Holiday Shopping season is finally here, and this year is going to be like nothing you’ve ever seen before. 2020 has had the whole planet on its toes for the most part. And while social turmoil, global lockdown, economic changes, antitrust hearings, and the future of TikTok on the US market have kept us all busy over the last few months, people’s attention is on changing.
The best time of the year in the world is upon us, which means one thing and only one thing…
This is SHOPPING TIME!
So if you’re an affiliate marketer looking to uncover the secret of scaling up your company through Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and eventually Christmas shopping madness in Q4 2020, then congratulations!
You just find yourself in the right place to learn more about it.
Why is Q4 the hottest time for your affiliate marketing?
So… People shop every day of the year, all over the world, both online and offline, using mobile and desktop devices, shopping big and small… but nothing compares to the marathon that we have in store for the last quarter of the year.
The so-called Golden Quarter, as affiliates call it Holiday Season, or simply Q4, has developed into a multi-billion dollar phenomenon, with holiday sales growing year on year.
Think of all the craziness surrounding main shopping events like Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Free Shipping Day, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve… most of the Amazon Prime Day events this year too.
And then think about how they’re all compressed in such a short timeframe, pushed by a hectic deal-hunting, fueled by a last-minute decorative spree, and additionally infused with the general shopping madness. According to Salesforce reports, there is no way that any marketer or retailer on this planet will miss it, especially with 2020 global digital revenues hitting an estimated $723 billion.
Q4 2020 schedule of main shopping events!
Since affiliate marketing makes up a large part of the digital advertisement and retail industry, you’re definitely ready to grab a slice of that cake, too. To help you manage this hot season and make sure you don’t miss out on great opportunities, check out the Q4 2020 calendar of main shopping events!
Want to read more about any case and how to tap into customer demand outside of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, too? Read the article below for more comprehensive information.
Influence of COVID-19 on the marketing of affiliates
Covid-19’s changed the world as we know it.
Since the beginning of 2020, people worldwide have been trying to remain healthy, adapt to the new standard, and change their daily behaviors while introducing the requisite steps to cope with everyday life. Among many others, these interventions include the implementation of a work-from-home model, online grocery shopping, social distancing, or remote networking.
And even though these extraordinary times have shaken the global economy, altered consumer preferences, perceptions, and buying actions, people are more than happy to move their entire Q4 shopping online!
Read here for a few selected statistics (out of hundreds, really just Google!) that indicate that this year’s online advertising will benefit significantly from the lockdown situation in Q4.
Almost 30 percent of global retail sales will be made online in Q4 2020, according to Salesforce.
Approximately 50-60 percent of US customers are planning to shop online, according to Statista and other sources.
A similar prognosis can also be found in other countries. Almost 40-50 percent of shoppers worldwide chose to go online this year because of COVID-19, according to BazaarVoice or eBay.
Shoppers have no plans to spend less this holiday season than in 2019, according to the article in MarTechSeries.
As for the form of gifts, about 70 percent of shoppers are planning to give away physical items rather than experience, according to BazaarVoice.
Based on Affiliate Software Online data and what we’ve seen since the beginning of the pandemic, the affiliate marketing industry hasn’t slowed down. It’s picked up! Especially in the second half of 2020. As has been proven over the years, this company continues to go hand-in-hand with global digital developments. So, looking at Q4 insights could just be the factor you need to scale up your Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Holiday campaigns!
Affiliate marketing niches to be promoted in Q4 2020
Digital marketing is full of different verticals, so whatever product you want to support, or whatever niche is your preference, there’s undoubtedly something made, especially for this time of year. Are you an e-commerce expert, a smart sweepstake, or a gambling enthusiast?
E-Commerce and Online Shopping
E-commerce is massive. This vertical is all about supporting retail goods and different online services. It ensures a wide range of options, from consumer electronics, clothes, home appliances to the entertainment industry, and many others.
E-commerce is one of the most reliable and reliable vertical operators. Strict enforcement rules are required most of the time. Make sure you obey these to get your ads out there to let people see and get those conversions home!
It’s fairly steady all year round, although it appears to spike like crazy in Q4. Shopping season time, like Black Friday, Cyber Monday, holiday, and post-day sales is the time of any e-commerce marketer’s life. And once the mad season is over, it appears to go down a little, even though it continues to go upright again. As we discussed right at the beginning of this post, people shop all year round, all over the globe, no matter what the circumstances.
That is why the online retail market ensures that there is always a supply meeting the demand for e-commerce goods and services, which, considering the current situation, is only increasing. There’s still a unique product, marketing, a lot, or a gift card for marketers to promote. All that’s left for the smart affiliates is to find the winning bid and get ready before Q4 kicks in!
COVID-19 created new lucrative niches
The following verticals are often closely connected to e-commerce but mostly viewed as different categories. Remember to include them in your e-commerce bid!
