Since its stupendous growth in the 2000s, affiliate marketing has positioned itself as one of the best means to drive sales processes or acquire additional revenue. Being an excellent source of passive income as well, it seems like this strategy is a win-win. That’s why we prepared a list of the most essential affiliate marketing statistics to get you up to speed. Let’s dive into these facts and figures about this lucrative way to both drive sales or, alternatively, make some extra money on the side.
Affiliate Marketing Statistics (Editor’s Pick)
- The global worth of the affiliate marketing industry is estimated at around $12 billion. (SaaS Scout)
- Mobile is the source of over 50% of affiliate traffic. (SaaS Scout)
- Amazon Associates is the largest affiliate marketing network with over 900,000 active affiliates. (Supermetrics)
- About 76% of publishers like affiliate marketing because it monetizes their content. (Awin)
- The spending on affiliate marketing makes up 16% of all online orders. (EcommerceCEO)
- SEO is the number one global traffic source for affiliate marketers with 69.22%. (Social Media Today)
- In 2020, affiliate marketing fraud cost $1.4 billion. (CHEQ)
General Affiliate Marketing Stats
1. The search for ‘affiliate marketing’ rose over 200% between 2015 and 2020.
From 2015 until 2020, the number of times people looked up affiliate marketing skyrocketed, underscoring affiliate marketing growth. In June 2021, the number of searches reached the highest point during this period. The surge comes amid the overall rise of online shopping and the corresponding fall in traditional retail practices, exacerbated by COVID-19.
(Supermetrics, Google Trends)
2. Globally, 85% of consumers turn to Google for information regarding a product they want to purchase.
Closely following, we have Amazon with 72%. These two are the most influential sources of information for customers. eBay is third with 38%. Global affiliate marketing statistics show this is similar across different countries included in the same research. For instance, in Germany, the UK, the US, and France, the percentage of those trusting Google info prior to the purchase ranges from 80% to 88%. That makes it a great potential for affiliate marketers to reach adequate target groups and increase their profits.
3. Amazon’s commission rates range between 1% and 10%.
Besides being a tech and ecommerce giant, Amazon is also one of the biggest affiliate networks. And it’s always expanding, according to affiliate marketing growth stats. The way it works is people collect commissions on the products other people buy after using your affiliate links, posted on your social media, blog, or website. Typically, these commission rates vary based on the type of product. Some of the pros of becoming a member include an easy registration process, access to numerous products to promote, as well as different payment options.
4. Affiliate marketing spending makes up 16% of all online orders, affiliate marketing success stats show.
According to the results of particular research, consumers will more likely spend more money because of affiliate programs and recommendations, compared to items of their own choice. Data from CJ Affiliate’s report shows that affiliate marketing consumers spend much more than the average buyer, with the typical online order 31% higher for this type of customer. Similarly, the average order value is 21% bigger for affiliate marketing consumers. Finally, these buyers provide 58% higher average customer revenue.
5. Lawrence Systems makes about $2,500 per month with YouTube affiliate marketing.
This channel dedicates its content to computers, open-source, IT, and similar topics and has 187,000 subscribers. And it’s not the most extreme example either —according to YouTube affiliate marketing statistics, James Charles, a famous makeup vlogger, earns approximately $20 million annually. Translated into money per video, it’s around $80,000. His follower audience is much larger at 25.5 million subscribers.
6. About 76% of publishers like affiliate marketing because it monetizes their content.
Just under two-thirds (65%) meanwhile believe that one of the benefits of this type of marketing is that it creates a new revenue stream. Next, 45% liked it because it doesn’t create a disturbance in the UX, compared to ads.
7. Commissions per sale for dating programs like Match.com and CougarLife in the US are as high as 80%.
It’s a fairly large amount compared to the general commission rates for the industry, affiliate marketing profit stats show. Not to mention the vast potential. For reference, there are many dating websites in the US and over 40 million Americans use such services to meet someone. As a matter of fact, 27% of young adults use online dating sites, and even the number of those over 55 years old is increasing.
