You might think the end of the holidays equals the end of online shopping for a while, but 2016 affiliate marketing data shows otherwise! Surveys show that consumers are planning to do more shopping after Christmas, and we have some ideas about how and what they’re looking for. We’ll share some of the stats with you, and at the end, some ways to capitalize on end of year shopping.
 
According to a poll by the National Retail Federation, over 50% of gifts purchased fell into the clothing/accessories category this year, followed closely by toys, gift cards, and electronics (see the chart below for the full breakdown).
 

 
This data is backed up by AvantLink’s numbers. For example, from December 1st through today, our highest performing merchants were Patagonia, Under Armour, Cabela’s, and REI.
 
As affiliate marketer, this data tells us what consumers are interested in, first and foremost. But it also tells us what kind of shopping the affiliate channel is driving. Based on an audit of all top performing merchants for December 2016, the big interests were fashion/apparel, sports apparel, outdoor gear, and motorsports.
 
This is good to know for projecting 2017 content strategy and knowing which merchants to build partnerships with. But it’s also something to consider for the remainder of 2016. Fortunately for affiliates, a lot of gift cards were given this year, which will likely be used to purchase top-category products after Christmas. Also, this is a big vacation week, so there’s a good chance some of that time will be spent shopping online. Let’s see how we can capitalize on this info before the year ends.
 

How to finish off 2016 strong

 
Another insight from the National Retail Federation poll was that 48% of consumers planned to do more shopping after Christmas. And 44% of them plan to do that shopping online. With that in mind, let’s go over a few ideas to quickly juice up your blog and affiliate strategy for this last week of 2016 and the new year.
 

Apply to more merchant programs

 
If you want to drive more sales, give your readers what they’re looking for. Based on the chart above, the best selling products can cover a wide range of audiences. For instance, with apparel, a merchant like Huckberry can appeal to fashion and lifestyle audiences, or Fanatics for sports fans (capitalize on the playoffs with this program!).
 
The point is, there are a ton of great programs on AvantLink, whether your site focuses on fashion, outdoor gear, electronics, or anything in between, we have merchants on the network that can align your strategy with shopping trends. You can search for merchants in the US, CAN, or AUS markets on our programs page. Just type in a merchant or select a category, and apply for programs that fit the bill.
 
AvantLink merchant programs
 
Also, check our weekly roundups and new merchant posts for the latest programs.
 

Create “In the Moment” Content

 
As you put in your final push for the year, focus your content on opportunities. Go to the merchant ad tool on your dashboard and search for “current promo.” Get one of these ads on your site, and you’ll have a dynamically updated promotion that covers any sales or promotions your merchant is offering.
 
Focus your product reviews on popular items–you can reach out to your merchant program manager for specifics, or again, search for ads that feature a specific product or promotion. Give shoppers tips on post-holiday shopping and point to good promotions or sales, and quality products that appeal to your audience.
 
We’ve compiled a lot of these tips and live tool demonstrations in our 2016 Holiday Webinar Series. Watch the End of year strategies for tips on what to sell, and how to do it using AvantLink’s interface.
 

Thanks for reading! Now go ring in the new year with aplomb!

Darius Carrick
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Darius Carrick

Content Strategist at AvantLink
Darius is a strategic creative writer with a passion for turning ordinary content into actionable, engaging, and fun experiences. He is a poet, musician, runner, cyclist, auto mechanic, and adventurer in the off hours.
Darius Carrick
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