With advertisers’ budget in place and business plans now set in motion, is the industry well and truly equipped and positioned to take advantage of these emerging trends? Here are just some of the takeaways from the report that the affiliate industry and partners should be aware of.

Review of online tracking

Apple’s ITP 2.0 changes to its Safari browser has sparked many debates on online tracking, with networks and platforms all processing more ethical and transparent practices to ensure compliance and accuracy with their partners. Earlier this month, networks called out advertisers to be up to scratch with the changes by implementing fit-for-purpose tracking solutions that fairly reward their publishers. With other browsers following a similar path later this year, the urgency to be compliant will only increase further over the coming months.

Industry consolidation and collaboration

January has been a busy month for the affiliate industry with numerous acquisitions and mergers in addition to new hires and departures as the industry reaches a new level of maturity. With a recent push for more consolidation and collaboration to help improve the channel, influential partners could play a key part in bringing some much-needed refreshment ideas and help steer the profile of the channel at a more senior level.

The Amazon threat is real

Amazon’s growth as an advertising platform continues to increase every year but this is also a worrying prospect for affiliates and advertisers as the e-commerce giant could join the duopoly as another black box for advertiser investment, drawing more money away from the affiliate channel. 2019 should be a time for affiliates to inherit diversity and transparency as it looks to overcome the predicament.

Black Friday – more emphasis on customer value

Whilst Black Friday sales across the globe hit high levels in 2018, the event itself seems to have slowed as customers continue to become savvier in the way they shop online and the discounts available to them. 2019 may see advertisers move away from discounting tactics, focusing more on customer value during the sales period and looking to work with the right partners that can also deliver those values.

Automation development and strategic support

The development of automation and new technologies (AI and machine learning) to enhance basic procedures such as data processing, has grown in efficiency over the last few months, allowing more time to be freed to work on creative approaches and strategies. This trend will only increase further in 2019, allowing networks and their staff to move away from the more oppressive tasks of managing an affiliate programme and provide more value to clients when it comes to creative and strategic support.

Download the full report to find out more about the other predictions and trends to shape the affiliate marketing industry in 2019.