How is Affiliate Marketing Conducted

Affiliate Marketing 2021: What Can Marketers Expect This Year?

The new year is here! The question arises again: How will affiliate marketing develop in 2021? What are the chances? What are the risks? We shed light on the industry in a large analysis. Part 1 of 4: Sales forecast, advertising expenditure and GAFA.

2020 was certainly not a year like any other. Who could have imagined a year ago the unforeseen events and challenges that we will all face in 2020.

Corona has turned everyone's life upside down, both privately and professionally. Nevertheless, the performance-oriented affiliate industry is certainly one of the big winners from the crisis.

Not only that 50 percent of users order online more often than before the pandemic and 39 percent more parcels than before the crisis because of Corona, according to IBM, the pandemic has accelerated the shift in market shares in favor of online trading by around five years.

According to bevh, cumulative growth of 12.2 percent to EUR 73.4 billion (gross) by the beginning of December 2020 alone. In addition, there is the Christmas business, which also saw significant postponements of Christmas shopping on the Internet.

Affiliate sales increase significantly due to Corona

Above all, clothing (plus 20.5 percent) was ordered significantly more online. According to the association, the great popularity of manufacturers who sell directly to customers was also noticeable. These were able to increase their sales by 31.6 percent.

And the affiliate industry has also benefited greatly. Marc Hundacker, Managing Director DACH of the affiliate network Awin, reported in his video review 2020 the most successful financial year in Awin's history.

Webgains, for example, also saw growth of 27 percent in the second quarter of 2020 compared to the previous year. Adcell also reported growth - both in sales and in new partner programs. There are a total of 600 new partner programs in 2020.

The BVDW has also published new market figures. As part of a survey, affiliate marketing generated around ten billion euros in sales in the e-commerce sector in 2019.

On the total turnover of 70 billion euros, this means that every seventh euro of online trade is generated through affiliate marketing.

In order to take an objective look at the further trends and developments in affiliate marketing in 2021, in cooperation with the affiliate marketing agency Xpose360 and the Affiliateblog.de, we again carried out a large trend survey among 1,050 affiliates, merchants, Agencies and networks as well as technologies.

In this way, we want to query further expert knowledge regardless of our own opinion in order to obtain an independent picture of further developments. According to the Affiliate Trend Survey 2021, the industry participants themselves also see the development in the past year as extremely positive.

83 percent of affiliates, 79 percent of advertisers and even 95 percent of agencies, networks and technologies recorded increasing sales in 2020. 48 percent of advertisers and 65 percent of affiliates also stated that Corona had positive effects on their affiliate sales.

Affiliate Marketing 2021: The Development of Advertising Spending

Most economists expect that the pandemic can be brought under control with the vaccine in 2021. However, the pre-crisis level cannot be reached before the beginning of 2022 at the earliest.

Nevertheless, the "economic wise men" expect that in the event of an effective vaccine, consumers will travel again. They put their money more into consumption. This gives the economy a boost. The Advisory Council therefore expects growth of 3.7 percent in the coming year.

Group M as well as Magna, Zenith and JOM expect growth in the global advertising market. The annual Zenith Advertising Expenditure Forecast expects global advertising investments to increase by 5.6 percent to 620 billion dollars in 2021.

This growth is also favored by the Summer Olympics, which are taking place with a one-year delay, as well as the European Football Championship.

Zenith believes that there will be corresponding growth in digital advertising spending in particular, and the share of digital advertising investments should continue to rise. By 2023, digital advertising should be responsible for 47.5 percent of all advertising investments in Germany.

Affiliate Marketing Revenue Forecasts 2021

Affiliate marketing in particular is benefiting from this growth. During the pandemic in particular, companies have come to appreciate performance-oriented marketing channels enormously. You have moved advertising budgets from other marketing channels such as branding or out-of-home in favor of performance marketing. This is more scalable in times of crisis.

42 percent of advertisers stated that they had invested additional budget in affiliate marketing due to the corona pandemic. After all, 21 percent have shifted budgets from other marketing channels to affiliate marketing.

In the Awin affiliate network, too, the companies currently generate ten to 15 percent of their online sales with the help of affiliate marketing, and in certain areas such as telecommunications even between 30 and 40 percent.

A similar picture emerges in the trend survey, according to which in 46 percent of companies five to ten percent of all online sales are generated through affiliate marketing. With 21 percent it is between ten and 15 percent and with 19 percent even more than 15 percent affiliate sales.

The other sales forecasts of the industry participants are also still very positive. 75 percent of advertisers and 72 percent of affiliates expect increasing sales in 2021.

For agencies, networks and technologies, 74 percent are also expecting sales growth in 2021. In 2020, 59 percent were forecasting growth.

Affiliate Marketing as an alternative to GAFA

63 percent of the advertising companies also see affiliate marketing as an important alternative to the GAFA companies (Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple).

According to a Forrester study, 54 percent of CMOs even rate affiliate marketing as one of the strongest channels for acquiring new customers.

Because fewer and fewer consumers trust US companies such as Google, Facebook and Co. 80 percent of Germans have little or no trust in GAFA companies. In the case of young people, the value is even 81 percent.

At least 79 percent of the population are therefore of the opinion that the corporations should be more strictly regulated. This was the result of a Civey survey on behalf of the Next Conference.

Brand loyalty is also declining more and more. That means: Consumer behavior is changing and companies are increasingly questioning whether it is still worth spending on branding displays.

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Therefore, the trend continues to move more and more towards performance, measurability and added value. According to the management consultancy KPMG, 43 percent of the companies in Europe stated that a decrease in brand loyalty can be noticed.

Correspondingly, companies are looking for more and more alternatives to become more independent of the increasing market power of the big US players and see affiliate marketing as an important and, above all, cost-effective alternative.

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