By Daniel Hunter

New data released by an affiliate network in the UK has revealed more about the role that affiliate marketing can have in the sales growth of online retailers.

According to the statistics, small to medium-sized enterprises (SME) retailers can expect to see sales grow by 10% in the first year of running an active affiliate programme; suggesting that it is a worthwhile and low-risk investment.

A UK-based affiliate network has analysed the sales data of its retailers and affiliates in order to discover what impact affiliate marketing can have on sales growth for merchants; and to reveal information about the best performing affiliate websites.

This newly release data comes from Paid On Results,, after the affiliate network decided to offer more of an insight into the part that affiliate-generated purchases play in the sales growth of retailers that operate active affiliate programmes.

When analysing the sales growth of SME retailers after the first year as a merchant on the network, Paid On Results found that merchants of this size can expect to see sales grow by 10% in the first year of operating an affiliate programme.

According to the affiliates signed up to the Paid On Results network, the types of websites most likely to drive the highest number of affiliate sales for partner merchants are as follows:

1. Discount websites
2. Comparison websites
3. Cashback websites
4. Sector-specific blogs
5. Product round-up websites

These high-performing affiliates can offer an insight for merchants into the types of websites they should look to partner with to improve sales. After highlighting the sales growth that affiliate marketing can provide to merchants, the team at Paid On Results also wanted to offer advice to SME retailers on how affiliate marketing can be a cost effective way of increasing sales:

· Working with an affiliate network often involves low set up and monthly costs, which reduces chances of causing a negative impact on ROI in the initial stages of a campaign.
· Campaigns can offer exposure to the UK’s best performing affiliates, resulting in a good chance of sales growth.
· Some affiliate networks make it easy to calculate ROI and offer low-risk campaigns, because they only require merchants to pay commission to an affiliate when a sale is made.
· Affiliate marketing sends highly targeted and motivated traffic to merchant’s websites, increasing the chances of sales.

Graeme Sandwell, Managing Director of Paid On Results, said the following: “We want retailers to know the benefits of running an active affiliate programme. Although the average SME retailer with an affiliate programme will see 10% sales growth in the first year as a merchant with us, in reality that percentage has the potential to be much higher.

“Merchants, whatever their size, should take a chance on affiliate marketing and see if they can successfully unlock the growth potential tied up in it. It is very likely, judging by our findings, that this is a decision they will not regret!”

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