Functioning and state of DACH affiliate marketing
Affiliate marketing is a well-developed online marketing segment in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. There are thousands of active publishers operating in the market and the majority of major e-commerce actors have their own affiliate campaign. Affiliate marketing has dramatically grown in recent years and been professionalised in recent years. A strong connection between the German-speaking and other European countries can be seen.
Occupation of the market
A number of networks are operating in the market. The largest European actors Awin, financeAds and Tradedoubler are particularly represented. According to estimates, around 99 million conversions were achieved on the 12 best-known affiliate networks in 2017 alone – almost twice as many as in the previous year! It is to be assumed that this number will have increased again by 2020.
Amazon’s PartnerNet program is also a popular affiliate network for DACH advertisers. Numerous local and international e-shops are represented there. This means more competition for advertisers, but for publishers it has the great advantage of being able to access a large number of affiliate campaigns using a single network. This, on the other hand, enables advertisers to choose from a wide range of potential publishers for their affiliate marketing campaigns.
For newcomers and existing e-shops, that want to expand to further markets, it is worth taking a look at the neighbouring European countries Slovakia, Romania, the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Croatia and Hungary. The affiliate network Dognet covers these emerging affiliate markets with local knowledge and – unlike the big, international networks – is able to support advertisers and publishers individually.
The DACH affiliate market has strongly progressed and been professionalised in recent years. This is no longer about a few individuals who click on something after their work. That Google pushes for quality has shaped also in Germany, Austria and Switzerland several content partners serving the majority of the market. Due to the increase in competition, it has become difficult for new advertisers to enter the DACH affiliate market. However, there are still some niche markets that are as good as unrivalled.
A group of cashback / loyalty projects and, of course, coupon aggregators also operate in the market. Regarding the cashbacks, I would like to mention the largest systems Payback (Germany and Austria), Shoop (DACH) and DeutschlandCard (Germany). The coupon websites are both international projects such as Groupon as well as local providers such as Coupon.de, Couponation.at and Preispirat.ch.
Community communication does take place via social media and groups such as Affiliate Marketing Germany (Facebook) or internal network groups such as Affiliate Conference. However, fora are predominant, including SEO-Portal.de and Affiliate-Marketing.de. Austrian and Swiss affiliates can also be found on these fora, as the tips and blog posts mentioned here can be applied to the entire DACH market, afterall it is closely linked.
In addition to virtual meeting points, affiliate fairs and conferences are also held in the DACH region. The best known are Affiliate Conference (Germany and Austria), Awin ThinkTank and Affiliate Marketing Conference. They offer affiliate networks, publishers and advertisers a chance to get to know each other and to exchange information about current developments.
The future of affiliate marketing in German-speaking countries
In view of the significantly increasing trend in recent years, it is assumed that affiliate marketing will continue to have a great status with advertisers and publishers. Since large international players such as Amazon and Tradedoubler dominate in these markets and there is now abundant competition in some industries, it could be difficult for new e-shops to gain a foothold.
If you are looking for affiliates in Germany, Austria and / or Switzerland, you will probably find it easier to establish yourself in a niche market. If you are new to affiliate, you might find that the large affiliate networks common in the DACH market lack individual support. An alternative is to offer your products in markets that have less competition. It is ideal to have a single strong local network covering for example Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Hungary. In addition, there are often the Balkan states of Croatia, Slovenia and Romania, which are fully served by the Dognet network as an ideal option for the CEE market
It is advantegous for an advertiser to choose a single player for several markets. Naturally, consolidation is reasonable, but if a network can cover several countries, an e-shop can effectively manage a “Western” network and choose another as a specialised one, e.g. for the CEE region.