Ecommerce is booming in APAC and is showing no signs of slowing down, with current forecasts predicting the market will have doubled by 2025(1).
This huge growth is driving more advertisers online and causing those already active in the space to be a lot smarter with their strategies. Research conducted by Silverbean has found that affiliate and partner marketing is one key channel advertisers are enthusiastically embracing this year to help cut through the noise.
How does APAC compare to the rest of the world?
Silverbean’s Global Affiliate Pulse surveyed affiliate marketers across APAC, EMEA and the Americas (AMR) to identify trends and differences within each region. Compared to other regions, APAC had the lowest contribution with 76% of advertisers generating less than 10% digital revenue through the channel. Conversely, 60% of programs within AMR were generating between 11% - 20% through the channel.
In addition to this, APAC programs were typically a lot younger than other regions, with over half of the programs surveyed less than three years old and a quarter less than one year. A direct correlation between program age and level of contribution was identified within the report, so it is unsurprising that APAC also had the youngest programs surveyed.
Despite the lower level of contributions, the outlook for affiliate and partner marketing was optimistic, as advertisers here had the biggest appetite for growth, with 57% of advertisers planning to increase channel spend by more than 10% this year.
Annabel Gray, associate director APAC at Silverbean said:
“It’s an exciting time to be in partnerships within the APAC region, whilst viewed as traditionally less mature - we’re seeing a huge appetite from local advertisers in some very advanced partnership strategies, which some more mature markets are being slow to adopt.
Each country within APAC is very much beating its path out and not following what we might define as “traditional” digital evolution.”
Emma Bhatti, Head of Advertiser Management at Commission Factory said:
"We launched our Singapore and Malaysia office in 2018 as we could see the potential and vibrancy of the market, as well as the desire for brands to expand into Southeast Asia. Four years on, we are excited to see the growth through our network across both the advertiser and publisher point of view, and it shows no signs of slowing down. What 2022 will bring, and with digital trends accelerated due to the pandemic, only time will tell, but it is an exciting future ahead."
Why is Affiliate Growing in APAC?
Home to over 50% of the worlds’ internet users, with geography spanning 48 countries, over 21 languages spoken, varied socioeconomic conditions and a diverse digital ecosystem, APAC has always been an attractive and yet challenging market for advertisers looking to expand or launch their activities here.
Consumer preferences and buying behaviour vary vastly in each country, within SEA, for example, online shopping is dominated by local marketplaces such as Shopee and Lazada, whereas in China and Hong Kong, influencer marketing is a strong acquisition channel.
Through partnering with local publishers, affiliate marketing helps advertisers to overcome these localisation challenges. Local publishers know the local market and how and when consumers like to shop, ensuring that campaigns are always culturally relevant, in the local language and timed for maximum impact.
In addition to this, the digital landscape has evolved at a different rate across APAC, with many markets in APAC viewed as less digitally mature. Whilst this digital gap was already closing, COVID-19 has accelerated the rate of growth and digital adoption within these countries - driving more advertisers and consumers online - and with more shoppers online, more publishers are emerging, creating a more diverse partnership ecosystem.
As the definition of affiliate marketing evolves, it encompasses all forms of affiliate partnerships from B2B and influencer - so do the opportunities with it across the region. The dynamic and flexible nature of affiliate partnerships allows mass reach with high personalisation - enabling it to mould perfectly to reflect individual markets, a winning combination for a landscape as diverse as APAC.
- Malaysia Market Insight Report 2022
- Cultural Consumer Differences in Southeast Asia
- How to Succeed on a Global Marketplace