Taking Your Affiliate Program Global
Expanding an affiliate program globally isn’t simply a matter of replicating existing practices in a new country. In fact, there are many cultural differences, nuances and regulations you may be unfamiliar with that need to be taken into account.
To share best practices for expanding your affiliate program into the US and European markets, our Global Client Strategy Director, Kevin Edwards hosted a webinar with our friend Robert Glazer at Acceleration Partners.
Some of the topics covered were:
- What’s driving the latest trends in global affiliate marketing
- Opportunities for expanding programs to the US and European markets
- Challenges of expanding affiliate programs in the US and Europe and how to avoid them
- Best practices for navigating your international expansion
We asked Kevin to summarize the webinar, providing his opinion and insights of the global trend:
Q.What’s the most exciting trend you’ve noticed in global affiliate marketing recently?
A. The fact that the Internet is borderless and as soon as logistic challenges are addressed the barriers can come down, is a huge benefit of online retail. Done well affiliate marketing can be an exceptionally useful platform to help launch outside of a retailer’s home borders.
With access to affiliate data across the countries we operate in, it is fascinating to see the increase in cross-territory trading and also how macroeconomic events can play a part in shaping affiliate strategy. While the UK is grappling with the fallout from Brexit, the flipside is the British pound has devalued against other currencies which has made buying products from British retailers much cheaper. Overnight, the proportion of sales more internationally focused retailers made from outside of the UK on our network increased dramatically.
Additionally, we are seeing more and more affiliates expand their operation beyond their home countries. Our Global Publisher Team has increased the number of publishers they are now managing in line with this growing need of an international affiliate network being able to share insight and support to these businesses about local variances and the nuances of each market.
The growth of certain trading events such as Black Friday and Single’s Day has also resonated with affiliates outside of the countries where they are traditionally focused. While Single’s Day remains a Chinese event, there is the opportunity to both showcase the deals available, but also tap into the Chinese expat community. With Black Friday increasing popularity, certain countries such as Brazil, have embraced it as an online event far more than American consumers. Given these events are based around offering the best deals, promotions and offers, the affiliate industry is perfectly placed to take advantage of them.
Q. What would you say is the biggest struggle for programs trying to launch their affiliate program in a new country?
A. We have seen some US companies come to the UK, specifically, and assume their business model can be easily replicated. Similarly, some will try and do too much, too soon.
Anyone with affiliate marketing experience will tell you it’s a relationship business and as such having someone on the ground is invaluable – although not an absolute necessity. Affiliate marketing is a trial and error game requiring persistence, resource and long term investment. If a company cannot guarantee all three they should seriously consider whether the time is right to expand.
For companies entering Europe there is a general feeling that it is a homogenous continent, or at least parts of it are. When you consider that geographically Europe is the similar in size to the US but has almost as many nations as American States, there are obvious challenges around scale.
Identifying a ‘friendly’ country in Europe from which to launch a wider expansion strategy makes sense. But ultimately success, outside of actual investment in the affiliate channel, will come down to three key factors: product range, delivery and cost.
Q. What are you hoping will be the biggest takeaway from your webinar?
A. The webinar displays affiliate marketing from two broad perspectives: the US and Europe, offering a range of key insights and logistical considerations for advertisers considering moving beyond their borders.
Watch the full webinar here.
Questions? Get in touch with our Account Management team.
Courtney Lowenthal is the PR & Marketing Coordinator at Affiliate Window US.