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Affiliate Marketing Statistics (How Big Is The Affiliate Marketing Industry?)

Are you interested in the latest affiliate marketing statistics to stay up to date and better understand the current landscape?

By partnering with affiliates, brands can expand their reach and tap into new audiences to grow their revenues. Through mutual trust, both parties + the consumer, can win and create strong bonds.

We will cover various topics, from the affiliate industry’s market size, revenue and earnings to trends, to help businesses make informed decisions whether they are already involved in the industry or thinking about entering it.

Read on to find out some interesting stats and facts. If you’re a company or an affiliate marketer, we curated info for everyone.

This post covers:

Affiliate Marketing Statistics (Our Top Picks)

  • The global affiliate marketing market size reached $17+ billion in 2020
  • Nearly 50% of the companies use Amazon Associates software
  • Approx. 113,000+ companies participate in affiliate marketing globally
  • Affiliates drive brands on average 23% of total revenue
  • Fashion is the most popular affiliate niche
  • 49% of affiliate marketers prefer direct deposits
  • Almost 50% of affiliate-generated traffic is mobile
  • 42%+ of marketers prefer promoting 1-10 affiliate products
  • A campaign needs to generate 29 clicks for every sale

Affiliate Marketing Industry Market Size

1. The global affiliate marketing market size reached $17+ billion in 2020

In 2016, the international affiliate marketing market size was $13, but it hit over $17 billion four years later in 2020.

Global affiliate market size year-by-year

YearMarket size
2020$13 billion
2019$14.3 billion
2018$15.7 billion
2017$17.3 billion
2016$19 billion
Affiliate marketing market size over the years

Source: Mhojhos Research

2. The US affiliate marketing spending was estimated at $8.2 billion

Statista reported that affiliate marketing spending in the United States was expected to reach $8.2 billion in the United States alone. That’s a nearly $3 billion jump from a recording they did in 2017.

Source: Statista

3. $986 million was invested in affiliate marketing in the UK in 2021

The United Kingdom affiliate marketers spent $986 (793£) million in 2021, around $60 million more than the previous year. This shows and confirms the annual affiliate marketing growth rate of approximately 8%.

The stats also show that 28.6% percent of European affiliate marketers are situated in the United Kingdom.

By device/platform, it was reported that less was spent on affiliate marketing via smartphone ($320+ million) than non-smartphone ($460 million) devices (in the year 2020).

Source: Statista #1, Statista #2, Statista #3

4. Affiliate marketing in Japan is snowballing, expected to hit $3.8 billion by 2025

Statista’s research department reported an estimated $2.6 billion in affiliate marketing spending in 2021, which has continued growth since 2020.

Moreover, Japan’s affiliate marketing industry is expected to grow significantly, jumping to around $3.8 billion by 2025. One of the main reasons for the expansion is the adoption of the ever-growing eCommerce industry.

Source: Statista

5. Nearly 50% of the companies use Amazon Associates software

Among 98,400+ companies using affiliate marketing solutions, Amazon’s market share is 47.8%. The closest competitor is CJ Affiliate at a 7.3% market share, Rakuten (7.1%) in third, ShareASale (6.7%) in fourth and Awin (5.6%) in fifth position.

Yup, Amazon absolutely dominates the affiliate marketing scene.

Source: Datanyze

6. Approx. 113,000+ companies participate in affiliate marketing globally

There are approximately 113,500+ companies around the world that use affiliate marketing technologies.

And 55 companies are producing affiliate network technologies. Besides the above five largest ones, other popular solutions are SkimLinks, VigLink, rewardStyle, TradeTracker and Travelpayouts.

If we take the estimated number of total companies in the world (333 million) from Statista, that means that only 0.03% of all companies benefit from affiliate marketing.

Source: Datanyze

interest in affiliate marketing is on a rise google trends

According to Google Trends, the search query “affiliate marketing” is steadily rising year in and year out.

We can notice quite a considerable spike around late 2020, early 2021 from the graph above, indicating popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic. More businesses got online, finding new ways of earning money (as affiliate marketers) and scaling (as businesses adding affiliate programs to their strategies).

Source: Google Trends

8. Amazon Associates & ShareASale are the largest networks by the number of affiliates

With more than 900,000 affiliates under the roof, Amazon Associates is the largest and leading affiliate network by the number of affiliates. But ShareASale isn’t that far behind with 700,000+ affiliates.

Source: Statista

9. The retail industry had the highest share (44%) of affiliate revenue globally

In 2021, the global retail industry had the highest share of affiliate marketing revenue, which is 44%. Second were telecom and media at 25% and third, travel and leisure at 16%.

Source: Statista

General Affiliate Marketing Stats & Facts

10. Affiliates drive brands on average 23% of total revenue

A lot of brands worldwide are aware of the benefit of adding an affiliate program to their marketing strategy. Why? Because it generates them anywhere between 15-30% of all sales.

