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Affiliate marketing in mobile? Not just yet...

Posted 3 years ago by Laszlo Fesus

The rise of mobile in affiliate marketing is a hot topic on the eConsultancy blog today, after Matt Swan offered his latest findings on the growth in the space, building on his previous analysis back in March under the premise that 2011 was set to be the year of mobile commerce.

Affiliate Window has released their mobile sales data to shed some light on the situation, and the results throughout the second quarter have been encouraging for those retailers and affiliates looking forward to the big mobile pay day.

So, growth over past months has been impressive, but are we there yet?

As you’ll see in the article, the percentage of mobile sales seen through Affiliate Window has risen steadily, but the iPad is seeing the biggest growth, with the highest conversion rate for mobile devices (3.5%), and it’s noted, this is probably because it feels more like a laptop to the user. Which, according to Skimlinks’ CEO Alicia Navarro, is why the mobile in your pocket isn’t going to bring in massive returns, just yet.

Alicia draws a comparison with users researching a purchase online, and then buying offline, with users researching a purchase on their mobile, then making that purchase when they get back to their computer.

“Yes, people are researching on their phones, but they’re not buying. People will buy on tablets, but there’s still the perception for the majority that a mobile is ‘unsafe’ for processing purchases. But, by next year, I’m expecting there will be a critical mass of people comfortable enough to make purchases via their mobile, the ecosystem will evolve to accommodate it, and then it’ll be huge. But it’s too early.”

While Alicia knows a thing or two about affiliate marketing, she has a strong background in mobile, working in the industry designing mobile applications for location-based services as far back as 1999.

“I originally left the mobile industry in frustration – there were so many great ideas, but the handsets, networks and security just weren’t there to meet what was available from other devices. It’s taken 10 years for things like location-based services to get to the level we wanted them to be back then. Mobile commerce has been the same.”

She says she knows everyone’s already thinking about it; but more of the big players – the merchants and networks need to be prepared to support it, and affiliates need to be ready, before it will be ‘do-able’.

“In 2012, it’ll all come together. Security, handsets, networks and applications –  when these parts reach the same point at the same time, and then it’ll happen.”

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