Affiliate marketing has long been a successful and lucrative strategy for driving sales and generating online revenue for brands and businesses but remains an untapped source for many. With the current economic climate impacting consumer confidence and forcing a more savings-focused mindset, is now the time to employ new and creative marketing strategies to combat costs and reach new customers?
ECommerce and the cost-of-living crisis
With a total of 268 million digital buyers in the US in 2022, more and more people are becoming accustomed to the idea and practice of shopping online for all types of goods and services and it’s only natural that consumers are also becoming savvier in their approach to buying online. Both the expectation and experience of finding a bargain or taking advantage of a deal can be the difference between an abandoned shopping cart and clicking ‘buy now’. This change in consumer behavior, coupled with the current cost-of-living crisis, has resulted in new challenges for the e-commerce industry, a challenge that businesses and their marketing teams need to plan and prepare for.
With inflation the highest it’s been in 40 years, Americans are having to adjust their spending habits to make ends meet and ensure their money goes further. According to an Ipsos survey, 63% of consumers reported that their household budgets would be unable to cover further price increases. Although this will inevitably result in fewer purchases for many, 42% of consumers said that they would be looking to promotional offers to help stretch their tight budgets during these difficult times.
Shoppers are showing their willingness to spend online over the coming holiday season in order to land deals on gifts and items that have shot up in price due to inflation. According to a recent study of holiday shopping, 66% of shoppers said that they will be focused on finding discounted products in the absence of a wishlist and 92% said that they are somewhat likely to remain loyal and continue shopping with a retailer after they’ve taken advantage of holiday deals and discounts.
The benefits of affiliate marketing
With inflation rising and a national crisis afoot, the impact is likely to be felt across all sectors in the US and retail brands should be looking to exploit opportunities to offer promotions and discounts to customers to counteract the impact of inflation. As Marco Farnararo, Co-Founder and CEO at Bravo Savings Network explains, “Affiliate marketing can be a powerful strategy in these uncertain and unpredictable times as it offers brands the opportunity to grow awareness and market their products at relatively low costs and with minimal risk.”
For those that are still skeptical or concerned about the technical demands of affiliate marketing, the process is quite straightforward. As a publisher, “you can sign up to an affiliate network in a matter of minutes and, once accepted by the network, you are connected with its customer portfolio and can request partnerships with hundreds of brands,” explains Farnararo. For brands, it is just as easy, “the brand chooses whether or not to enter the partnership and can negotiate which discount codes will work best for them and their goals.”
Founded in 2015, Bravo Savings Network has seen first-hand the rise of affiliate marketing in Europe and beyond, having grown rapidly to achieve leading international couponing company status with a presence in 13 markets worldwide. The company’s local brand, BravoDeal, has announced recent partnerships with Journeys and Valvoline, which strengthen the current network led by giants Puma, Goodyear Tires, QVC and Sam’s Club – the aim always being “to provide our customers with a more varied offering in their local markets and boost interest in online consumer savings in the process” says Farnararo.
Taking advantage of an affiliate network’s already established and far-reaching connections presents huge benefits to brands that are looking to move into new markets or build loyalty and trust at a time when consumers’ purchase decisions are increasingly impacted by their need to cut costs. Brands stand to inherit, at least to some degree, consumers’ loyalty to publishers, which is evident in the “high numbers of returning traffic to voucher sites,” according to Farnararo, and benefit themselves from these repeat customers.