliate marketing; completed a new round of testing on the most popular mobile devices and platforms; and unveiled its annual Golden Link Award winners.

The study, conducted by Forrester Consulting , called “Affiliate Marketing — The Direct and Indirect Value that Affiliates Deliver to Advertisers” is  based on a forecast of the affiliate marketing industry and a survey of 526 U.S.-based online buyers, as well as in-depth interviews with advertisers and affiliates.

Key findings included:

  • Affiliate marketing spend is on the rise and will keep pace with other areas of digital spend through 2016.
  • The affiliate channel produces new-to-file customers and generates incremental customer acquisition.
  • The affiliate channel attracts consumers who spend more than the average online shopper and are profitable for advertisers.
  • Affiliate marketing helps trigger brand reconsideration and often closes the sale for online shoppers.
  • Promotions in the affiliate channel have a positive impact on an advertiser’s brand reputation and loyalty.

Forrester forecasts U.S. affiliate marketing spending will increase by a compounded annual growth rate of nearly 17 percent between 2011 and 2016, growing to $4.5 billion.

See the full results from the study

Rakuten LinkShare also announced it completed a new round of testing on popular mobile devices and platforms including Apple iOS for iPhones and iPads.

According to LinkShare, “The comprehensive testing and validation of its tracking technology assures advertisers and publishers in the Rakuten LinkShare network they will be credited for mobile transactions on a variety of devices. It also enables them to develop long-term, successful partnerships that will further drive mobile and tablet sales and transactions.”

The testing was performed on the Apple iOS (iPhone and iPad), Android and Blackberry. The results show that advertisers are increasingly focused on m-commerce as over 500 advertisers tested within the Rakuten LinkShare network are now successfully tracking mobile transactions on one or more platforms and devices. Examples of advertisers in the Rakuten LinkShare network tracking mobile transactions from all platforms and devices tested include drugstore.com, and Sierra Trading Post.

Mobile commerce is expected to see continued growth as forecasts predict that one third of U.S. adults will own a tablet by 2015. Along with the rise of tablets and mobile device adoption is the anticipated surge in m-commerce, which is expected to reach $31 billion by 2015.

And congratulations to all the winners of the Golden Link Awards, which took place at a luncheon at the Waldorf-Astoria hotel in New York City earlier this week during the LinkShare Symposium.

Here are the winners of 2012 Rakuten LinkShare Golden Link Awards: