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Tap into Growth of Mobile Sales [Part 1]

In this, the first of a three-part blog series, CJ Affiliate’s Strategic Insights Director Sandrine Thompson will present forward-thinking strategies to drive mobile sales in affiliate.

According to the 2016 Mobile Intelligence Report, which analyzed the mobile transactions of more than 3,000 advertisers and 30,000 publishers in the CJ Network, smartphones are affiliate consumers’ mobile shopping tool of choice. More than 70% of mobile sales in the CJ Network are occurring on smartphones.

While you might have an affiliate program and a website optimized for smartphones, in the future it may not be enough to tap all this smartphone usage…

Consider this: More and more of our time on smartphones is occurring in apps. In terms of share, apps eat up 88% of the time US audiences spend on their smartphones (1)—and the average smartphone owner spends nearly 90% of their app time in just five apps (2).

After surveying the evolving mobile landscape, I highly recommend affiliate marketers consider these few things when preparing for future sales growth on smartphones:

Forget Desktops Exist

What would you do if your desktop traffic and sales disappeared tomorrow?

It may be a bit far-fetched, but a good way to get our minds around the future of mobile sales is to envision the demise of desktops altogether. Effectively, the desktop as a purchasing platform is already on life-support after 5pmin the CJ Network, we’ve observed global sales on tablets and smartphones spike during post-workday hours.

This idea of “life beyond the desktop” allows you to get serious about a mobile strategy that taps mobile app and mobile web audiences. A “smartphone-first” mentality will require critical thinking about affiliate partnerships. Consider the following: 

  • Which of my affiliate relationships are both growing and converting smartphone audiences?
  • Which partners are investing in mobile technology initiatives?
  • What can we be doing together to creatively engage smartphone audiences within social platforms or apps?

Forge Strategic Partnerships

Speaking of mobile apps, the low number of apps that smartphone users engage with daily—only about 4 to 6, according to Millward Brown Digital—spells a future in which affiliate engagement might not look anything like we know today. Increased usability of smartphones and apps will require us to consider how we can embed our products and offerings within highly used apps.

The key to this will be strategic partnerships.

By design, these partnerships should leverage organic, in-app traffic to promote a complimentary product. Imagine a partnership involving a weather app, affiliates, and retailers which results in links to snow shovels when snow is due, air conditioners for a spell of hot weather, and rain boots when its stormy. Sure, that may be a fairly obvious example, but that just shows the possibilities are vast.

Curious about which apps are growing their user-base the fastest? According to comScore’s Top 25 Mobile Apps by Unique Visitors, Walmart is at the top with the likes of Google and Facebook in the top five:

Walmart +402%
Google Drive +309%
Spotify +236%
Facebook Messenger +144%
Pinterest +66%
Amazon Mobile +65%

CJ Affiliate recognizes that the ways audiences engage are set to evolve mightily in the not too distant future. This is why we are further enhancing access to product links and content via APIs.

The goal: ease future partnerships that may be dependent on dynamically populated content while fueling innovation in new forms. (To learn more about what’s happening in this sphere, be sure to attend the CJU16 session “How a Culture of Collaboration Fuels CJ Innovation,” with Partnership Director, Ronan Vance, and Sr. Software Engineer, Liz Hurley.)

But Wait, There’s More

Depending on the breadth and depth of your program, that might be enough to digest for a while. Stay tuned, though, as we roll out additional insights in this three-part series. Let us know if any tactics are resonating with your program in particular. We’d love to hear from you!


Sandrine Thompson, Strategic Insights Director

(1) comScore Mobile App Report, August 2015
(2) Source: Forrester’s US consumer Technologies Behavioral Study, August 2015 to October 2015.

In this digital world every one are using mobile phones,i have got various information through your blog.Keep providing,i shall be really very thankful to you.
  • by liwalker
  • Jun 25, 2016, 10:44 am
Thank you! We will definitely keep posting, so please keep reading :)
Hey Sandrine! Your post on mobile website traffic and mobile app traffic is really true. I am in online marketing field since 2007 and i saw this drastic change in mobile device traffic. Right now, i am getting more than 50% traffic from mobile devices and tablets. i have one concern that how can we promote our affiliate platfrom when all traffic will go through only APPs....please discuss this issue in your next post...
  • by liwalker
  • Jun 27, 2016, 10:09 am
Great! We'll let Sandrine know. Stay tuned...
I'd love to learn more about best practices for adding affiliate links to Pinterest.
  • by liwalker
  • Jun 27, 2016, 10:10 am
Hi Mary! Please see this article one of our other associates just wrote for Internet Retailer about that exact topic: http://bit.ly/28JCnKd
Thank you for the interesting information in this article. when and how to attend the CJU16 session? Kind regards
  • by liwalker
  • Jul 5, 2016, 10:20 am
Here is more information on the sessions so far: http://www.cjuniversity.com/sessions. Please check back as we continue to add more sessions!

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