China is an attractive market for many verticals, and the affiliate industry is no exception. Thanks to its billions of mobile users and its huge middle class, the Chinese market has become a potential gold mine for everyone involved in the affiliate world.

But, like all major markets, knowing which trends are shaping the landscape can give you a competitive edge. And, as you can imagine, the biggest market in Asia is very different from other parts of the world.

Let’s take a look at 9 trends that will shape the affiliate industry in China this year.

Older Population Goes Digital

The elderly population in China is set to exceed 250 million people by 2020. The best part is that the government has recently introduced programs to help bring them into the digital age.

Digital Advertising in China: 2018 Trends & Best Practices
Digital Advertising in China: 2018 Trends & Best Practices

Major companies like Tabao have even released senior citizen-friendly apps to cater specifically to the need of elders. The company reported having more than 30 million users over the age of 50, each of them spending more than $790 per year on the platform.

Affiliates can also ride this trend. Besides simply redesigning your offer, you can create a dedicated promotion that targets the elder population.

Health and Wellness Apps on the Rise

Although targeting the elderly population should become a priority, affiliates can also target younger Chinese consumers from a different angle.

Health and wellness apps are gaining momentum in China, fueled by a younger demographic that prefers sports, clean nutrition, sustainability, and self-development.

statistic_id943855_number-of-monthly-active-users-of-sports-apps-in-china-2018
This statistic shows the number of monthly active users of sports apps in China from January to July 2018. In July 2018, the number of monthly active users of sports apps in China reached around 70.6 million.

Affiliates in the athletic, sustainability, health and wellness sectors are starting to capitalize on this trend. Likewise, affiliates need to adjust their offers to target consumers interested in health and well-being.

The Boom of Travel and Leisure Verticals

More than 140 million Chinese tourists took holidays abroad in 2017 alone. And, 65% of these for used mobile payment methods while traveling overseas.

statistic_id277250_outbound-journeys-of-chinese-tourists-in-2017
This statistic shows the number of outbound journeys of Chinese tourists from 2007 to 2017. In 2017, approximately 142.73 million outbound journeys of Chinese citizens were registered, 135.82 million of these were for private reasons.

Not only is Chinese tourism booming, but travelers are also embracing technology at the same time. Consumers are seeking niche travel apps and dedicated websites, so affiliates can create dedicated offers and target consumers interested in leisure and tourism.

Some of the most popular destinations for Chinese tourists include:

  • Italy
  • Singapore
  • Vietnam
  • Hong Kong
  • Taiwan
  • Macau
  • Japan
  • USA
  • South Korea
  • Thailand

Extended Chinese New Year’s Campaigns

Recent consumer trends suggest that folks are not waiting for the beginning of the Chinese New Years. Instead, companies are starting to register elevated numbers 2 to 3 weeks before the beginning of the celebration.

Likewise, affiliates can begin their Chinese New Year’s campaigns much earlier. Some of the most popular verticals are food, technology, and fashion. In addition, other verticals that are set to experience a boost include personal care, beauty, dating, retail, and leisure in general.

Specific Ad Formats

Chinese consumers behave very differently than in Europe or the US. For instance, Chinese people prefer short video content that is entertaining, but not time-consuming. Contrastingly, they prefer huge ads and long-form creatives as well.

By requesting larger ads, long-form creatives, and other specific formats in your offers, you can potentially attract more high-quality traffic and increase volume across the board.

Mobile and Alternative Social Media

More than 80% advertisers in China plan to increase their mobile ad spend in 2019. Mobile devices have long surpassed their desktop counterparts in terms of usage and the Chinese market is no exception.

china-and-the-west
Image by Adam Cogan

The widespread internet-capable devices have also fueled the growth of social media and messaging apps. Unlike the West, Facebook and Whatsapp are not the leading platforms.

Chinese consumers opt for WeChat and a variety of different social and messaging apps that include Tencent QQ and Sina Weibo as well. Focusing on mobile offers will ensure that you tap directly into the majority of the Chinese market.

Live Streaming and Interactive Ads

Top 5 platforms, from the left: Huajiao, Yizhibo, Inke, YY, Momo
Top 5 platforms, from the left: Huajiao, Yizhibo, Inke, YY, Momo. Image by Lauren Hallanan

The live streaming industry in China made more than $4.4 billion last year, and that number is on the rise. The increased interest in live streaming and interactive ads can provide a huge boost in traffic as well as higher conversions.

By using different incentives, affiliates can create offers that revolve around live demonstrations. The health and well-being industry is particularly well-suited for these promotions, although you can use them for verticals such as gaming, dating, and retail.

Viewers should get a link to the products that appear on the stream and have the ability to purchase them during the live presentation.

All large markets in the world offer a huge opportunity for affiliates. But, keeping up with the trends in each region is the only way to tackle all fronts effectively.

Stay tuned for more information about the biggest trends in the world of affiliate marketing – join our Telegram Chat.

 

Author

While working as a writer and marketing consultant for the past 9 years, Tom has also developed a passion for the world of affiliate marketing. With first-hand experience and a solid background in online marketing, he has a deep understanding of the different ad formats, offers, and other elements that affect the performance of an affiliate campaign. Tom also loves backpacking around tropical countries, listening to the boom-bap sound of old school hip-hop, and playing amateur rugby with his local team.