Affiliate marketing has long been a staple of most online retailers’ marketing mix, and it is estimated that affiliate marketing now accounts for 16% of all online purchases in the US and Canada. It is growing by another 10% each year and is expected to reach $8.2 billion in 2022, according to Statista.

Publishers come in all shapes and sizes, including sites with content on a specific topic, deal-finding sites, blogs in niche verticals, social media influencers, and more. These publishers place links to retailers’ websites in their content in the hope of driving their audience to those retailers and earning sales commissions for the traffic they send.

New growth in the affiliate channel is being driven by loyalty rewards and cashback programs.

Existing affiliate tracking platforms provide an incredibly efficient infrastructure for boosting rewards and loyalty programs. The rewards platform and solution providers are now publishers that participate in affiliate programs with commissions paid on sales from online stores. But, unlike traditional affiliate publishers that retain commissions, rewards and loyalty programs offer some or all of the commissions earned back to consumers (such as their audience) in the form of purchase rewards such as cashback.