If you’re considering expanding your affiliate marketing program overseas, Australia is worth a closer look. There are several reasons why the continent presents new opportunities for the affiliate channel.
In this article, we look at the drivers of the burgeoning economy down under and how affiliate marketers can make the most of the emerging opportunities in Australia.
Australia’s Economic Drivers
Technology and a rise in online retail spending are the biggest drivers making Australia the ideal location to expand your global e-commerce efforts.
More specifically, the continent is undergoing a major shift in its technology infrastructure that is certain to create significant opportunities in e-commerce.
The National Broadband Network (NBN), which is currently in development, is an initiative driven by the Australian federal government that ensures its citizens will be among the most connected in the world.
While it’s easy to take for granted the lightning-fast Internet connections we have in the U.S., bear in mind that a 1Gbps connection is new for Australians. Once the infrastructure is in place, the NBN will make sure that no business or home is without a high-speed connection.
Along with the new infrastructure, Australians are also spending more online. According to the National Australia Bank Online Retail Sales Index, online retail spending is experiencing strong growth and reached $11.7 billion for the year ended June 2012.
As technology accommodates faster Internet connections and more Australians shop online, the continent is poised for continued growth. In many ways, this is a widely untapped market for online retailers of all sizes.
Affiliate Opportunities In Australia
While there are plenty of opportunities in Australia awaiting innovative and strategic marketers, it won’t be as simple as setting up shop and having consumers flock to your virtual doorstep.
Many online retailers that are considering expanding to Australia agree that affiliates are the most direct, effective and low-cost way to reach local audiences. Yet there’s a bit more to it. Here are five recommendations for expanding your affiliate marketing efforts in Australia.
1. Accommodate international shipping: Many advertisers are picking up some or all of the costs for international shipping to remove any barriers that will deter potential buyers. Also, from a local perspective, make sure your shipping and delivery policies reflect what consumers have grown accustomed to.
2. Localize your campaigns: While Australians speak English, keep in mind that dialects and colloquialisms vary greatly from what we know in the U.S. Your campaigns should reflect the local culture and may not translate well overseas.
3. Work with a global affiliate network: Ideally, you’ll want to align with a performance marketing network that has a presence in Australia so you can tap into local expertise and work with a team that can provide guidance on regional campaigns and provide other insight that only a country insider would know.
4. Prepare your mobile strategy: Mobile commerce is on the rise in Australia. In fact, in 2012, mobile sites shot to the top of the technology investment priority for online retailers in Australia, surpassing e-commerce platforms for the first time. While mobile and e-commerce platforms are both at the top of the priority list, this data shows how important mobile commerce is to Australians.
However, m-commerce is not just about tweaking an existing website to support mobile purchases. Rather, it’s about making sure the look-and-feel is designed for mobile devices and the checkout is easy for consumers.
Along with your mobile design, be sure that your performance marketing network is rigorously testing its capabilities on mobile devices to ensure that affiliates are being properly commissioned for their efforts. Without this testing, you may lose your valuable community of publishers that will drop off due to lack of recognition.
5. Amp up your online presence: Be aware that 29% of Australian adults don’t make purchases online because they prefer to touch and see a product before they buy it. It’s likely this scenario will change with the new high-speed infrastructure.
To prepare for your new Australian customers, make sure that your website takes advantage of the latest innovations to deliver rich, multimedia experiences that will bring your merchandise to life and eliminate consumer concerns.
Since Australia is wide open for e-commerce, advertisers should put their affiliate marketing plans into place now to take advantage of the forthcoming opportunities.
Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land.