The affiliate marketing channel is ‘ideally suited to global advertisers’ – as survey results reveal that 68% of affiliate channel shoppers made an online purchase from a company outside of their home country.

Performance marketing network Rakuten LinkShare has revealed the ‘key findings’, from a commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting.

Tokyo-headquartered Rakuten, which today kicked off its Symposium New York 2013 event, said the ‘Key Trends and Best Practices Selling Globally via the Affiliate Channel’ study was designed to provide insight into the ways advertisers are using the affiliate channel to reach new customers globally.

As part of the study, the global research and advisory firm Forrester, surveyed 2,574 online shoppers across Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, the US and the UK.

Forrester conducted in-depth interviews with a variety of advertisers and publishers who are currently managing affiliate programmes in several countries; or are in the process of preparing to expand internationally. Both the large-scale surveys and the in-depth interviews explored the opportunities and challenges associated with cross-border selling via the affiliate channel.

Affiliate Channel is Ideal

The survey found that the affiliate channel is ‘ideally suited for global advertisers to capture new-to-file customers in both mature and nascent markets’.

Senior vice president of global marketing at Rakuten LinkShare, Scott Allan, said with e-commerce expected to grow to $1.3 trillion by the end of this year, advertisers are ‘clamouring for keen insights’ that will help them refine their global online strategies.

“Logistical issues are impeding some growth for advertisers expanding overseas yet the issues are solvable,” Allan said.

“We believe the study provides the industry with fresh data and key insights that highlight how performance marketing has become a leading strategy for online retailers entering new markets.”

Trends & Abandoned Carts

The research found that US and UK shoppers typically spend more when they start their research through the affiliate channel. It also found that UK shoppers are more likely to reconsider an abandoned shopping cart if they receive an offer – while Australians are the least likely to respond given the same scenario.

Other nuances to the online shopping experience revealed that Canadians are most likely to buy from outside of Canada, and 56% of shoppers in Brazil plan to increase their percentage of imports next year. Additional topics covered in the study include payment preferences, shipping costs, and duties and taxes.

Based on the findings, Allan said advertisers will be better positioned to increase online sales through the affiliate channel by understanding what types of affiliate sites to recruit from in each country, and what types of offers to promote as they work to build their global affiliate channel.