8. In about 55% of cases, revenue share is the most popular advertising affiliate model in the gaming industry.
Companies that use affiliate marketing in the gaming industry mostly rely on this model, as well as the mixed one. So, for example, in over 30% of cases, the gaming industry combines cost per action and revenue share as affiliate models. Only 19% of affiliate transactions fall under the CPA model. Some of the top markets for gaming affiliates include the UK (43%), the US (33%), and Asia (23%).
(Social Media Today)
9. For 18.15% of marketers, the product and how relevant it is play a crucial role when choosing an affiliate program.
For about 15.97%, the reputation of the specific program is a major criterion. Based on the affiliate marketing stats, 10.14% also look at the merchant’s reputation, while for 11.58%, the tracking platform is of utmost importance. Further, 10.11% look at the brand awareness possibilities and, in general. Finally, 6.49% tend to consider relevant marketing terms and conditions.
(Social Media Today)
10. SEO is the number one global traffic source for affiliate marketers with 69.22%.
SEO seems to be the most relevant source, affiliate marketing revenue statistics indicate. In fact, SEO traffic converts seven times more than other types of affiliate marketing. Aside from it, another two of the top three sources for affiliate traffic are social networks (67.32%) and blogging (64.48%). But there are other two sources not as relevant as these three, however, still important with a large impact on affiliate marketing. First, we have email marketing with 41.47% and finally Pay per Click with 34.28%.
(Social Media Today)
11. 37% of online shoppers who have made their first purchase since April 2020 did it through an affiliate channel.
Affiliate marketing statistics further show that there was a 150% increase in the number of Amazon’s affiliate program publishers that applied in July 2020. For the whole of 2020, the annual spending on affiliate marketing was estimated at $12 billion. So it seems that the pandemic came in handy for this industry.
12. Jason Stone, popular as Millionaire Mentor, earned $7 million in one year from affiliate marketing.
If you are wondering how, you just need to look at his 1.1 million followers on Instagram. In fact, after opening his current account for the first time in just a year, this man acquired hundreds of thousands of followers. With affiliate offers on his profile, the millions just started piling in.
Affiliate Marketing Industry Statistics
13. The global worth of the affiliate marketing industry is estimated to be around $12 billion.
The US is driving this market with a $4.5 billion share. That translates into 39% of the total affiliate marketing market. The UK follows with 15%, and Germany with 11%. These three together account for 65% of the sector. A large portion of the overall industry value comes from affiliate software that brands use to manage their programs, as opposed to advertising on an affiliate marketplace.
14. Retail accounts for 43% of the affiliate industry revenue.
That is nearly double that of the runner-up —telecom and media —which contributes 24% of the affiliate revenue, while travel and leisure add 16%. The health and wellness industry meanwhile is considered one of the best areas for affiliate marketing, projected to reach $6 trillion by 2025.
(EasyAffiliate, SaaS Scout)
15. Mobile is the source of over 50% of affiliate traffic.
Mobile affiliate marketing statistics show that mobile traffic already was one of the high-generating sources of affiliate marketing in 2017 when the market’s spending on smartphones rose by 49%. Fast forward to 2021, and over half of all ecommerce sales alone are expected to take place on mobile, further fuelling affiliate marketing growth, given the sector’s importance for affiliate marketing.
(Post Affiliate Pro, SaaS Scout)
16. There are 55 companies in the world producing affiliate network technologies.
The global market size of affiliate networks includes around 107,160 companies participating in this branch. Based on affiliate marketing industry statistics, these companies in total employ 6,671,140 staff. Some of the most popular and numerous affiliate networks include Amazon Associates, CJ Affiliate, Rakuten Affiliate Network, and ShareASale. The first one is by far the largest, with a 46.1% market share. The next in line, CJ Affiliate, only has an 8.12% market share.