But many brands still don’t take advantage of affiliate marketing, 1) because they are doing extremely well without it, 2) because they’re unaware of it and 3) because they don’t have time and resources to implement it.

Source: Uniqodo

11. Affiliate marketing drives 10%+ of the global eCommerce

The importance of affiliate marketing shows when we look at the global eCommerce revenue – 10%+ of it is because of affiliate marketing. And the percentage is even higher (16%) if we look at the United State’s eCommerce industry.

According to Business Insider, affiliate marketing and email drive the same amount of eCommerce orders in the US. Affiliate marketing is one of the fourth largest sources of eCommerce orders, bigger than social commerce (also check our mobile commerce statistics) and display advertising.

Discover more interesting advertising statistics and find how many ads do we see daily.

Source: SocialMediaToday, Business Insider

12. 74% of US shoppers visit 2-3 non-retail sites before making a purchase

Nearly 75% of US shoppers first visit non-retail sites (this could be review articles, product roundups, etc.) before they end up throwing the product or service in their cart and completing the purchase. In addition to that, 16% of consumers say they visit more than four websites (that’s me!).

Remember, all the non-retail websites will use affiliate links that take the shopper to the final product page.

Source: Business Insider

The fashion industry (23.3%), including apparel, accessories and footwear, is the most popular niche in affiliate marketing. The second, third and fourth are sports and outdoors (18.2%), healthy and beauty (13.8%) and travel (10.7%).

Source: AM Navigator

14. 81% of publishers and 84% of brands adopted affiliate marketing

More and more proof is coming your way that affiliate marketing works, and if you haven’t looked into it yet, I hope these affiliate marketing statistics will hype you up to do it.

Its ever-growing popularity has already convinced 81% of publishers and even more (84%) brands to benefit from the affiliate marketing industry, either by earning commissions or enjoying a cost-effective marketing strategy.

Source: Awin

Affiliate Marketing Revenue & Earnings Statistics

15. Almost 60% of affiliates earn less than $10,000

“If it were easy, everyone would do it.”

A worldwide survey in 2021 asked affiliates how much money they make. 57.5% earned less than $10,000, while only 3.8% earned more than $150,000. Surprisingly, more affiliates are earning between $100-$150K than between $50-$100K.

EarningsShare of affiliates
Less than $10,00057.5%
Revenue from affiliate marketing worldwide

Source: Statista

16. 20% annual revenue increase thanks to affiliate networks

84% of publishers said they increased their annual revenues by 20% with the help of pushing their products and services through affiliate networks. Boosting sales through affiliate marketing is a reliable strategy to transform your business’s growth.

Source: Rakuten

17. The average affiliate marketer’s salary in the US is $80K

If you’ve ever wondered how much an affiliate marketer earns, it’s somewhere between $55,000 for an entry-level position and up to $115,000 for the most experienced marketers.

The affiliate marketer makes $38.4 per hour based on the average salary.

How much do affiliate marketers make?

United States$80,000
United Kingdom$54,000
Affiliate marketer salaries around the world

Source: Talent, Glassdoor

18. 9% of publishers say affiliate marketing is their top revenue source

31% of publishers reported that affiliate marketing is one of their top three sources of revenue (note: eCommerce is the number one revenue source). Moreover, 9% said that affiliate marketing IS their biggest source of income.

Source: Insider Intelligence

19. Social media marketing can generate $7 million in affiliate commissions

Jason Stone, who runs a 10+ million large Millionaire Mentor Instagram account, generated a whopping $7 million in just one year using his smart and strategy social media strategy.

When using social media to promote affiliate offers, ensure they align with your (personal) brand and audience. If not, you’ll barely make a dime, even with a large account.

Feel free to check these social media statistics to find more insights on social media.

Source: Entrepreneur

20. Affiliate marketers prefer direct deposits

When it comes to getting their commissions withdrawn, 48.69% of affiliate marketers pick direct deposits or wire transfers directly to their bank accounts. 19.16% prefer PayPal and 2.69% will opt for Bitcoin (or other cryptocurrency).

Source: SocialMediaToday

21. Yearly affiliate marketing spending is increasing by 10%

According to Awin and the stats we have already published, affiliate marketing spending grows by around 10% annually. This is an excellent indicator that businesses and advertisers are more and more confident in investing their budgets into this marketing strategy.

Source: Awin

22. Almost 50% of affiliate-generated traffic is mobile

Awin reported that nearly 50% of their affiliate-driven website traffic comes from mobile devices. Unfortunately, they haven’t released an updated report, but because mobile is rising daily, that percentage must be much higher today.

But check these mobile marketing statistics to dive further into this industry.

