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UK vs US affiliates: Similarities and differences

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Econsultancy has added a new US affiliate census to the recently carried out UK affiliate census and then put together an analysis of the similarities and differences between the two.

The researchers found ten key differences:

  • US affiliates are more likely to be full-timers

  • Women are better represented in the US

  • Health, Sport and Fitness leads the way in the US whilst Travel & Flights is the biggest in the UK

  • PPC is the most significant affiliate ‘method’ for US publishers, while SEO ranks highest in the UK

  • Affiliate Window is the most significant UK network, while Commission Junction is the biggest in the US

  • More affiliates are promoting B2B merchants in the US

  • Google is perceived as more of a threat in the UK

  • There are more direct partnerships in the US

  • In the US, there is more explicit talk of performance marketing

  • The US industry fears ‘Amazon Tax’, a move to apply local sales taxes to online shoppers

Despite the differences, however, there are also some striking similarities:

  • The quality and quantity of links is an issue on both sides of the Atlantic. “There is universal frustration among affiliates about the quality of links from merchants which is the biggest reason why affiliates don’t promote a merchant after signing up,” says Econsultancy. “Poor conversion rates is the obvious cause of merchants being dropped and publishers complain that many merchants need to sort out their websites and their proposition if they want to sell anything.”

  • Concerns that the ‘last click wins’ model is not sustainable — In both the UK and US, only around a third of respondents (36%) believe the last click should always win.

  • Affiliates want more communication from merchants. The majority of both US (64%) and UK affiliates (70%) have ‘limited communication’, ‘indirect communication through the network’ or ‘no communication with their merchants’. Both UK and US affiliates want to be kept better informed and to build better lines of communication.

  • Publishers want transparency from networks and merchants. Affiliates around the world are united by a desire for networks and merchants to be transparent about what is happening, not least regarding the commissions they may or may not be owed.

  • An upbeat mentality. Affiliates in US and UK are more likely to be positive than negative about the recession, and more likely to see it as an opportunity rather than a threat.

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