Exploring important affiliate marketing statistics can be key in optimizing your marketing strategies to help you learn exactly what works and what doesn’t.

Affiliate marketing is an essential tool in the toolkit of nearly all marketers around the world because of how effective it is. Businesses can take advantage of smart affiliate marketing tactics to quickly expand their marketing reach, engage existing customers, and generate fresh revenue.

We have curated this list of top affiliate marketing statistics using more than 25 sources so you can see for yourself the potential value of affiliate programs for online marketers, advertisers, and publishers and learn new strategies to use to your advantage.

Affiliate Marketing Statistics Highlights

  • The global affiliate marketing industry will be worth an estimated $15.7 billion in 2024.
  • There are almost 10,000 affiliate marketing companies active in 2023, and 47% are based in North America.
  • 11.7% of affiliate marketers make over $100k/month in affiliate revenue.
  • 80% of advertisers have used affiliate marketing at some point.
  • 17% of brands are dedicating 80-100% of their marketing budget to affiliate marketing in 2023.

Affiliate Marketing Revenue Statistics

A report from Proficient Market Insights valued the affiliate marketing platform sector at $15.8 billion in 2021 and predicted a CAGR of 9.89% to 2027, bringing the market value to $27.8 billion.

Beyond this, Astute Analytica forecasts the affiliate industry will be worth almost $40 billion by 2031, representing a CAGR of 7.9% from 2023.

Similar affiliate marketing statistics from The State of Affiliate Marketing: Benchmark Report in 2023, published by Influencer Marketing Hub, value the global affiliate marketing industry at $14.3 billion in 2023, reaching $15.7 Billion by 2024. Back in 2013, the market was valued at just $2.9 billion.

Influencer Marketing Hub global market size to 2025


The same report estimates that there are 9,600 affiliate marketing companies active in 2023. This includes agencies, affiliate platforms, and other businesses offering affiliate services. Almost half (4,500) of these are based in North America.

In the United States alone, spending in the sector was predicted to reach $8.2 billion in 2022, and this growth is showing no signs of slowing.

Statista affiliate marketing US market size to 2022


Affiliate marketing is not just good for driving a few sales; it’s also an important customer acquisition channel.

A survey conducted by Forrester on behalf of Pepperjam found that affiliate marketing is the top customer acquisition channel for 20% of organizations; more than any other marketing channel.

54% placed it in their top 3 digital marketing channels for acquisition, coming in higher than:

  • Paid social (45%)
  • Display (42%)
  • Paid and organic search (42%)

Forester customer acquisition by channel


The survey also found that affiliate marketing was the top driver of revenue for 19% of those surveyed, the same percentage as retail advertising.

Overall, 52% of respondents placed affiliate marketing in their top 3 revenue streams, compared to 47% for display and 42% for paid social.

Approximately 15% of revenue across the digital media industry comes from affiliate marketing, according to a report published by Business Insider.

How Much Do Affiliate Marketers Make?

Top affiliate marketers make over $100k/month from commissions, and in fact, around 11.7% of affiliate marketers report revenue at this level.

Most affiliate marketers, however, are earning at a more modest level. Here is the full breakdown of affiliate marketing earnings according to a report published on Statista:

  • Below $10k/month: 57.55%
  • $10k to $50k/month: 16.2%
  • $50k to $100k/month: 5.15%
  • $100k to $150k/month: 7.94%
  • $150k+/month: 3.78%
  • Undisclosed: 9.37%

Affiliate marketers can be categorized as follows, according to their monthly earnings:

  • Beginner: $0 to $1k/month
  • Intermediate: $1k to $10k/month
  • Advanced: 10k to $100k/month
  • Super Affiliate: $100k+/month

Those who are employed in affiliate marketing roles earn a base salary of $55,564 per year on average, according to Payscale. On top of this, they earn a bonus of up to $8k and commissions of up to $24k per year.

Authority Hacker’s Affiliate Marketing in 2023 survey of over 2,200 affiliate marketers found that the average affiliate marketer earns $8,038 per month. This equates to a salary of over $96,000 per year – much higher than the average employed affiliate marketer, even taking commission into account.

There seems to be a steep learning curve, though. These affiliate marketing statistics show that those who had been in the affiliate marketing niche for over 10 years reported earning $44,918 per month on average; 10 times more than those who had just 1-2 years’ experience with affiliate websites.

Affiliate marketer earnings by years of experience


The survey also showed that affiliate marketers with more experience tended to rely more heavily on email marketing for their traffic.

41.9% of affiliate marketers with 10+ years of experience use email marketing as a primary traffic source, compared to only 20.3% of those just starting out. This may well be a result of email lists building over time and becoming a more profitable source of affiliate revenue.

All in all, 22.8% of affiliate marketers use email marketing. Those who use this tool find that their affiliate marketing generates on average 66.4% more income than those who don’t.

When it comes to social media marketing, however, the trend runs in the opposite direction, with newer marketers getting a higher proportion of their traffic from organic social media.

Across all levels of experience, search engine optimization (SEO) is the primary way for affiliate marketers to gain traffic.

Affiliate marketing statistics from Authority Hacker about traffic sources by experience level


With 84% of Americans saying they are likely to consult Google for ideas and information before making a purchase, according to Kenshoo, it’s easy to see how so many of them end up on affiliate websites in their search for recommendations.

Podcasts are not to be overlooked when it comes to affiliate marketing, either.

Limelink reports that passive income guru Pat Flynn earns over $100k per month in revenue from affiliate links on his podcast, Smart Passive Income.

John Lee Dumas publishes a daily podcast for entrepreneurs from which he reportedly makes $58k/month in affiliate marketing earnings, as well as $61k/month in ad revenue. Larger podcasts can make even more.

Now, let’s move on from these general affiliate marketing statistics to see which industries are spending the most – and making the most – from this marketing strategy.

Affiliate Marketing Statistics by Industry

It’s estimated that 80% of advertisers have used affiliate marketing at some point, according to Rakuten.

Affiliate Marketing Spend by Sector

The 2022 Performance Marketing Industry Study from the Performance Marketing Association (PMA) revealed that the retail sector accounts for over three-quarters (76%) of total affiliate marketing spending in the US.

Financial institutions come in next, at 12%, with travel in third place at 5%.

Affiliate marketing spending by sector, PMA


Within the retail industry, the share of advertising spend on affiliate marketing is as follows:

  • Clothing and accessories: 29%
  • Beauty, health, and wellness: 18%
  • Department store: 13%
  • Home and garden: 12%
  • Computing products and consumer electronics: 9%
  • Food and drink: 4%
  • Sports and fitness: 4%
  • Business services: 3%
  • Games and toys: 1%
  • Gifts and flowers: 1%
  • CPG and consumer products: <0%
  • Other retail: 6%

The study notes that within the ‘department store’ category, a significant proportion of sales fall within the clothing and accessories category, pushing it even further into the lead.

Affiliate Market Revenue by Sector

Continuing with the PMA study, we find that retail is even more dominant when it comes to affiliate marketing revenue:

  • Retail: 84%
  • Travel: 10%
  • Entertainment and media: 2%
  • Financial institutions: 1%
  • Telecom: 1%
  • Automotive: <1%
  • Other: 1%

Again, the largest share of affiliate revenue within retail comes from the fashion industry (29%), followed by home and garden (17%) and department stores (16%).

Influencer Marketing Hub reports that 44% of affiliate marketing revenue is from the retail sector. This is followed by telecom and media (25%) and travel and leisure (16%).

Influencer marketing hub affiliate market revenue by sector


Return on Ad Spend by Sector

The PMA study looked at return on ad spend (ROAS) and found that, on average, brands receive a return of $12 for every $1 spent on affiliate marketing across all verticals.

There is great variance in the individual ROAS by sector, though. Here is what each industry makes for each $1 invested in their affiliate marketing strategy:

  • Automotive: $26
  • Travel: $21
  • Retail: $12
  • Entertainment and media: $9
  • Telecommunications: $5

The study noted that finance was excluded from this statistic because the typically long conversion times make it difficult to accurately track the true value of marketing investments.

Within the retail sector, toys and games come out on top for delivering the best ROAS from affiliate marketing:

Return on affiliate marketing spend by retail category, PMA


Affiliate Commission by Industry

Looking at the product categories that have the highest affiliate payouts, SaaS leads the way with commissions of up to 70%, as reported by The State of Affiliate Marketing: Benchmark Report (2023).

Here is a breakdown of the top 9 affiliate program categories according to commission rates:

  • SaaS: 20-70%
  • Finance: 35-40%
  • e-learning: 15-30%
  • Beauty and health: 10-30%
  • Business: 20%
  • Tech: 13-20%
  • Fitness: 10-20%
  • Fashion: 13%
  • Arts: 12%

The Authority Hacker Survey found that education and e-learning is the most profitable niche for affiliate marketers, making $15,551 per month on average. Travel comes second, at $13,847, followed by beauty and skincare at $12,476.

Average monthly affiliate marketing income by niche


Affiliate Marketing and Social Media Statistics

Social media affiliate marketing allows brands to reach new audiences by tapping into the existing audiences of other creators.

Aspire’s State of Influencer Marketing 2023 report found that 68% of brands planned to increase their spend on social media affiliate marketing in 2023 vs 2022. Only 9% said they were planning to decrease their budget.

On average, brands dedicate 25% of their marketing budget to influencer marketing on social media. 29% of their revenue comes from social commerce.

Of all the social media platforms, Instagram is the most popular among both advertisers and influencers. 87% of brands say they will work the most with Instagram affiliate marketers in 2023.

Snapchat falls to the bottom of the pile, being the most important channel for only 4% of affiliate marketing campaigns.

Which channels are brands using for affiliate marketing in 2023


GWI’s 2023 social media trends report reveals that social media users are fairly evenly split on whether they prefer to see products promoted by influencers or by regular ads.

52% of Gen Z say they find influencer recommendations more engaging than ads, compared to 49% of Millennials, 37% of Gen X, and 19% of Baby Boomers.

There is a similar decline in enthusiasm among older generations when it comes to trusting influencers and being likely to buy the products they promote.

Influencer Marketing Statistics

Influencer marketing is closely tied to affiliate marketing, and there is a growing overlap between the two as more and more brands turn to social media influencers to promote their products.

HubSpot reports that influencer marketing has overtaken word-of-mouth recommendations as the strongest determiner for consumer purchasing decisions. 30% of consumers consider influencer recommendations an important factor when making a purchase, compared to 27% who value recommendations from friends and family.

A survey conducted in 2022 and published by Pew Research Center found that 40% of social media users in the US follow influencers or content creators, and 30% have made a purchase after seeing one of those influencers promote something on social media.

However, that 30% is heavily skewed toward women, especially younger women:

Men Women All
18-29 28% 50% 41%
30-49 24% 41% 33%
50+ 15% 27% 24%

62% of female social media users aged 18-29 say that influencers impact their buying decisions, compared to just 43% of men in this age range. The number decreases to 49% and 33%, respectively, for the 30-49 age bracket.

However, GWI’s report offers some hope for advertisers aiming to reach Baby Boomers via social media. It reports that the number of Baby Boomers who follow celebrities and influencers has grown by 12% between 2021 and 2023.

Marketing statistics from Hubspot show that although Baby Boomers are still quite skeptical about shopping via social media, they are opening up to the idea.

24% of Baby Boomers say they have discovered a new product on social media in the past 3 months, an increase of 41% from the year before. And 6% have bought a product on social media in the past 3 months, a jump of 50% from the previous year.

