How Does Consumers’ Move To Mobile Affect Affiliate Marketing?
The use of mobile phones and tablets is a growing trend, changing the way customers shop and interact with brands online. With the number of smartphone users rising in the U.S., it is not surprising that mobile commerce will grow almost three times faster than U.S. eCommerce in 2015.1
To accommodate for this shift in consumer shopping behaviors, search engine giant Google developed and released a mobile-friendly ranking algorithm on April 21, 2015, a date otherwise coined as “Mobilegeddon.” Sites considered mobile “unfriendly” ranked lower in organic search results compared to those that were mobile responsive. This makes it easy for a brand’s competitors with a mobile responsive site to capture market share and take the lead in their vertical.
And who exactly are the customers your brand may be losing out on? Well, pretty much old and young alike. If your business happens to cater to a younger crowd, Millennials are a key demographic being overlooked. Despite the majority of this group making lower incomes than older adults, consumers aged 18-24 spend more online than any other age group. Older adults have also made headway in adapting to technology with one in four online shoppers in the U.S. age 55+.2
In the Affiliate Channel, CJ Affiliate has a mobile certification process where a brand is deemed mobile certified after meeting certain criteria. A primary requirement is that the advertiser’s site be mobile-friendly. Mobile certified advertisers can designate text, banner, advanced, content and smart links as mobile optimized. These links are likewise searchable to publishers who have the desire to host mobile affiliate links on their websites. In short, becoming a mobile certified Commission Junction advertiser opens up an affiliate program to top performing publishers who are interested in promoting mobile optimized advertiser content.
The LinkShare and Impact Radius networks also have a strong focus on mobile. LinkShare has an internal process for testing advertiser sites from different mobile platforms to ensure that tracking is enabled and fully functioning. This testing assures that mobile publishers have access to advertisers with a mobile-friendly check out experience. Impact Radius’ mobile app tracking technology is an additional add on to help grow a merchant’s affiliate program by incentivizing affiliates for app installs, updates, and purchases in real time.
These facts make a strong case for why mobile is becoming king and the importance of having a mobile responsive site to cater to an increasing number of consumers who are clicking the ‘buy now’ button on their mobile and tablet devices. For brands who currently do not have a mobile-friendly site, it is surprising to hear that mobile optimization is not a top priority in their long-term development strategies. Doing so would no doubt help fuel sales among a sea of tablet, iPhone, and Android users.