As part of an effort to keep the industry informed about the state of the partnerships industry, Partnerize is conducting aggregated analysis of click and conversion activity by category during these uncertain times. These data show the activity we are seeing across the Partnerize Platform, among those clients who allow their data to be aggregated and reported in this manner.
Our 300+ advertisers are not necessarily representative of the market in total, but they can provide visibility into what a big sample of large advertisers is doing in response to the times.
In early April, we examined the aggregated data for partner and affiliate programs on the Partnerize Platform worldwide and by category of advertiser for the month of March 2020. We have just completed a similar analysis for the first half of April, and detected a number of positive signs in multiple business categories. These insights are indicative of how partnership and affiliate continue to drive value despite the current uncertain situation.
INSIGHTS FROM APRIL VS. MARCH DATA
We compared daily conversions and clicks for the last half of March with that activity during the first fifteen days of April to identify significant changes in activity.
Our 300+ advertisers are not necessarily representative of the market in total, but they can provide visibility into what a big sample of large advertisers is doing in response to the times. We have omitted data from clients that do not wish us to share insights even in this very aggregated form.
It’s important to note that daily and weekly data are quite volatile. Short-term promotions, holidays, and other market events impact both the rates of click and conversion in our industry. Even with this high level of data noise, we detected the following key trends versus the previous period.
As expected, the travel vertical remains the most negatively affected by the current situation. With many hotels completely closed, and airlines either grounded or flying very limited schedules, we’ve seen click and conversion declines continue. A small number of programs are still operating in several parts of the world, but activity in our largest markets remains low.
The retail sector is seeing growth as e-commerce for both essential and non-essential goods continues to rise. With consumers shopping online at higher rates than ever, it makes sense that partnership programs that continue to run targeted promotions will benefit. Over the first 15 days of April, retail clicks were up 34% and conversions were up 25%. This demonstrates the continued strength of the channel in delivering sales. While some brands had reduced activity or paused programs in March, a growing number are returning to more activity this month.
The Partnerize Partnerships team has been aggressively working with advertisers and brands to help them forge new relationships, and this is having a positive impact on the retail sector as well.
In some parts of the world, especially but not exclusively in APAC, many retailers are seeing unprecedented sales through the channel.
Retail sectors performing best in our sample are:
- Luxury, where we’ve seen a 44% increase in conversions and a 14% rise in clicks
- Apparel, where we have seen a 26% increase in conversions, while clicks remained fairly steady. Higher rates of conversion are very positive signs for brands. One explanation here is that great deals on seasonal and overstocked items still appeal to consumers.
- Retail in the APAC region looks quite strong, with a 28% increase in conversions versus the second half of March when performance was also strong, and a 45% increase in clicks.
In the finance sector, some brands have increased their investment in the sector, likely diverting other marketing investments into pay-for-performance. With so much market and financial volatility, weekly variances remain quite high. But overall, for the period of April 1-15, clicks were steady, and conversions did see a 14% increase. We will examine this activity regionally in the coming weeks to understand if growth in this vertical is related to areas currently bouncing back from COVID-19.
We work with a number of online entertainment and information companies that sell subscriptions. While clicks were down slightly for the period, conversions saw a 13% increase. Our last analysis showed a 30% increase in conversions, so these brands continue to see positive sales growth from the earlier days of the crisis. Naturally, performance varies significantly by provider and the extent to which they rely on live programming as part of their model.
We work with 10 of the largest telecoms worldwide. Globally, we’ve seen a 28% increase in conversions in April and a 12% increase in clicks. This is another vertical strong performance from affiliate and partnership programs architected to deliver strategic growth, like new commissioning structures and diversified partners.
IDEAS FOR MOVING FORWARD
Our Client Success and Partnerships teams are working closely with brands and partners on strategies for moving forward smartly in these unstable economic times. Our goal is to help people find real solutions to challenges and opportunities so they can avoid rash decision-making and instead make informed, creative choices. Many of these ideas are outlined in our new content series, Growing Together in Uncertain Times.
The data and findings we discussed above are for a relatively short period of time, but they provide a glimpse at the value this channel provides even in tough times. We will continue to examine performance in the coming weeks and months.