However, only 6% say they feel comfortable making this type of purchase, and only 5% trust social media platforms with their credit card information, so this remains an obstacle for brands hoping to reach older generations via influencer marketing.

In contrast, 33% of Gen Z have bought a product in the last 3 months because of an influencer’s recommendation, another HubSpot survey found.

social media purchasing via smartphone

Affiliate Marketing Network Statistics

Affiliate networks give marketers a place to access hundreds – sometimes thousands – of affiliate marketing accounts on one platform. From here, they can browse suitable affiliate partners, apply to programs, and earn affiliate income with detailed tracking in place via the third-party platform.

ShareASale is one of the largest affiliate marketing networks globally, with over 25,000 merchants and 270,000 active publishers using the platform.

Affise reports that 94% of affiliate publishers work with several affiliate networks at once.

According to Influencer Marketing Hub, the largest affiliate networks by number of connected affiliates are:

  1. Amazon Associates: 900,000+
  2. ShareASale: 700,000+
  3. Awin: 225,000+
  4. Rakuten: 150,000+
  5. ClickBank: 100,000+

Amazon Associates was one of the first affiliate programs to launch in 1996. Despite losing popularity when it slashed its commission rates in 2021, some by as much as 80%, Amazon has continued to dominate the market thanks to its vast product range and easy accessibility.

Datanyze offers a different view of the market share, according to the number of websites using the technology:

  1. Amazon Associates: 48.12%
  2. Rakuten: 7.13%
  3. CJ Affiliate: 7.12%
  4. ShareASale: 6.64%
  5. Awin: 5.64%
  6. SkimLinks: 3.65%
  7. VigLink: 3.05%
  8. rewardStyle: 1.87%
  9. TradeTracker: 1.51%
  10. Travelpayouts: 1.10%

Yet another take on the share of affiliate programs is provided by Authority Hacker, although Amazon Associates still comes out as the most-used affiliate network by a considerable margin.

58.5% of the affiliate marketers they surveyed said they used Amazon Associates to generate income. This number is spread fairly evenly across all income levels. Although those earning $10k+ per month use Amazon the least, at 48.7%, it’s still in use by almost half of the top earners.

Clickbank takes the next largest share, with 24.6% of affiliate marketers using the network, followed by ShareASale (21.8%) and CJ Affiliate (20.5%).

Most popular affiliate networks


Companies can choose how they reward affiliates for their referrals, but the vast majority choose a flat-rate payout (48.9%) or a percentage of each sale (42.4%). Other, less common rewards include product-level (4.3%) and tiered incentives (4.3%). This is according to data from Influencer Marketing Hub.

Awin reports that its affiliate partners earned $1.3 billion in commission in 2022.

Brands are increasingly recognizing the importance and value of affiliate marketing spending as part of their wider marketing efforts.

The State of Affiliate and Partner Marketing: The Brand Forecast for 2023, published by Awin and Digiday, found that 80% of marketers recognized that affiliate partnerships would be a more significant revenue source in 2023 than in 2022.

When asked to compare the importance of affiliate marketing as a revenue source in 2023 compared to 2022, the responses were as follows:

  • Significantly more important: 34%
  • More important: 46%
  • No change: 16%
  • Less important: 4%
  • Significantly less important: 0%

The percentage of brands allocating between 80% and 100% of their marketing budget to their affiliate marketing spend has almost doubled year-on-year, from 9% in 2022 to 17% in 2023.

None of the brands surveyed said they had zero budget for affiliate market spending in either year.

affiliate marketing statistics on laptop

Looking at how affiliate marketing efforts are distributed across different types of media, the PMA study reveals that “traditional” affiliate marketing strategies remain strong, with cashback/loyalty/rewards websites accounting for 35% of spend, and coupon/voucher/rebate websites taking a further 16%:

  • Cashback, loyalty, and rewards websites: 35%
  • Coupon, vouchers, and rebate websites: 16%
  • Content: 15%
  • Subnetwork: 12%
  • Social, influencer, and creator: 5%
  • Comparison websites: 4%
  • Technology solutions: 2%
  • Search engine marketing: 2%
  • Other ad spend: 8%

Although the share of social media and influencer marketing is still relatively small, it has grown significantly over the past few years. This is partly due to the fact that influencers are increasingly willing to accept performance-based commission (e.g. 10% of sales), rather than a fixed-price model (e.g. $100 per post).

