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Affiliate marketing data shows online shopping surged in both UK lockdowns


As the UK’s second lockdown drew to a close, Digidip, a performance marketing platform working with 25,000 online merchants, has looked at how the nation’s shopping habits have changed over the course of the year. The company analysed data from January to November 2020 and compared this with figures for the equivalent period in 2019.

Amongst the platform’s top performing brands for 2020 were eBay, Argos, John Lewis, Zavvi and AliExpress. Digidip saw a sharp increase in transactions coming through affiliate marketing links when the UK first entered lockdown. Transactions increased 28% from March to April, and in April were 134% higher than for the equivalent period last year.

England’s second lockdown saw a noticeable yet much less dramatic increase in transactions – with total transactions for November 2020 30% higher than November 2019. November also saw an increase in average basket value to £133.39, up from £121.01 for November 2019. In contrast, despite the surge in overall transactions during the first UK lockdown, average basket value for April was only £115.83 (down from £131.93 in April 2019).

Perhaps surprisingly for a period when shoppers were confined to their homes, there was a larger increase in mobile transactions (36%) than for desktop (27%) from March to April. The past year has seen a gradual and ongoing shift towards mobile shopping, with mobile devices accounting for 60.1% of total transactions in 2020, compared to 57.47% in 2019.

In spite of this, desktop transactions in 2020 continued to see a significantly larger average monthly basket value than those for mobile, at £69.66 compared to £45.66, indicating that consumers still largely prefer to shop via desktop for bigger purchases.

Sabrina Spielberger, founder and CEO of Digidip, comments: “Unsurprisingly, we saw a huge spike in transactions coming through affiliate marketing channels as we entered the first lockdown in the UK. Many people were looking to kit out their home offices, and brands were quick to capitalise on that demand.”

She continues: “At the same time, the trend towards mobile shopping has continued into 2020. Mobile purchases represented an increasing majority of transactions in spite of people spending more time than ever at home. For retailers this means it’s crucial to optimise user experience for mobile and smooth out check-out processes, for example by incorporating speedy check-out options like Apple Pay.”

Spielberger  concludes: “Interestingly, however, consumers still seem to prefer making larger purchases on their desktops – despite widespread market penetration of mobile devices.”

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