India’s affiliate industry is on track to hit $835 mn by 2025: Experts

India’s affiliate industry has tremendous potential for growth and is on track to touch the targeted USD 835 million by 2025 from around USD 300 million currently, said Parul Bhargava, CEO, vCommission, in her welcome address at the seventh edition of India Affiliate Summit (IAS), organised by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI).  

She said: “The Covid19 pandemic has not affected the affiliate marketing industry, definitely digital and affiliate has grown. Affiliate marketing still contributes about 10% of digital marketing budgets. E-commerce, travel homestays, BFSI, education, D2C, gaming, web services and health are the top industries contributing to affiliate marketing in India. Today, it is important for every brand to have their affiliate programs to accelerate growth.”

Bhargava also highlighted how the industry has grown over the years and how the uptake of affiliate marketing has helped many businesses, driving their growth. With the advent of online, the affiliate marketing domain continues to grow at 10% year-on-year. Realizing the value of affiliates, most of the brands and online marketplaces are collaborating with them and expanding their bandwidth in the business of gaining more customers. Huge customer base and a plethora of offers make the affiliates too attractive. 

Echoing similar views, Ashok Reddy, Founder, GrabOn, said: “We have just scratched the surface of affiliate marketing in India with unprecedented growth ahead. The affiliate industry has been growing multi-fold over the years and there is no doubt it has a long way to cover. With new content creators on the block and AI that sees no limits, affiliate is shifting and will continue to shift into the hands of the users. Mobile first strategy, influencers and video-based content marketing will see an uptrend for the next few years.”

L D Sharma, Managing Director, Optimise, said that the sector has the potential to become a billion-dollar industry in the next couple of years, however, the rising fraudulent activities in the affiliate industry seem to be a major concern. Fraudulent clicks, cookie stuffing, bad bots, geo-masking, click spamming are some of the challenges for the industry.

He also mentioned that government intervention in the form of regulations and punishments for unethical businesses will help the industry to grow further. He highlighted that as per the current GST regime affiliate marketers are required to pay 18% GST, however, the same is not applicable in other countries. And so, “Revisiting the GST regime for affiliate marketers and setting up a regulatory body would be an impetus for the entire ecosystem,” Sharma said.

Some of the interesting discussions at the summit revolved around: How to build a multi-million-pound affiliate empire? Is performance marketing a win-win deal or has a flip side?  Growing role of affiliate marketing in Fintech domain; How are influencers changing the affiliate marketing fame? Implementing affiliate marketing in mobile gaming; GenZ, the social media generation – Vital audience for affiliates.

Rohan Bhargava, Co-Founder, CashKaro, highlighted: "Indian e-commerce has seen massive growth and a shift in consumer behaviour over the last two years. With D2C brands gaining popularity, cashback, rewards and affiliate programs have gained a lot of traction over the years and these are definitely the place to be right now for real results."

Parul Bhargava, CEO, vCommission; Craig Campbell, SEO Trainer & Consultant, Craig Campbell SEO; Hassan Aanbar, Founder, Bright Leads Media; Robert Glazer, Founder & CEO, Acceleration Partners; Rohan Bhargava, Co-founder, Cashkaro; Sai Tota, Head - Digital Marketing, Ferns N Petals; Aditya Satpute, CVP - E commerce & Digital Marketing, Max Life Insurance; Jahid Ahmed, VP & Head- Digital, Content & Social Media Marketing, HDFC Bank; Pankaj Parihar, VP & Head – Digital, Godrej Consumer Products; Nijish Nair, Director – Marketing, Lendinkart, were some of the key speakers at the summit. 

The seventh edition of IAS witnessed about 3,000 delegates from across the globe. In addition, over 700 companies and 50 exhibitors participated at the event. 


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