Start looking at attribution modelling to get a better understanding of the actual contribution of affiliate to sales. Use this data to improve the efficiency of your affiliate budget and find out how your current affiliate technology can help you automate this process.
Investigate what opportunities mobile affiliate marketing offers for your business. Can you offer an API that can be integrated in apps? Or can you make deep linking to your app easier for affiliates?
Be on the lookout for emerging types of affiliates to work with. New players in the comparison market such as Google, and social discovery platforms such as Pinterest, are worth understanding. More and more content websites will consider affiliate marketing once the attribution model is right so look at those opportunities too.
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Google (compare + integrated checkout), Facebook (shops, listings), Twitter (buy button), Pinterest (buy button) are stepping into the affiliate marketing arena, with a lot of money, knowledge and power behind them. 2016 will show no diversion from this rate of growth.
Due to improved attribution, it will become more rewarding for affiliates to drive upper funnel traffic through content marketing in 2016. Instead of primarily focusing on closing sales, affiliates can start initiating sales too.
This will add to the diversity of the affiliate landscape which, or most verticals, is currently dominated by comparison websites and aggregators
For years, affiliate marketing has struggled with the attribution problem: last click attribution doesn’t reflect the actual contribution of affiliates to a sale, and will therefore benefit coupon affiliates and comparison websites over content affiliates. In 2016, brands will be looking at a more sophisticated form of attribution where the last click doesn’t necessarily get the full commission for a sale, thereby increasing affiliate marketing output.
Because of tracking difficulties and lower conversion rates, mobile traffic has traditionally been less rewarding for affiliates than desktop traffic.
In 2016, thanks to improvements in cross platform tracking and overall mobile conversion rates, mobile will be an area in which affiliate marketing will grow significantly.
Companies such as Uber have started to innovate in mobile affiliate marketing through API integrations in apps. Look up a destination in Google Maps on mobile and besides commute by foot, bike, car or public transport, the app will also give you the Uber option. This integration is available to app developers worldwide.