However, the study predicts that “Cashback and Coupon sites will likely show continued growth despite the coming economic downturn because merchants will increase investment in their ‘bottom-of-funnel’ tactics.

Challenges for the Affiliate Marketing Industry

According to fresh affiliate marketing statistics presented in Awin’s State of Affiliate and Partner Marketing 2023 Brand Forecast, these are the biggest obstacles to brands increasing their affiliate marketing budgets in 2023:

  • Perception of the channel as being a one-dimensional marketing tactic: 48%
  • Siloed departments with conflicting goals: 40%
  • Lack of new partnership opportunities: 32%
  • Difficulty in proving its value to the business: 30%
  • Lack of senior buy-in internally: 17%

The perception of affiliate marketing as a one-dimensional channel is changing though, as evidenced by the broad range of ways in which affiliate marketers generate traffic:

  • Influencers and creators: 40%
  • Media houses: 39%
  • Price comparisons: 36%
  • Bloggers: 35%
  • Technology partners: 34%
  • Discounts and coupons: 33%
  • Cashback: 27%
  • Complementary brand-to-brand partnerships: 18%

Rob Davinson, global head of content at Awin, commented that they are seeing an increase in direct brand-to-brand partnerships whereby two complementary brands agree to promote each other’s products.

This could be as part of the customer’s post-purchase journey, or as part of a rewards portal. In any case, it seems that brands are becoming more creative in the ways they partner with others.

There are additional challenges for marketers when it comes to tracking the success of affiliate marketing campaigns. The top-cited challenges encountered in terms of measurement and attribution are:

  • Difficulty understanding how affiliate campaigns affect other marketing channels: 59%
  • Inability to measure cross-device journeys: 43%
  • Inability to measure any activity beyond last-click: 38%
  • Lack of accurate attribution data: 19%

ecommerce on desktop and mobile

Affiliate Marketing Fraud

Affiliate marketing fraud is also a growing concern in the industry. In 2020, it was estimated that fraudulent activity was costing the affiliate marketing industry $1.4 billion per year, with almost 10% of traffic from affiliate programs being fake.

Two years later, in 2022, fake traffic had risen to 17%, resulting in $3.4 billion of losses from affiliate marketing fraud. This is according to data from cybersecurity firm CHEQ.

Affiliate marketing fraud can take several forms, but usually involves scammers hiding cookies on users’ devices or employing schemes to generate false clicks. The result is that they receive a commission without openly promoting affiliate links.

In more severe cases, fraudsters use stolen card details to make purchases from an affiliate marketing program for which they receive a commission.

Some of the most high-profile affiliate marketing fraud cases, as reported by CHEQ, include:

  • In 2013, two super-affiliates on the eBay partner network were convicted of defrauding the company of an alleged $28 million in fees for online sales on the platform. They achieved this through a sophisticated cookies-stuffing scheme.
  • In 2018, affiliate fraudster Alexander Zhukov was arrested, alleged to have taken over $7 million from commissions on ecommerce sales by using bots to generate fake traffic.
  • In 2019, Uber filed a fraud case against one of its advertising companies, claiming it had spent $70 million of its advertising budget on low-quality and fraudulent marketing tactics amounting to attribution fraud.

Despite these setbacks, the affiliate marketing industry seems set to continue growing in strength.

Authority Hacker’s study found that 83.1% of affiliate marketers are optimistic about the future of the affiliate marketing industry, despite constant disruption caused by Google updates, regulation changes, and, more recently, AI-generated content


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