Affiliate marketing is a structure which benefits both the marketer/ advertiser and the affiliate.
Marketers don’t have to spend anything out of their initial budget until the affiliate generates sales. Affiliates can get a commission every time someone buys a product they are promoting from their link.
It is close to influencer marketing, and there are cases where it overlaps, especially on social media. The 2023 affiliate marketing statistics will help you understand how to incorporate it into your business.
Affiliate Marketing Statistics Highlights 2023-2024
According to a Forrester Consulting study, 81% of advertisers and 84% of publishers in the US have used an affiliate marketing platform at least once. In total, 80% of brands are involved in affiliate marketing worldwide.
About 10% of them set aside a separate budget for affiliates.
But compared to 2020, when 56% of affiliate marketers witnessed an increase in revenue, affiliate marketing has stabilized a lot in 2023. It was the period when the world had the most eCommerce sales. As such, eCommerce and affiliate marketing are closely related in growth.
- 16% of all e-commerce sales in the US are from affiliates.
- Blogging and reviews are still the largest affiliate channels.
- The average earning of an affiliate marketing manager is $63,510 per year.
- Affiliate marketers can earn up to 70% in commission from SaaS products.
- 40% of digital marketers consider affiliate marketing a key skill.
- 83% marketers target consumers when they are in the awareness phase through affiliate marketing.
These affiliate marketing statistics present a pretty picture of the affiliate space. Let’s see if it sticks as we dive deeper.
Affiliate Marketing Growth and Revenue Statistics 2023-2024
The global affiliate marketing industry is worth $17 billion in 2023. This indicates a compound annual growth rate of 3.91%, as the market value was $13 billion in 2016.
The projected market value for 2027 is $27.78 billion, which would mean a CAGR of 13.06%. It is likely the market value will be $40 billion by 2030. While forecasts are not always the ultimate result, it does confirm an upward trajectory for the affiliate marketing industry.
In the US alone, advertisers spent $8.2 billion on affiliate marketing. This number is up from $7.4 billion in 2021, pointing to a compound annual growth rate of 10.81%. The CAGR for affiliate marketing market value and advertising spend on affiliate marketing are almost on par with each other.
In 2019, the US affiliate marketing generated $6.4 billion in revenue. Similarly, a Business Insider report states affiliate marketing accounts for 15% of the digital media industry’s revenue.
Mind you, global digital ad spending is supposed to reach $876 billion dollars by 2026, according to Statista.
This is also obvious from the conversion rate analysis on affiliate marketing by Awin. Apparently, the average conversion rate on affiliate promotions is 1%. However, this is an estimate at most, as publishers don’t publish their affiliate numbers.
Overall, deal affiliate marketing offers the most conversions, as 97% of consumers are on the lookout for an offer while shopping.
A Lotame survey confirmed affiliate advertising as among the top 3 revenue sources for 31% of publishers. 86% of publishers consider affiliate marketing one of the most stable income sources, predicting it will stay the same or increase in the near future.
35% of affiliates confessed to earning more than $20,000 per year from affiliate marketing. No wonder Google searches on affiliate marketing have become six times more in the last few years.
In turn, Merchant sites claim 5 to 20% of their annual revenue comes from affiliate marketing. 65% of retailers also report gaining a revenue of 20% from their affiliate marketing strategy.
At least 20% of brands consider affiliate marketing a vital customer acquisition channel. It is also among the top three customer acquisition channels for 54% of brands.
Even Amazon Associates, which lots of people claim is dead, has been on an upward trajectory for the last 5 years.
Source: Google Trends
The search term related to Amazon Associates are predictably “Amazon storefront,” “linktree,” “digistore24,” and “pinterest.” All of these terms show the same upward graph, indicating interested searchers eventually turn into affiliates.
According to Awin, blogs are the main driving source of traffic for affiliate marketers. 65% of publishers use blogs as a cost-effective method, as it results in 3x more leads than normal ads.
Affiliate Marketing Growth on Social Channels
While affiliate marketing was a traditional website game for a long time, it has crossed over to social media promotions seamlessly. Although, if you do own a traditional website, we would recommend monetizing with both display ads and sprinkling product links into the content, as do 82% of other publishers.
As of 2023, 85.8% of affiliates are earning from social media despite having less than 10,000 followers. 20.3% of affiliates even reach out to advertisers on social media.
The average affiliate uses 2 to 3 social media channels, of which Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest are at the top. The affiliate marketer distribution on these channels is about 75.8%, 61.4%, and 42.2%, respectively.
On Facebook, the average conversion rate for an affiliate advertisement is 6.57%. Influencers, in particular, have 12% higher engagement on their posts when they post an affiliate link.
Similarly, Instagram affiliate marketers enjoy a median engagement rate of 1.22% despite having an audience of 2 billion active monthly users. Of them, 29% swipe up when they come across a story with an affiliate link.
