hero title decor
hero title decor

Fuelling Success in 2024: Q1 Affiliate Marketing Trends in Germany

As we gear up for the dynamic landscape of Q1 2024, let’s dive into the thriving world of affiliate marketing in Germany. Discover the current state of the industry, emerging trends, technological impacts, and key considerations for brands aiming to excel in this competitive arena.


The current affiliate marketing landscape in Germany

To comprehend the current German affiliate market, let’s explore some of the staggering statistics and growth trends. According to a survey by BVDW’s affiliate focus group in 2019, the industry boasted 40,000 affiliates, 7,000 advertisers, 150 agencies, and 50 networks/platforms. With this landscape continually evolving, success hinges on understanding the intricacies of the German market and user expectations.

Macro perspectives, including payment methods, data privacy, and localised language websites, play a pivotal role. Germans’ inherent price sensitivity has intensified amid economic challenges, steering users toward affiliates for the best deals. Cashback, voucher, deal sites, CSS partners, and price comparison dominate the performance scene. Navigating Germany’s diverse media landscape also demands recognising the value of content partners in driving initial brand contact.

Building strong partnerships necessitates aligning brands and affiliates on key targets and KPIs. Direct relationships and in-person connections enhance trust, reflecting the desire of German affiliate partners for secure tracking and affiliate events as essential elements.

In Q4 of 2023, CSS partners, voucher, cashback, loyalty, and price comparison partners have emerged as the most successful partnership types, per APVision data, Impact, and AWIN observations.


Q1 affiliate marketing trends

Looking ahead to Q1 2024, on-site technology partners and influencers take centre stage, witnessing the highest growth rates. Outcomes-based influencer marketing is on the rise, with the convergence of influencer and affiliate marketing driven by brand needs and technological advancements. Content commerce and brand-to-brand partnerships are anticipated to gain traction, offering new collaboration possibilities.

Users looking for the best deals will rely on performance marketing, where partners like voucher affiliates, cashback providers, CSS, price comparison sites, loyalty programmes, and content partners play crucial roles.

Let’s take a deeper dive into some other Germany trends we expect to see in Q1:


Technological advancements impacting Germany

AI and machine learning are pivotal for the affiliate industry, and brands should consider automating tasks from report generation to partner screening and content creation. Given the rapid evolution of AI and the consequent emergence of new possibilities for AI adoption in the affiliate industry, it is crucial to closely monitor and stay abreast of these developments.

However, privacy regulations like DSGVO, TTDSG, and browser restrictions will challenge performance tracking, prompting industry collaboration to find innovative solutions.


Shifting consumer behaviours

Economic uncertainties are already prompting users to prioritise good deals. We expect this to continue into Q1 of next year, and brands should keep this front of mind when developing affiliate campaigns.

Does your brand have a Gen Z or millennial audience? Sustainability remains essential for the younger demographic, albeit price continues to outweigh ethics. Look for ways to incorporate sustainable practises and initiatives with your affiliate partners.


Regulatory updates and compliance considerations

Data privacy and active user consent for cookies persist as crucial compliance considerations under DSGVO and TTDSG. Apple’s announcement of removing tracking parameters from the URL (for private browsing mode) has led to further uncertainty for some brands in the affiliate space on how to future-proof performance tracking.

“Through the initiative of the Affiliate Marketing Focus Group, the Bundesverband Digitale Wirtschaft (BVDW) e.V. has set up a cross-industry working group to address the challenges associated with the impending development and develop innovative solutions. The working group includes representatives of the major affiliate networks and SaaS providers as well as participants from other bodies such as Google and META, the IAB Europe, the IAB Tech Lab and the W3C” says the chairman of affiliate focus group at BVDW André Koegler.


Affiliate partner success in Germany

Q1, which is a prominent time for winter sales in Germany, underscore the importance of voucher/deal sites, cashback, CSS, price comparison, and loyalty partners. On-site technology partners and influencers are showing rapid growth, with card-linked offer (CLO) partnerships gaining importance. Brand-to-brand partnerships are also set to rise, facilitated by technological advancements and improved tracking.


Stay ahead of competitors with a winning strategy

Staying ahead of German competitors in Q1 demands a nuanced affiliate marketing approach and a proactive mindset. Here’s a closer look at specific advice to navigate the intricate landscape and secure a competitive edge:


  1. Personalising affiliate partner selection: Rather than casting a wide net, focus on handpicking German affiliate partners tailored to your target audience. Voucher/deal sites, cashback platforms, CSS partners, and price comparison websites should align seamlessly with your brand identity and audience preferences.
  2. Building relationships around trust and goal alignment: Establish relationships with affiliates that involve alignment on common goals. Ensure that your objectives resonate with those of your affiliate partners, fostering a sense of collaboration rather than a mere transactional association.
  3. Valuing content partners beyond last-click attribution: Move beyond the limitations of last-click attribution and recognise the real value content partners bring to the customer journey. Understanding their impact and attributing value accordingly is crucial, as content partners often initiate the essential first contact with your brand.
  4. Leveraging performance-based influencer marketing: Recognise the growing impact of influencers in the German market. With ad spend in influencer marketing expected to reach €884.30 million by 2027, harness the power of influencers to shape purchasing decisions. Identify influencers aligned with your brand, and transition partnerships towards outcome-based collaborations.
  5. Testing on-site technology partners: Dive into on-site technology partnerships to optimise your online performance. Conduct thorough analyses to identify significant on-site optimisation potential, such as addressing bouncing users and optimising conversion rates. Finding the right tech affiliate partner can enhance the overall customer experience and increase revenues.
  6. Embracing new partnership models: Despite Germany’s comparatively low credit card adoption rate, explore Card-Linked Offer (CLO) partnerships. As these partnerships use their own transaction data, they provide a robust solution in a cookieless future. Stay ahead by understanding the potential of CLO partnerships and leveraging them strategically.
  7. Identifying brand-to-brand collaborations: With the marketing landscape evolving, tap into brand-to-brand partnerships. Identify non-competitive brands that share common values and customer bases. Establish clear goals and rules for mutually beneficial collaborations. Choosing the right network/platform is crucial to comprehend the impact and track results effectively.
  8. Enhancing affiliate outcomes through communication: Foster direct relationships with affiliates partners. Affiliates can only be as effective as the information they receive. The more comprehensive the information/data and alignment on goals, the stronger the partnership and the better the results.
  9. Adapting to a cookieless future: While third-party cookies are going away, first-party cookies are still very much alive and well. From an affiliate perspective, it is still possible to track transactions and activities from affiliates using first-party cookies, as opposed to third-party cookies. Talk to your agency partner to learn how your brand can track performance in different ways that still meet consumer demand for privacy.


Thrive in Q1 2024 and beyond

To thrive in the German market in 2024, brands must pivot towards a strategic and well-informed approach for lasting success. By tailoring affiliate partnerships, embracing influencers, optimising technology, and exploring innovative collaborations, brands can not only stay ahead of competitors but also shape the affiliate marketing landscape in Germany.

As you navigate these strategies, remember that Acceleration Partners (AP) stands as a beacon of expertise, ready to guide your brand toward unparallelled success in affiliate and partnership marketing.


Ready to capitalise on affiliate marketing trends in Germany? Let’s connect!


By: Florian Jetzlsperger