- Food and grocery
- Home & Garden
- Health and Beauty:
- Hobbies and training
Each of these specific sectors provides a unique opportunity to advertise highly sought-after products during the Q4 season. These would usually serve as fantastic gift ideas, and given the pandemic, demand can only increase. Add the right marketing angle, fine-tune your copy and graphics to fit the occasion, throw a time-limited deal, and you’ve got some excellent promotional content.
Surveys and Sweepstakes
Have you ever come across a web page that offers you the chance to win an item? Or maybe you got a little push notification? Whatever the means, all those fortunate people who are given such a superb opportunity are targeted with sweepstakes advertisements.
Surveys & Sweepstake vertical consists of offering promising users a reward, usually a chance to win an item, by taking specific action.
It is free to enter a sweepstake contest, but as mentioned above, specific actions are required. For example, users need to send their email addresses, fill out a form, or click on the website’s specified area.
In return, participants are offered the opportunity to win a wide variety of items, beginning with brand new phones, gadgets, shopping or travel vouchers, and many others. It sounds like great timing to encourage sweeping deals during the holiday season, huh?
Note that sweeps ads are often widely referred to as leaden or vouchers and are an excellent match for the Q4 season. They allow both retailers and customers to profit from exclusive offers and to find out what they are after.
Not to mention Surveys & Sweepstakes are widely considered an ever-green vertical that only continues to develop. Also, traffic sources like Spark Traffic deliver vast amounts of high-quality traffic to improve your campaign. With an established track record of active Surveys & Sweepstakes promotions, this vertical is never a wrong choice if you’re a budding affiliate or a pro advertiser.
There are also two significant advantages of this vertical:
You can support practically anything with Sweeps & Surveys;
And people just love to win free things, so they’ll never miss a chance to turn the wheel! Who’s not in love with a free iPhone gift?
Gambling is one of the most influential vertical players in online marketing. It consists of several smaller groups, such as:
Online casino games (slots, lotteries, roulette, card games, or online poker, which is a significant part of the niche). Betting, like sports, betting, or… bingo games.
Fantasy gaming, which involves fantasy sports, betting, or gambling.
Both of these smaller categories are closely related. It’s often hard to tell when or when daily online gaming comes to an end, and for example, online betting starts. It’s always just a matter of naming or keeping categories separate for the sake of the bid.
However, there are main reasons why vertical gambling is worth investing in. Particularly during the Q4 and Holiday shopping seasons!
The global online gambling industry was projected to be worth almost $53.7 billion in 2019! And is expected to rise dramatically in the coming years. With spending budgets increasing in Q4, people being particularly prone to impromptu decisions and willing to take risks for fast profits, this number is bound to rise, especially during the holiday season.
This is mainly because we all prefer to buy/act on the spur of the moment during this time of year. People tend to get more emotional, demand and urge to shop are higher than ever before… while money is always tighter than we would like.
The high penetration and widespread use of mobile devices for online entertainment have guided the online gambling industry’s development. At the same time, easy access to online gambling and rising legalization has led to its popularization. Modified to fit the Holiday Mood—it’s a recipe for success.
Not to mention that vertical gambling proved its stable success even in tumultuous times. People just want to bet. We’ve always done that, and we’ll continue to do that, particularly if we’re counting on the Christmas spirit to turn over that lucky card.
Since the beginning of digital marketing, vertical dating has been on the market and has never stopped rising. It is an ever-green vertical enabling affiliates to capitalize on dating deals despite seasonal or periodic market shifts. Simply put, vertical dating never ceases.
Various dating websites, applications, games, channels, and tons of dating-related material fall into the vertical dating category. The number of dating niches continues to grow, and new possibilities are continually being introduced to the vertical.
However, an important distinction should be made between conventional and adult dating. Mainstream dating includes blogs, applications, and other content related to casual dating. Though adult dating involves blogs, applications, and other content related to dating for sexual purposes.
Most notably, though, the promise of vertical dating is immense. It attracts a lot of advertisers, making dating one of the industry’s most prominent advertising angles.
Why are people so keen to participate in dating advertising during the holiday season?
Online dating provides a range of physical and emotional interactions while allowing users to retain anonymity, which is also what so many people are searching for today. Often at the end of the year, with all the Holidays and Festivities, yet also not yet checked out my 2020 to-do list strategy, most likely prompts people to explore interactions at different levels—romantically or physically.
In other words, look at all the advertisements, marketing materials, brand contact, and messaging—they’re all telling us that November/December is a time of passion and romance.
Affiliate marketing trends for Black Friday & Holiday Seasons
Suppose you’re an affiliate marketer, an e-commerce merchant, or a digital advertiser. In that case, you’re probably getting ready for money to pour in in the coming months.
But it’s not that easy. That’s why you always need to remember:
Is your game!