Posts with referral coupons in the caption also attract 94% of consumers, especially since you could keyword search on Instagram. The lifestyle niche is the chosen space for 14% of Instagram affiliates.
Meanwhile, Pinterest is a hotspot for US affiliates. 76.2 of Pinterest users are women globally, while 83% of US Pinterest users are women. Over 45% of these woman have a household income of $100,000.
Best part? They are opening Instagram with every intention to buy. 80% of Pinterest users end up finding out about a new brand on the platform every week. As an affiliate, creating pins with your associate link is the least you have to do.
Across all platforms, the conversion rate for video is 38% higher than for image affiliate posts. Particularly, an interesting affiliate marketing growth has been in the toy industry, which has grown by 109%. However, 19% of affiliate programs involve the fashion in industry on social media.
Affiliate Marketing Industry Stats 2023-2024
Amazon Associate – Amazon’s affiliate program- is the world’s biggest affiliate network, clocking over 900 thousand affiliates in 2021. However, Amazon has had some heavy competition in recent years, especially with complaints from associates about getting a huge chunk of their pay cut.
The way affiliate program platforms like Amazon Associates work is they take a commission from both the brands and affiliates for connecting them to each other.
As such, the second biggest name on the list is ShareASale, which is only behind Amazon Associates by 200 thousand, with 700 thousand in the program.
- Awin has over 225 thousand affiliates.
- Rakuten manages 150 thousand affiliates.
- ClickBank has the lowest number of affiliates at 100 thousand.
One thing of note is these affiliate programs are all from Western companies, with Rakuten as the only exception as a Japanese establishment. The US, in particular, has more affiliate programs than other parts of the world.
This isn’t to say affiliate marketing isn’t a popular concept in APAC, Europe, or Africa, where 2300, 1900, and 900 companies provide affiliate programs, respectively. However, it’s a booming industry, with the affiliates signing up with Amazon Associates because it’s the most widespread.
Source: Enterprise Apps Today
In fact, when it comes to the countries where affiliate products are bought the most, China makes up 52.3% of the sales, coming behind the US, which has 88.6% of the market share. Meanwhile, India is in third place, accounting for 36.5% of the sales.
Interestingly enough, a study by Publisher Discovery reveals Awin is the program with the most links worldwide, getting 30% of the market. This means while Amazon and ShareASale get the most sign-ups, it has a large number of ghost associates.
In fact, when it comes to published links, CJ Affiliate has 15.8% of the market and Rakuten controls 7.4%. Other names like Tradetracker, Impact, and Tradetroubler show up, all having 4% each.
You should note that Publisher Discovery only counted links from traditional affiliate marketing – blogs. Since social media and in-app numbers were ignored, giants like Amazon Associates and ShareASale could take over in total link distribution.
Right now, there are over 112,473 companies competing in the affiliate space, according to Datanyze. However, only 66 companies are involved in the production of affiliate network technologies, making it a far less competitive area for developers.
Affiliate Marketing Advertising Growth Statistics 2023-2024
Affiliate marketing is the 7th most in-demand skill in marketing agencies. According to Active Revenue, there are 7 kinds of publishers:
- Cashback and loyalty site facilities
- Product review and comparison publishers
- Social media publishers
- Paid channel publishers
- Email marketers.
For example, sites like Beam offer $75 for every purchase made by a newsletter reader.
As such, the affiliate marketing industry has expanded and changed meaning, shifting from traditional blogging. Naturally, this has an effect with how advertisers interact with affiliate marketing, with 60% having personal experience with it in the last 5 years.
Meanwhile, on average, 44% of publishers have done affiliate marketing for more than 6 years as of 2023. This is a 34% growth than in 2022.
24% of publishers have done affiliate marketing for more than 8 years. 19% have done it for 5 years, while 22% have published affiliate content for about 1 to 3 years.
It has been less than a year for 15%. However, these are publishers who have done affiliate marketing independently, meaning they chose to promote random products and obtained an affiliate link from an affiliate company.
When it comes to agency and publisher partnerships in affiliate marketing, 32% have partnered for over 8 years. Another 27% have done the same for 1 to 3 years.
Yet, only 12% have committed to a partnership for under a year, and another 12% have been in association for 6 to 8 years. The numbers are also low for the 4 to 5 year period, at 14%.
There is a real possibility publishers will try out partnerships with agencies for a year at first. If they find success, they will commit for another 3 years. At some point, some get tired, which is why a huge percentage don’t stay as partners for up to 8 years.
Those who end up shaking hands with companies for over 8 years, find it the most profitable model and stick to it.
As an advertiser/agency, you could foster a long-term relationship with publishers by expanding their budget and offering them handsome commissions.
About 44% of publishers are working with over 500 advertisers in 2023. The numbers, while astonishing, aren’t so if you consider how many ads can be listed and linked on a single blog page.
