Admitad Affiliate Network about the prospects of British CPA industry — as stated in Affiliate Report 2020.

China and dropshipping on the rise

Sales of Chinese marketplaces in the UK continue to grow. In 2019, they increased by 33% and are expected to go up in 2020.

There was a 25% growth in March-April, caused by Aliexpress birthday sale at the end of March. During these days, retailers usually give generous discounts for their products and people are ordering more — in spite of the longer shipping time. A similar surge took place in November-December — due to the big sales and Christmas holidays. Admitad data suggests that Singles day has been more fruitful in terms of sales than Black Friday — both globally and in the UK.

Most orders from Chinese shops in the UK came from drop shippers, which indicates that dropshipping still remains a profitable business model. Around 40% of UK publishers coming to Admitad from Google are interested in dropshipping.

We expect the cooperation between Asian marketplaces to escalate even further in 2020. However, it is now threatened by the outbreak of coronavirus. Even though the shipments are safe due to long shipment time, Alibaba has already warned marketers about a possible drop in e-commerce revenues.

Ever-growing mobile

Mobile traffic still has not reached its limit and continues to claim an increasing share of online purchases. According to Admitad statistics, it was 5% in 2018, and climbed to 11.7% in 2019.

The figure might seem lower than expected, but you have to consider a massive amount of desktop orders from China. Other industries, namely Travel & Tourism (15% of total sales) and Apparel (36%) tend to be more mobile. Total sales of clothing and shoes among Admitad advertisers grew by 135% in 2019, tourism gained +150%.

The role of mobile-first audiences for affiliate marketing is getting more tangible. The average check in Travel was 255$ — the highest across the goods categories.

As Brexit looms near, tourism continued its rise, users ordered more tickets and tours via smartphones. We expect the trend to curb somewhat in 2020 due to the visa limitations for British citizens. Notwithstanding that, tourism as an industry is extremely likely to grow. And so will the share of mobile sales.

Social impact

The popularity of influencers on social networks is rising, and so is the number of sales via blogs, forums and UGC-related platforms. Stories and posts draw people’s attention to recommendations and excite them to buy different products. Blogs and forums grew five-fold over the year and there is no reason for them to stop doing so for another decade.

Users are spending more time in their news feeds, which also contain targeted advertising. According to Admitad statistics, orders from social media targeting grew by 50% in 2019. Partly, this must be attributed to Facebook and Instagram algorithms being responsible for the precision of shops that users are going to like.

Orders from messengers increased by 33% from 2018 and in social media groups by 42%. In 2020, we expect social media and new-generation channels to grow even further.

What’s up with the rest of the world?

The global trends are pretty much the same, except the scale varies depending on the region. Mobile sales are hot in MENA and APAC, food delivery services – in Eastern Europe, financial affiliate programs – in CIS. Chinese marketplaces seem to have conquered the whole world, even though the public attitude towards them in some developed countries remains ambiguous.

As for the “content is king” concept, we strongly believe that the future of affiliate marketing is paved with UGC and social media. Even though traditional online advertising channels keep growing, a new generation of customers is less likely to be attracted to retailers not recommended by fellow influencers.

We keep our fingers on the pulse to feel how the situation unfolds. Promise we will let you know as soon as we discover something of interest.

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