If you’re looking for a slice of the Holiday cake, you really need to hustle to make sure you get some of the good profits. You need to think and act quicker, smarter, and more robust.
That’s why below, you’ll find a list of trends in Black Friday and Holiday Season that no smart marketer will ever skip. Have a look, and make sure you include these in your promotions to boost your chances of success and lift your ROI to the stage you haven’t seen yet this year!
Trend #1—Christmas shopping is coming early this year!
2020 has brought us a wide variety of thrills, and here’s another one. As all has moved online, both buyers and retailers are preparing to ramp up and kick-off by mid-October rather than the end of November. The shopping craziness is about to begin earlier than usual!
Remember how the July edition of Black Friday was hailed on Amazon’s Prime Day? Now that it is scheduled for October 13th, we can expect that the hunting deal will begin almost a month before the actual Thanksgiving. In particular, all the big and small names in the industry are about to join as soon as Amazon calls the shots. Since people are still spending loads of time online, they’re sure to go for it once offers start to appear everywhere.
Here is the edge, then.
Stay focused, keep track of the situation, and take action as soon as the ball starts rolling! Don’t miss the moment. The earlier you enter the game, the better you will be safe from all the FOMOs and ROMOs this season while satisfying the first bird demand at the same time.
Trend #2—Physical goods over experience!
Coming up with the perfect gift ideas can be a nightmare, right? If you’re a customer, that’s right. Whether you’re a retailer or a marketer, it’s much harder to develop what people may like to buy as presents.
Unless you are a psychic.
But 2020 has definitely overcome this one problem! Considering that the pandemic is mainly responsible for many entertainment services and facilities being shut down, the experience vs. physical gift battle is over.
According to different reports, as eBay’s study is one of them, customers are more likely to select physical goods from experience because of the risk of gift experience expiring before they actually get a chance to do so. As well as concerns about social distance and self-isolation.
Whereas physical goods (note that all digital vouchers or subscriptions can be viewed as such!) do not carry these risks. It’s also convenient to buy them online and have gifts shipped whenever they like while keeping all the safety measures in place.
Trend #3—Lockdown is calling for new hobbies (and unique gift ideas)!
With billions of people around the world forced to shut down in the first half of the year and many still under that responsibility, we all just had to come up with new hobbies and ways to use them all this time on our hands. It’s at home.
Bored, depressed, and eager for new experiences (since we’ve already devoured the refrigerator), we’ve taken to new hobbies or cultivated those we’ve always missed.
According to eBay’s survey, 75% of customers plan to continue their newly discovered talents and hobbies, making them a great inspiration for Christmas gifts.
Top locking hobbies and, therefore, gift ideas are:
- Failed to Bake
- Pillow Planting
- DIY or Home Renovation
- At home/outdoor sports or exercise facilities
- Mate board games or jigsaw puzzles
- Link to Crafts
- Connection to video games
- Drawing or drawing
- PARY Photography
- Friendly Hair and Beauty
- No musical instrument
- PARY Self-Development courses online
- PARY Film/Book/Music subscriptions
So if you’re not sure what items you should be supporting, here’s your list!
Trend #4—Meet the audience wherever and whenever they want to!
Mobile-first optimization is 2019, and that means it’s not enough. People want more material, and they want it faster and easier. How are you going to make that happen as a marketer?
Mobile optimization is a must.
PARY But because we’re all in the homes in the vicinity of our desktop devices—don’t forget about them too!
Even with all of our family members or flatmates plugged in, page loading speed optimization is required. If it doesn’t load quickly enough, you’re out of the game!
PARK Remember to configure the day-to-day filters according to the hours of travel or traffic rush? It’s time for couches and slippers, so try to hit your audience all day all night.
Always be one step ahead of both your customers and our competition. Follow their patterns and behaviors, track the situation, adapt, and optimize for the best result!
Trend #5—Make it simpler for your customers!
It’s been a hell of a ride this year, and if I’m wrong, we could all use some support to make the end of 2020 as fast, smooth, and worry-free as possible.
For all those involved.
How do I do that? Actually, it’s straightforward. All you’ve got to do is think like your customers and try to recreate the direction they’re going to take. Make sure you have all the elements that will help them make a decision. And by making a decision, we mean opting to click on your ad rather than hundreds of others! Isn’t this a win-win situation? You get your conversions, and consumers get less of a decision-making challenge when they get what they need.
Here’s the way to do it!
PARY Always help your customers navigate to the next stage.
In this way, you remove the possibility that your audience will get confused and leave before completing all the appropriate steps to make a conversion count. Psychological tests indicate that actually asking people what to do helps them follow the direction they want to take.
Fit the flow to the deal you’re promoting.
Like ad copy and authors, landing pages, messaging, CTAs, etc, it helps improve credibility and loyalty as consumers will not feel too much of the difference when they go through the funnel and will continue to do so until all is done!