17. The Amazon Associates affiliate marketing network has over 900,000 active affiliates.
Statistics about affiliate marketing show that ShareASale follows with over 700,000 active affiliates. Other notable networks include Awin with over 205,000 and ClickBank with more than 100,000 affiliates.
18. About 48% of marketers worldwide earned $20,000 per year or $1,660 monthly in 2020.
As few as 3% of overall affiliate marketers earned over $150,000 per year. On the other hand, just 34% of them are ready to invest to get some return on investment. According to an Affiliate Marketing Benchmark report, 9% of the marketing budget goes to PPC. Typically, companies allocate the same amount for affiliate marketing. Paid display, social media, and traditional marketing take up the highest percentage (a combined 43%).
Affiliate Marketing Fraud Statistics
19. In 2020, affiliate marketing fraud cost $1.4 billion.
Fraud is a big problem plaguing the affiliate marketing industry. Typically, it occurs when fraudsters take advantage of flaws in the tracking systems and attribution. Namely, they submit false or unfair claims for commissions. Given that affiliate marketing accounts for 15% of the total digital media industry revenue, this is a big problem.
20. CHEQ estimates that the rate of fraud related to affiliate marketing is 9%.
This estimation comes from CHEQ’s data from over 39 sectors, and a trillion impressions, as well as insights from experts in the field. However, other sources report much higher levels, and their statistics about affiliate marketing fraud stand in contrast to this rate. So, for example, the University of Illinois released some estimations in 2016 that suggest that 38.1% of Amazon affiliate program partners engage in fraudulent activities. On another note, some more stats show that up to 25% of app installs are considered fraudulent because of attribution fraud.
21. Loss due to fraud for advertisers is estimated to reach $100 billion by 2023.
Affiliate advertisers face a tremendous challenge in the context of advertisement fraud, according to the latest data from Juniper Research. Its forecast was that the advertisers would spend $42 billion on fraudulent activities online, in-app, and on mobiles in 2019 alone. The main driver behind this potential rise of fraud according to this report lies in the advanced techniques scammers are using nowadays. For instance, one of the more common types of fraud includes false ad clicks or so-called ‘app install farms’.
By looking at all these affiliate marketing stats we can conclude that this branch of marketing is rising as a powerful channel. Aside from driving value for the merchants, it helps smaller companies with a lack of marketing budget raise brand visibility. Despite the overall dominance of some older or more traditional forms of marketing in the industry, this field is generating more and more revenue year after year.
How many affiliate marketers are there?
It’s hard to calculate the exact number of affiliate marketers out there since not many companies report their data. However, it’s a giant industry, evergrowing with many brands adopting this strategy every year. Solely in the US, there are 11,400 affiliate programs. ShareASale is one of the biggest networks with over 4,500 programs. On top of that, we have Amazon Associates, currently the number one, CJ Affiliate, and Japanese giant Rakuten.
How much do affiliate marketers make?
According to the affiliate marketing earnings statistics from PayScale, the annual passive income people in this branch have is $51,217. However, the bottom 10% of marketers earned $37,000, while the top 10% had $71,000. Data from Glassdoor is slightly more in favor of affiliate marketers’ earnings. Based on these stats, the annual average for affiliates is $65,800. The top and bottom earners also had a higher average, with $83,000 and $42,000 respectively.
What is a good conversion rate for affiliate marketing?
Typically, there are no exact average rates for affiliate marketing without precise data on the number of affiliate marketers. However, conversion rates between 0.5% and 1% fall under the category of average rates.
How much does it cost to join an affiliate marketing program?
In most cases, a business requires some costs to establish it, on top of cash flow to purchase or make products for customers. On the other hand, affiliate marketing is pretty low cost. According to affiliate marketing statistics, aside from no need to develop a product, marketers shouldn’t worry about the affiliate program fees. However, if you want to be extremely successful in this job, there is no set number you need to invest in. For instance, most affiliate programs have an initial one-time setup fee with a minimum cost of $500 and a maximum of over $2,000.