Navigating E-commerce for Profit and Glory By – Eric Gerritsen

by Sara Szado on April 26, 2016


The original Golden Age of Commerce in the seventeenth century, was shaped by key innovations in seafaring and mapmaking, and an insatiable European demand for spices like nutmeg and cinnamon.

Today, a new Golden Age of Commerce is happening, this time online and driven by huge new global middle classes, rapid improvements in logistics, mobile technologies, easy international payments, and the rise of China.

Today’s demand comes from the 800 million people that have joined the middle class in the last fifteen years; and tomorrow’s demand will come from the next 1.3 billion to join the middle class in the next ten years.

This business to consumer (B2C) demand will equal $2.0 trillion dollars this year; and grow to $2.5 trillion by 2018. These new consumers are buying apparel, electronics, accessories, jewelry, mobile phones, home furnishing, and much more.

The landscape of e-commerce players chasing this large-scale opportunity is changing. Traditional global players like Amazon, Walmart, Alibaba, and Rakuten have been joined by new companies with global e-commerce ambitions, like Rocket Internet, a global leader in online retailing and venture capital.

Below this established tier of global players are thousands of new e-commerce sites that have emerged around specific verticals; companies like Indochino, a custom menswear company; and Tofino Brand, a merchant of Korean skin care products.

Major new platforms, like Shopify and Weebly, have made it much easier for entrepreneurs to start e-commerce websites and do social media marketing. Together, these companies represent a complete global e-commerce ecosystem.

For affiliate marketers, explosive global demand for products delivered via e-commerce represents the single biggest opportunity to run continuous, long-term campaigns that monetize international web, and mobile traffic.

Merchants are competing globally for new customers and the affiliate channel is well-known and valued to both single-theme merchants and broad marketplaces.

Mobile traffic has a unique role to play. Affiliates with cross-platform and targeted traffic delivery capabilities are of particular help to merchants to find, influence, and engage with mobile consumers on the path to purchase.

To truly profit from the e-commerce opportunity, affiliates can choose to deliver the merchant marketing funnel, or complete distribution platforms, to help merchants sell through the full consumer sales funnel: beginning with awareness (CPM); to intent (CPA leadgen); and finally to consumer purchase (CPS revshare).

Since all traffic types have a role to play, affiliates have a real opportunity to monetize in e-commerce.

A new ecosystem with new companies is creating new global demand – it all adds up to a large-scale opportunity for affiliates to monetize traffic and grow merchant gross merchandise volume in the new Golden Age of E-commerce.

Eric J. Gerritsen is the SVP of E-Commerce, Mobile & Asia Pacific for GlobalWide Media.

This article appeared in issue 34 of FeedFront Magazine, which was published in April 2016.

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