Over the Christmas and New Year period we saw a number of articles around the challenges faced by the affiliate marketing industry, along with many prediction-style pieces about what the future holds for affiliate marketing industry.

Here at Silverbean we decided to speak to some of the experts at the affiliate networks to get their feedback. So, we asked each of our contacts:

“What will be the biggest challenge in affiliate marketing for fashion merchants in the next 6 months?”

Read on for their feedback.

linksharenewMark Haviland, Managing Director, Rakuten LinkShare UK

“Every brand, and certainly every fashion brand will be looking for new evidence of the prestige credibility they can build through the channel. They want to talk about the value of CPA within their organisations, and they need publisher support to do so.

Many publishers have already recognised this, and are demonstrating the attributes held dear by the top brands.  This year will see a real acceleration in this joint mind-set of advertiser and publisher brands, coming together with media partnerships benefiting all parties.”


Image 2 Digital WindowKevin Edwards, Strategy Director, Digital Window Limited

“The next six months will see the performance landscape continue to evolve with the challenge for retailers, as ever, being which areas to invest in. There is no doubt that mobile was the most consistently emerging element of the performance space in 2012 but very few advertisers have seen any great tipping point. At around one in 20 sales coming through mobile handsets it is perhaps not yet ready to be a core focus but certainly some affiliate businesses have invested heavily this year.

This has primarily been in the area of incentivised consumer offers, so for advertisers who are happy to work in this space and with an offline proposition mobile should be an area at the heart of future affiliate planning. It is important any internal, departmental wrangling are put aside in order to focus on a true multi-channel approach.

There is no doubt that we have experienced a ramping up of affiliate mobile offerings with a number of companies approaching us not just from a handset point of view but also from a tablet perspective. This has been most notable in the fashion sector and we anticipate a number of affiliate launches over the next few months. Again, early adopting and engaged advertisers will stand to gain the most.”

Image 3 Webgains


David Glasgow, Head of Account Development, Webgains Ltd 

“I believe the biggest challenge for fashion merchants will be utilising affiliate marketing to its full potential.  With so many new models entering the affiliate landscape, merchants will need to welcome the full breadth of opportunities out there and allocate budget accordingly. It is important to understand that this medium is becoming increasingly versatile with more and more cross over with other marketing channels, from email and display to social media and paid search.

The fashion sector is in many ways the most evolved in terms of publisher opportunities. Of late, we are seeing a number of social media affiliates emerge that can help extend a brand’s reach. Mobile marketing is of course a major focus for the industry and again the affiliate channel is at the forefront with opportunities to drive in-store footfall or to create mobile optimised sites and apps.

A dynamic and versatile affiliate program is the perfect way for advertisers to ensure their online strategy is comprehensive and that it takes full advantage of vital periods such as Christmas and the January sales. With good account management and an open-mind, the affiliate channel is the perfect way for merchants to establish new and exciting partnerships.”

We also decided to pose the same question to the affiliates so check back tomorrow to see what they had to say.