— November 22, 2017
Black Friday! Cyber Monday! And all the shopping in between. No matter what your niche is, it’s a good season to be a merchant with a strong affiliate network. Why? Because no one knows what gifts to buy.
Not knowing what gifts to buy is a common problem and more than just anecdotal. Check out this chart for the query “gift ideas” on Google Trends:
As soon as November comes around, people start wondering what to buy their friends and family. And this is why affiliate marketing is poised to win.
People want gift recommendations
The 2017 Facebook Holiday Guide gives us a couple insights into how people search during this time. First, 49% of surveyed shoppers say Facebook influencers their shopping. Meaning, they get gift ideas from their peers. Second, 62% do most of their holiday shopping in December. More specifically, 1 in 4 make their purchases between December 11th to December 20th. Meaning, there is plenty of time to influence their gift decisions.
So let’s apply those two takeaways to affiliate marketing. We already know that affiliate marketing is a trusted channel for shopping. Getting recommendations and endorsements from influencers is nearly as trusted as getting them from family. Maybe even more so.
“What do you mean you don’t trust grandma’s recommendation for Blackberry tablets?”
And since customers are searching now, it is the perfect time to get in front of your audience. Here are a few ways to boost your affiliate marketing during the shopping season:
- Incentivize your network. Bump up the commission or provide a holiday bonus to your partners for the rest of the year. As your conversion rates are expected to be higher, the extra spend should be well-offset by the sales you will make with added visibility. If there’s any time to offer up a monetary incentive to juice sales, now is it.
- Create holiday packages. During this time, people are looking for deals and themed gifts. If possible, bundle your products or services for a limited-time holiday offer. That way, it’s easier for your affiliates to promote, and looks more attractive to the shopper.
- Create themed content. Is there a great reason why your product or service makes the perfect gift? Write up a blog post or a series of social media posts to share that fact. You can even provide this content to your affiliates to post, and during this busy time they’ll be happy to not have to come up with content of their own.
- Optimize for mobile. More and more, customers are shopping on their phones. In fact, Adobe estimates that for the first time this year, mobile visits to retail sites will exceed desktop visits, 54% to 45%. Is your site optimized for this? Are your affiliates’ sites? Time is running out to make sure you can provide a smooth mobile experience for virtual window shoppers.
- Don’t step off the gas. The Facebook study shows that 46% of shoppers continue to buy in January to take advantage of discounts. Consider a one-two punch of following up your holiday promotion with an immediate “New Year Discount” promotion to take advantage of the extended shopping season.
We can’t stress enough how important good communication is with your affiliate partners. This is a busy and stressful season so the more you can address questions and cheer them on, the better results you’ll see. Happy holidays! And happy selling!