Even with social media, active affiliates publish more than 5 pieces of content daily. As such, 24% are working with more than 1000 advertisers.
12% are working with 250 to 499 advertisers, while another 12% have a contract with 50 to 249 advertisers. 22% have entered an agreement with 10 to 49 advertisers.
This is in line with the monthly affiliate marketing spending of advertisers. 68% of advertisers have increased their affiliate marketing budget to $10k per month, whereas it was 60% of advertisers in 2022.
20% of advertisers are willing to spend over $50,000 per year on publishers. In 2022, 28% of advertisers were spending 10k to $50k on affiliate marketing. This year, 37% have allotted the same budget for affiliates, which is a clear answer: they are seeing results in return.
But which kind of publishers get the most budget from advertisers?
According to Affilimate.com, cashback, loyalty, and reward websites get 35% of advertisers’ affiliate budget. Next in line are coupon, vouchers, and rebate websites at 16%. Since these are often similar websites, you can say a total of 51% of affiliate revenue comes from cashback and reward websites.
Source: Enterprise Apps Today
The next popular channel for advertisers to spend on affiliate marketers is content at 15%. This is a broad category and can include blogs, socials, and influencer spending.
Affiliate Marketing Statistics For Publishers in 2023
According to the affiliate marketing report from Insiderintelligence, SaaS products have the highest commission rate for affiliate marketers. However, the rate varies and can be as low as 20% in some SaaS companies.
The next industry with a high commission rate is Finance, where the rate is 35 to 40%. eLearning is equally profitable, with 15 to 30% commission possibilities, while tech products also lead to 13 to 20% commission.
Art pays the lowest, capping at 12%. Meanwhile, affiliates can get 10 to 30% commission from the beauty and health products they sell. It is also one of the most widely distributed industries, so even if the rate is at 10%, a huge following can mean $5000 per month.
In fact, according to ZipRecruiter, top affiliates make $105,500 per year, while the average earning is $72,969. However, the top earners are barely 7.9%. In reality, 57.55% of affiliate marketers earn less than $10,000.
This by no means proves affiliate marketing doesn’t work for affiliates. Affiliate marketing is a side income for a large percentage of affiliates. They do not put in the same effort as they would for a full-time job. $10k is a handsome reward for their dedication.
As per iab Australia, 74% of advertisers and 83% of publishers use the cost per action (CPA) model while forming a contract. The next most popular method is Tenancy Fees, where affiliates get a flat percentage in addition to earnings from sales. 43% of advertisers and 48% of publishers use this model.
Cost per click is the least popular method, with only 33% of advertisers and 35% of publishers using it. It makes sense, as clicks don’t always mean sales, especially no more than action. A customer could click on something and not buy it.
Similarly, a consumer could take the action of buying from an affiliate advertisement, but advertisers can’t track it. And so, cost per action model appears fairer.
20% of advertisers and 25% of publishers also offer bonuses to affiliate partners for reaching sales goals.
For affiliates, the Google Trends for the past twelve months might be of interest. “Temu affiliate program” is the most searched term related to affiliate marketing. In other words, this is the rising affiliate program worldwide at present.
Source: Google Trends
Affiliate Marketing By Demographic 2023
The affiliate marketing industry is dominated by men at 57.5%, while 42.5% are women. Yet, when it comes to blogging in general, the space is almost neutral, with 50.9% women bloggers and 49.1% male bloggers.
More women blog out of passion or to promote a personal product or service rather than with the intention to earn from affiliate programs. However, with more affiliates using social media as a platform for affiliate promotions, experts predict a rise in female affiliates.
Yet, the post of online affiliate marketing manager is filled by 75.8% of women, whereas only 23.2% of men are hired in the role.
At present, the average age of an affiliate marketer is 39.3 years. The majority of affiliate marketers are older, with 32% falling in 35 to 44 years age range.
The next big age group is 25 to 35 year olds, making up for 28%. Since affiliate marketing requires establishing authority, it makes sense it has an older demographic. Plenty of future affiliate marketers have also taken to influencer marketing instead.
Companies like Amazon Associates also have an age limit. Anyone under 18 can become an affiliate with them, but they won’t receive the money until they turn 18, when they could have a bank account.
If you are a new affiliate marketer, your most profitable niches at present are home goods, travel, parenting, and tech.
SaaS affiliate marketing is harder to break into but can bring amazing rewards. Although, you are unlikely to find a SaaS company on an affiliate platform. You will have to contact these companies separately or sign up for the affiliate program on their website.
If you are unable to create content, you can try unattached affiliate marketing, where you run ads with your commission link.
As with technological advancements, affiliate marketing will likely evolve further, with in-game virtual marketing taking a considerable lead. As an advertiser, you should be on the lookout for how affiliate marketers are interacting with artificial intelligence.