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A Cursory Look at Affiliate Marketing

When someone mentions affiliate marketing, a cost per performance ratio of home based pre selling comes to mind. This part of e- commerce has steadily grown over the years and is now recognized by market leaders as a very effective alternative to augment a company's selling function.

Pre-selling is advertising. The affiliate marketer advertises the merchant's product or services in his website that in turn expands the visibility effort of any company in trying to reach the customers. Advertising relies much on the numbers game. The more exposure that a product gets, the greater chance it has to generating more sales. Merchants are capitalizing on this with very favorable results.

It has continuously been an effective channel in attracting new customers thereby delivering incremental sales growth trough the added exposure. It also caters to online shoppers who prefer to shop in their own homes. What makes it more attractive to customers is that online shopping is perceived to be less stressful. Online shoppers does not need to beat the traffic, spend on gas and time to get to and from their shopping stores. It also provides a more personalized contact with the seller that is unlike many of the traditional outlets.

For many customers, an affiliate website is a virtual shopping store that provides the products and services with the convenience that is different form those in the shopping malls. It has also turned out to be a virtual bargain shop where specials and coupons are presented online. A strategy that have been paying dividends to the consumer, the marketing affiliate and the merchant.

Through the years, affiliate marketing has had its own evolution. The market conditions and forces that created it have also put in it the demands to grow with the current trends and sometimes the abuses that are placed on it.

In 1996 Amazon recognized the value of online shopping and decided to implement this online marketing strategy. The idea is for a small website owner to place amazons advertising on it. The website owner then creates several links and banners to attract potentials online shoppers. The marketing affiliate will earn commission trough the pay per referral scheme. It was successful and other company's wanting to utilize this evolution of e-commerce caught on. Today, the problem is that it almost sounds too good that it could not be true.
It has now evolved to be a sophisticated marketing strategy that accounts about 5 to 25% of online sales that includes some of the world best loved brands.

It now accounts millions of onsite marketing affiliates with thousands of sites and accounts about billions of dollars in sales.

Affiliate marketing continuos to grow and with that, a continuos search for refinements and developments are being placed to direct a more reliable and accurate means to measure success.

Changes are being placed. Search engines are proving to be one of the most important cogs in the industry of affiliate marketing. Spam and spam like activities are being detected and discouraged where the penalty ranges from downgrading the relevancy ratings of the site to delisting.

As these improvements and changes are taking place, the customer can expect better servicing in the future as the competition to attract them is heating up. Marketing and merchant affiliates will be finding other ways of attracting more customers to stay in the game, while network providers will be forced, if they are not yet now, to provide better tracking services, all to the benefit of the public.


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