Source: Awin

23. 59% of businesses use influencers to promote their affiliate offers

Just like influencers are growing in popularity, so do businesses around the world take the opportunity and introduce them into their affiliate campaigns.

59% of the firms know the power of influencer affiliate marketing and how to bring their products and services to the right people through the right exposure.

Moreover, 88% of consumers are likely to purchase a product or service just because their (favorite) influencer “uses” it. In addition, women (89%) are more inspired by influencers than men (84%), but the gap isn’t significant.

Source: Influencer Marketing Hub, Rakuten

24. 40% of US merchants use affiliate marketing as their top customer acquisition channel

According to a survey, 40% of US merchants used affiliate marketing as their favorite and top customer acquisition channel.

Plus, online retailers say that affiliate marketing is the fastest-growing source of revenue.

Source: Inc.

25. Price comparison websites are the most common affiliate sites in the UK

The most popular and fastest-growing affiliate websites in the United Kingdom are price comparison sites. Second are voucher sites, third are loyalty sites and fourth are independent blogs.

Speaking of websites, do you know how many there are? These extensive website statistics reveal it all.

Source: SocialMediaToday

Other Interesting Affiliate Marketing Stats

55% of the affiliate marketing model in the gaming industry is dedicated to revenue share. Instead of getting a commission based on the action (CPA), the affiliate marketer and the business split (share the revenue) the (lifetime) user spend.

Followed are CPA (cost per action) + revenue share (30%+) and CPA (19%).

Furthermore, three of the most popular gaming affiliate markets are the UK (43%), the US (33%) and Asia (23%).

But generally, CPA is the most commonly used affiliate model.

Source: SocialMediaToday

27. Marketers mainly choose affiliate marketing for product/service relevancy

18.5% of marketers jump on the affiliate market wagon because of product or service relevancy. Other key factors in choosing this model are affiliate marketing reputation (15.97%), tracking platform (11.58%), merchant reputation (10.14%) and brand awareness (10.11%), to name a few.

Source: SocialMediaToday

28. 42%+ of marketers prefer promoting 1-10 affiliate products

Affiliate marketers don’t like to spread themselves too thin; thus, 42.17% of them prefer promoting anywhere between one to ten products. This gives them much more control over the products and campaigns, which comes in handy when optimizing for the highest conversions.

Interestingly, 23.18% aim for 11-20 products, 14.19% for 21-50 and only 7.53% for 300+ products.

Source: SocialMediaToday

I know that’s a tiny percentage, but at the volume of approximately 800,000,000+ videos YT has, that’s not that tiny anymore.

Source: ThriveMyWay

30. Nearly all publishers use multiple affiliate networks

While going with a single affiliate network at the beginning is a wise decision to make, 94% of publishers soon scale to two or more affiliate networks. Why?

Because this allows them to scale more quickly and reach more potential affiliates interested in promoting their products and services.

Source: Affise

31. 0.5-1% is an average affiliate conversion rate

You need to know that every affiliate network, every product and every offer has a different conversion rate. However, conversion rates between 0.5% and 1% are generally average across all industries (but even each industry has different rates).

Source: Awin

32. Digital advertisers will lose $100 billion in fraud

One or another type of fraud has been part of advertising since the beginning. And even though affiliate networks and marketers are trying all they can to avoid it, fraud continues to grow and is estimated to reach $100 billion in 2023. As a reference, digital ad fraud was at $35 billion in 2018.

You may also be interested in these hacking statistics to see how many sites get hacked.

Source: Statista

33. 29 clicks for every sale

According to Awin’s 2020 Report, their affiliates generated 171 million sales, 5 billion clicks and 60 billion impressions. This means it takes either 29 clicks or 352 impressions for every sale.

Note that these statistics may vary (significantly) from affiliate network to affiliate network.

Source: Awin

34. 30%+ affiliate marketers are aged between 35 and 44

Most of the affiliate marketers (31.86%) are agreed between 35 and 44, while the second most common age group is 25-34 (27.55%).

  • Age 18-24: 5.08%
  • Age 25-34: 27.55%
  • Age 35-44: 31.86%
  • Age 45-54: 22.41%
  • Age 55-64: 8.67%
  • Age 65 or above: 2.75%

Source: Statista


“Is affiliate marketing dead?”

That’s a question that many beginners ask – usually because they read it somewhere else.

You see through these affiliate marketing statistics that it’s FAR from heat. It’s a powerful marketing strategy that many brands and businesses tap into to expand their reach and increase sales.

But like any other marketing, reaping the affiliate benefit requires careful planning and execution as a business or marketer.

Luckily, you just gathered the latest trends, insights and expectations through these stats to make better decisions and maximize ROI.

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Rok is a professional content creator, WordPress developer and enthusiastic marketer who spends most of his day behind the screen, working on ULTIDA, client projects and listening to black metal. But he never misses a daily workout to get the blood flow going.

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