Affiliate Marketing Industry Statistics 2020

By Ray Alexander

Along with the growing social network usages, our desire for recognition can go as wild as we want it to. Where everyone has a chance to build their audience on a worldwide scale, it only makes sense that more people are looking to monetize their online presence.

On the other hand for brands, users' recommendations play a vital role in increasing their sales. They save a lot of advertising costs by giving users a chance to become an affiliate and only paying them a commission upon sale. The following affiliate marketing industry statistics prove that it is certainly one of the most popular ways for the general public to make some cash online, and also it shows how brands are relying on it.

1. The Trends

Affiliate marketing is an established business model. Looking back over the past decade, not only full-time affiliate marketers but it's become a norm for casual bloggers to at least earn supplementary income from PPC as affiliates. According to Google Trends, "affiliate marketing" has always been a fairly popular search term. 

Search Interest for Affiliate Marketing Google Trends

But for the past few years the public interest for affiliate marketing has been up on rising again - analysts say this is due to the increase of YouTubers. Especially when looking at it at the worldwide scale, the popularity has dramatically increased in the past couple of years. This is pretty fascinating.

49.5K

Searched
per month

The term "affiliate marketing" is searched approximately 49,500 times every month in the USA.

Makes it an average of 1,650 times per day, 69 times per hour.

People still search for this simple term (rather than to search for longer tail keywords starting "affiliate marketing"), which means something. Many people either try to understand the meaning of it, or perhaps consider starting the business.

Keyword Search SEMRush Mangools

Per Keyword search tools SEMRush (L) and Mangools KWTools (R)

2. The Adaptation of Affiliate Marketing

81%
Brands
84%
Publishers/bloggers

81% of advertisers (brands) run an affiliate program and 84% of publishers (incl. bloggers) create content for affiliate marketing.

Less than 3% of them said they were not part of this business model, nor had a plan to be involved in the future.

 This commissioned study above was conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Rakuten in but January 2016, but referencing this data against the search trends above, we can only assume that similar high percentages still apply.

74%
People check affiliate sites

74% of U.S. online shoppers check multiple affiliate websites.

They visit more than 2 non-retail websites before completing a purchase. 16% of them visit more than 4 websites.

23%

Affiliate programs generate an average of 23 % of all sales for brands.

15%

15% of the digital media industry's revenue is accounted for from affiliate marketing.

58%

58% of the affiliate purchases was made on a mobile device in 2018.

This comes as no surprise, as up to 70% of internet traffic comes from mobile devices and 39% of the worldwide population are smartphone users.

3. Affiliate Marketing Growth

$8.2b

Affiliate marketing
spend in 2022

Affiliate marketing spend is due to reach $8.2 billion by 2022.

Comparing to $5.9 billion in 2018 - it will increase by $2.3 billion (39%) in the next 3-4 years. 

Affiliate Marketing Spending Growth

In 2010, the total of affiliate marketing spending in the United States was 1.6 billion U.S. dollars. The spend has steadily grown since, and it's projected to reach 8.2 billion dollars, i.e. over 5 times during the 12 years.

4. The Best Selling

36%
Amazon Associates

Amazon owns 35.7% of market share.

Not surprisingly, Amazon is the biggest affiliate program, owns 35.7% of the market share by the size of accounts.

Affiliate Networks Market Shares

Without a doubt, for the variety and number of the products, Amazon Associates offers the best affiliate program for any publishers. Certain restrictions apply (e.g. you're not allowed to place their affiliate link on your email/ebook), otherwise anyone can join as long as they have a website or an app to promote the products.

Also Read: How To Make Money As Amazon Affiliate

23%
Fashion niche

Fashion is the most popular affiliate niche (23%).

Followed by Sports & Outdoors (18%), Health & Beauty (14%), Travel (11%). It means over 50% of total affiliate sales is in either of these four categories.

As opposed to the four most-converting niches, generally recognized by affiliate marketers - health & beauty, wealth, love & relationship and self-improvement... When looking at the industry as a whole, fashion turns out to be the most promoted niche.

1-3%

Typical affiliate conversion rate is 1-3 out of 100.

It all depends on the type of affiliate page, niche, targeted audience, time of day/year, and the marketer's skill and experience. 

35-44

Years Old

32% of affiliate marketers are aged between 35-44.

The data may not be surprising either - the second top age group is 25-34 (28%), followed by 45-54 (22%), 55-64 (9%), 18-24 (5%), 65 or above (3%).


Published by: 

Ray Alexander

Hi! I’m Ray. Over the past 15+ years I have been involved with web designing, programming and online marketing. I work from home and have a passion for exploring new tools, services and programs in order to make money online. I’m here to help you succeed in building a profitable business by sharing my experiences. Any question, don’t hesitate to ask!

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  1. Hey, useful stats. Also eye opening. You think all the affiliates sell mmo stuff warriror plus scammers but good to know most of affiliates are in fashion & Amazon is most used. Trying to get on the industry trends before it gets too competitive. Do I need keyword tool I’ve never used one?

    Reply

    1. Hi Vincent, yes that seems to be the case. Full-time affiliate marketers may constantly promote products “to sell” but a much greater number of influencers and casual bloggers recommend products to their followers/readers. Re: keyword tool, if you start learning SEO techniques, you’ll know it’s a necessary tool. It depends on how you want to promote your affiliate products. If you have any more questions don’t hesitate to ask at any time. Thanks for your comment.

      Reply

  2. Please tell me, how can I survive with other affiliate marketers when you are a brand new starter?
    It is sometimes too hard to affiliate market over all social media and websites. Can you please give me advice as I’m a brand new starter. Thank you very much.

    Reply

    1. Hi Namser, the affiliate marketing industry is already competitive, as you can see. No point trying to compete with experts but there’s every reason that you should learn good tricks from them. You are there to help users solve their problems by recommending good products/services, so keep providing meaningful, quality content and be true to yourself. I hope that’s the answer you’re looking for. I wish you all the best. Thanks for your comment!