September continued to showcase trends that are atypical.
As expected, we did see consumers move forward with back-to-school shopping as plans were finalized. Back-to-school shopping was carried into September and many retailers started to enhance plans to prepare for an early kick-off to the holidays in October.
Globally, consumer spending was down in September; in the US specifically, the end of unemployment benefits in July also contributed to a decrease in personal spending over the last few months.
Significant Increases in Revenue and Orders
Looking at our client data between August 2020 and September 2020, we saw a significant increase in affiliate revenue—up 18% Month over Month (MoM). The revenue increase was primarily driven by Apparel, Education and Household verticals.
Orders were also up 8% MoM but clicks were down 8% MoM, reiterating that consumers were spending more time browsing and researching in August than purchasing and then converting in September.
While all the types of affiliate partner/publisher types that brands partnered with were up MoM, the largest increases were seen in Deal partners (up 25% MoM) and Mass Media (up 80% MoM). A recent survey by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) shows that 38% of US consumers considered advertisers in the news more trustworthy. Content partners were also 6% MoM).
Client Performance Data: September 2020
Overall, September “wins” for Acceleration Partners’ (AP) clients globally include: mass media exposure and converting on consumers’ back-to-school research that they were doing in August.
- Driven by back-to-school, brands in the Apparel vertical continued to focus on strong deals with flash sales or aggressive promotions, which contributed to a 25% increase in revenue MoM.
- Household brands were up 16% MoM in revenue with a strong promotions on furniture and mattresses during Labor Day.
- Revenue driven by Mass Media partners increased 80% MoM, with some partners contributing to revenue increases of over 100% with successful product roundups and best of web promotions.
Month-Over-Month Analysis of Acceleration Partners’ Clients
Month-Over-Month Publisher Segment Analysis
Consumers are continuing to be more mindful about where they are spending their money. As such, they are spending more time researching brands and products before purchase, which is why affiliate marketing is such a critical channel for brands to leverage right now.
Affiliate marketing is a pay on performance/cost per action (CPA) channel, meaning that brands do not pay their affiliate partners until they’ve delivered on a pre-defined action (sale, new customer, lead, etc.).
Affiliate’s CPA compensation structure makes it a more efficient and profitable channel for brands, especially right now as consumers continue to click and browse extensively before making a purchase.
With more than half of consumers changing their spending habits from the pandemic, we can expect continued trend changes through the rest of 2020.
Up Next … October 2020 Client Data
Next month, we’ll share our client performance data from October 2020 (comparing to September 2020).
Questions about this data or the strategies other brands are finding successful? Contact our team!
Kelly Ground is the Associate Director of Strategic Accounts at Acceleration Partners