If you’re reading this, the natural assumption would be that you’re entertaining the idea of launching your affiliate programme in a foreign market, expanding into additional markets, or optimising existing foreign markets that you already have a presence in. It’s a sage thought, especially given the myriad factors and trends that are making e-commerce, and the world, feel that little bit smaller.

Just ten years ago, the very notion of expanding beyond a mature market like the UK or US would be clouded by fears of logistical nightmares and publisher recruitment. Brands had to front the cost of “boots on the ground” in their target market, while consumers were still getting the hang of shopping abroad. 

But things changed – and fast. In 2015, 361 million shoppers imported $304 billion worth of products and services. In 2020, 943 million shoppers will import $994 billion worth of products and services – marking a 226% increase in spend and a 161% rise in customers. 

The last five years have seen a colossal change in attitudes towards cross-border shopping, and there is now plenty of scope for retailers to expand. 

The growing availability of online payment options, coupled with enhanced levels of trust in them, has been a big driver of international commerce. Logistics, once a key obstacle to commerce in less-developed regions, has improved majorly in the last few years. Meanwhile, the explosion of mobile technology has given millions of consumers their first taste of buying online.

As a result of the increased propensity for consumers to shop abroad, and businesses to, therefore, expand abroad, we’ve witnessed huge demand among advertisers for local market experts, offering the capabilities to recruit publishers in emerging territories and supply granular insight into the potential of each region.

I’m proud to boast that CJ Affiliate has not only delivered against that need but made a name for our network – the world’s largest – as the network for global affiliate expansion.

In this insightful whitepaper – written to impart actionable takeaways for affiliate advertisers – we’ve collated the advice of a handful of our experts around the world, exploring cross-border shopping, tips for running a global affiliate programme and how networks can ease your transition into a new market.