Affiliate Networks in India
A brief guide to the Indian affiliate market
Fast Growing Market for Affiliate
India has a fast maturing market with one of the fastest global growth rates. The first networks established included DGM back in the 2000s and since then the market has matured in many ways.
In 2020 India reached 242 million digital shoppers and saw nearly 19% growth in new customers. In a nation of over a billion citizens, with a fast expanding middle class and increasing prosperity, this is only going to expand further.
In the early days of affiliate, much of the potential was hampered by lack of land-based broadband outside a few major cities, and much of the early programs were direct to mobile, well before mobile tracking was even fully developed.
Many of the biggest programs are stand alone, such as Flipkart, Myntra and others. Most however also run programs via the main networks as well. Amazon.in is large (though as their affiliates are usually less valuable, Publisher Discovery doesn't include these). Mobile is still an important aspect, though as CJ's Nele Sharp writes in this recent article on PerformanceIn, content publishers, bloggers and influencers are a fast growing sector in the market.
Nowadays the market has several mature networks and an increasing number of global players looking to expand into the region, such as CJ Affiliate, Awin, Impact and others.
Indian Based Global Affiliates
There is a large and growing number of affiliates in India and not all focus on the domestic market. Many are global players and operate many websites targeted at the most active markets in the US and Europe. Read about an example in our Publisher Spotlight on Jitendra Vaswani >
Performance Growth Asia
India Affiliate Summit
Insights on a Market in Growth
Some of the leaders in the Indian affiliate market give us their views at the 2021 Indian Affiliate Summit to an audience of over 3,000 in a virtual conference.
Parul Bhargava, CEO of vCommission in her welcome address said "The Affiliate industry in India has outstanding growth potential and now it’s set to hit USD 835 million by 2025 from around USD 300 million currently."
Rohan Bhargava of CashKaro offered a publisher view; “Indian e-commerce has seen extensive growth and a shift in consumer behaviour over the last two years. With D2C brands gaining popularity, cashback, rewards, and affiliate programs have gained plenty of grip over the years”. This very much mirrors what we see across pretty much all global markets.
In a panel session on whether performance marketing is a 'win-win' for all, Gurpreet Singh of Performics asked if 'brand' and 'performance' "are still being looked at through different lenses". Anuj Rankadata of EarlySalary gave the view, "digital has becomre more important in generating awareness, something that traditionally is brand advertising. There's definitely a strong connection now of brand and performance - with performance models giving a direct measurable impact through the rest of the funnel".
Industry legend, LD Sharma, MD of Optimise, offered a word of warning to the Indian affiliate industry on less honest practices still prevalent in the Indian market. “The planet has the potential to become a billion-dollar industry within the subsequent number of years. However, the rising fraudulent activities within the affiliate industry seem to be a major concern. Fraudulent clicks, cookie stuffing, bad bots, geo-masking, click spamming are still challenges for the industry.”
Another leading publisher in the cashback/coupon space, Ashok Reddy of GrabOn said: “We have just blemished the surface of affiliate marketing in India with exceptional growth ahead. With the new content creators on the block and AI that sees no restrictions, the affiliate is shifting and will still 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.”
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