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Last week Co-Op energy boss Ramsey Dunning made a very public attack on price comparison sites, citing them as misleading and pushing up energy bills.
Dunning stated that price comparison sites such as uSwitch, Moneysupermarket and Energy Helpline should disclose how much they make in commission from the energy partners.
While I of course advocate a continued development of greater transparency to consumers, I find it difficult to understand exactly what it is that Dunning is hoping such a move will achieve.
With the staggering mobile growth that had been witnessed throughout 2013, it was widely predicted that consumers would turn to their mobile devices over the Christmas period.
John Lewis made a bold prediction pre-Christmas that it would see its share of mobile traffic exceed desktop for the first time on Christmas Day and they subsequently reported that these expectations were exceeded, with two thirds of traffic originating from a mobile device.
John Lewis was not the only advertiser that witnessed exceptional mobile performance, with a number of leading retailers also reporting on their mobile activity over the festive period.
Here are our top tips on the best ways that affiliates can use data feeds to increase their sales commission.
UGC within the voucher code space has been a contentious issue for quite some time prompting many a discussion at the IAB Affiliate Marketing Council and earning itself a reference in the Voucher Code of Conduct.
However, the affiliate industry to date has struggled to find any real consensus on how this area should be managed and regulated, and as a result one of the key players in the market has embarked on its own version of UGC within voucher codes with a 'social codes' platform.
We all know that Christmas is a huge season for retailers, but it’s also a big deal for affiliate marketers.
Bloggers everywhere are starting to reveal their site content for the holiday season: what we should wear, what we could cook and what we must buy our children.
For content affiliate sites, seasonal content is perfect for advertising Christmas gifts and related products. According to stats from Experian Hitwise, online shopping over Christmas 2012 was the busiest ever, with almost 200m visits on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day alone.
This is only going to increase as we move towards December.
It's well known that the affiliate channel works on a cost per acquisition (CPA) model, meaning that when the desired action is completed, be it a sale, lead or quote, the affiliate is paid.
To be able to attribute the sale to an affiliate there needs to be an agreed metric by which a sale can be attributed.
Typically this is a 'last click wins' model: if the last click is attributed to a particular publisher then they receive the commission.
A few months ago we received an interesting piece of research from OC&C Strategy consultants which investigated how UK retailers are well placed to outperform their overseas counterparts in the battle for online supremacy.
It was estimated by 2020 there would be an incredible sevenfold increase in non UK sales.
Within the report, the ‘jewels of Britain’s retail e-mpire’ were highlighted. This was based on the volume of consumer searches from international territories.
A number of advertisers across the network were included on this list so we decided to take a look and see how the affiliate channel was aiding internationalisation in the ecommerce market.
Smartphones and tablets now account for almost a quarter of traffic for affiliate marketing campaigns, a massive six-fold increase in less than two years.
A new report from Affiliate Window shows that 22% of traffic and 18% of sales come through mobile and tablet devices, figures which respectively stood at just 3.5% and 5% back in November 2011.
The data comes from millions of sales and clicks recorded every month from more than 1,400 retailers’ and advertisers’ affiliate marketing campaigns.
Smartphones alone account for 13.6% of total traffic, which shows the importance of tablets for ecommerce as the devices drive a similar level of visits to smartphones despite a much lower penetration rate.
Successful ecommerce thrives on working with the the best business partners that ensure you stay one step ahead of your competitors, but over the last decade things have become pretty stagnant in the affiliate channel when it comes to service provider choice.
Large brands tend to review their affiliate network provider every two to three years and differentiation between service providers has become harder to see.
A worrying trend has arrived driven by a lack of innovation. In order to lock in market share contracts have been increasing and the small print surrounding notice periods has been growing.
With mobile commerce continuing to gather pace through the performance channel, it has been interesting to look back across the past few weeks to analyse the role mobile played over the Easter bank holiday.
With our March stats indicating that traffic through mobile devices reached 21.1% while sales were at 14.2%, it was interesting to see the impact of a long weekend on mobile usage.
We have traditionally seen that consumers turn to mobile devices at weekends. This is not particularly surprising when we consider that office workers step away from their desktops and instead use mobile devices to access the internet.
In May of 2013 Affiliate Management Days is coming to Europe. The inaugural conference in London is going to be opened by the already-legendary Matthew Wood.
By way of preview, I have sat down with Matthew to ask him a few questions about the current state and future of affiliate marketing.
Matthew has over 15 years of experience in affiliate marketing. He is the founder of a4u and a4uexpo, and an acknowledged thought leader and speaker within the sector.
Over the past two years we have witnessed traffic through mobile devices increase from 2% to 19% of total network clicks.
If we exclude tablet devices from this equation, traffic through mobile handsets has grown from 1.8% to 11%.
With consumers increasingly using mobile devices to access the internet, it becomes of paramount importance to ensure that the mobile user journey is optimised for this experience.