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Affiliate programmes set to go global as ecommerce booms in emerging markets

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2020 will be the year that brands expand their affiliate programmes beyond mature markets like the UK and US and complement their programmes with affiliates in emerging markets, according to CJ Affiliate.

Mexico, Malaysia and the Philippines are three of the top five biggest risers for e-commerce spend in 2019, with the other two spots filled by India and China.

“Most retailers will be aware of the substantial opportunities to be had in mature markets. Dig a little deeper, though, and you’ll find so many hidden gems that are now generating billions in online revenue and many brands are missing out by neglecting them,” explains Jules Bazley, Regional Vice President, Europe at affiliate marketing network CJ Affiliate.

“Expanding affiliate programmes in markets such as these could have been a risk ten, or even five, years ago, but ecommerce growth of over 30% compared with the year before, have made them the logical next step for marketers.”

According to an Accenture and AliResearch report, it’s expected that more than 900 million consumers will shop internationally by the start of 2020, importing $994 million worth of products and services – three times as much as 2015. Increasing access to the internet and accessibility of mobile are major drivers behind the growth in e-commerce spend, connecting those who can’t afford a desktop or tablet, as well as growing numbers of new sellers and secondary industries, adding to market momentum.

“As a result of more consumers being able to shop abroad, and the ability and willingness of businesses to expand abroad, we’ve witnessed huge demand among advertisers for local market experts, offering the capabilities to recruit publishers in emerging territories and supply granular insight into the potential of each region,” says Bazley.

Retailers can launch in a market with little more than a single member of staff on the ground, supported by dedicated companies that have been set up to help them launch in some of the more challenging markets.

“Challenges do remain. Logistics remains one of the biggest barriers to cross-border selling, but it’s not the same problem it once was,” explains Bazley. “Part of the improvement has been linked to increased urbanisation within highly populated areas of Asia and Africa, which has opened more customers up to home delivery.”

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