It’s official. Affiliate marketing is no longer a pastime hobby in the US. More and more people are now realising that this is a scalable business with plenty of room for growth and endless opportunities to move into a niche that they enjoy and thrive in.

In a recent report conducted by technology and market research company Forrester, results showed that in 2015, 14% of all eCommerce purchases in the US were credited to affiliate sales. The top 20 affiliate verticals in the US includes fashion with 18.7% of the market share, outdoor goods and sports equipment with 14.6% of the market share, and beauty products totaling just over 11%.

The group predicted that by the end of 2015 affiliate sales would soar to $39 billion dollars. With affiliate marketing not even considered a profession when it first began, this level of growth is impressive.

Technology Driving Sales

Advanced technology has been partly responsible for the rise in US affiliate sales, making it easier for advertisers to track and analyze data. This in turn gives affiliate marketers the tools they need to help decide which channels are best for advertising, and ultimately helps them to become more profitable. According to Alexandra Forsch with Affiliate Window US, technology has helped marketers determine that their SEO marketing efforts are often best suited in the long tail keywords.

“In response to this data, new compensation models (payment on influence or attribution) have been offered to publishers as a result of advertisers placing greater value in the long tail. Therefore, we see more bloggers expanding their monetisation strategies to include affiliate marketing.”  

Mobile Conversions Increasing

Affiliate Window predicts that mobile traffic will ultimately help increase the number of US affiliate sales, with the industry already experiencing an increase in mobile conversion rates from 8.87% in 2013, to over 1.8% in 2015. Interestingly, desktop affiliate traffic has seen a decrease from 75% to 57%.

Although the industry still fights with the “get rich quick” stigma which has kept some merchants from launching affiliate programs, US affiliate sales are expected to increase as companies continue to make it easier to track and analyze sales, and as more people use mobile devices to shop and browse affiliate offers.

Affiliate marketing certainly isn’t mainstream yet, but with the way trends are heading, it’s only a matter of time before it’s considered a norm in the sales and retail channel and retailers consider it a regular part of doing business online.