Germany

Tim Lomborg

Managing Director, Awin Germany

The affiliate channel really helped us drive trade in 2020 while controlling and maintaining marketing budget. We also used the past year to trial new partners we wouldn’t have necessarily worked with in the past. Awin was absolutely brilliant throughout, picking up extra work to make sure the program runs smoothly and playing a significant role in the planning and execution of our campaigns.

Kyla Downton
Digital Marketing Manager, Boden

83.8m

Population

Euro (€)

Currency

88%

Internet penetration rate

11%

Ecommerce penetration rate
(% of total retail)

69%

Mobile penetration rate

$20b

(€10.1 billion)

Total ad spend (USD)

$8.3b

(€4.6 billion)

Digital ad spend (USD)

$672m

Affiliate ad spend estimate (USD)

12%

Projected ad spend growth 2021

2,485
Advertisers
39,354
Publishers
Share of sales by device
Share of sales by publisher type
24%
Loyalty & Cashback
20%
Coupon Code
18%
Content
11%
Sub Networks
11%
Comparison
5%
Social
4%
Search
3%
Tech Partners
2%
Display
1%
Email

I don't think there was one big thing Global Savings Group learned in 2020. Whether by planning campaigns at short notice, adapting business models or pricing structures, flexibility seemed to be one of the many keys to success. In particular, we found that smaller, more agile advertisers were able to make significant gains. Secondly, we discovered that trust is important for being able to communicate problems and challenges - which is also what makes a sustainable relationship. Finally, service and credibility were essential for developing a loyal customer base. Companies that looked after their customers and understood what they wanted scored well in this area.

Thomas Punzel
Head of Key Account Management DE, Global Savings Group

Examining Germany

2020 began with a soft launch of Awin Access in the DACH market, giving small businesses in Germany a much easier route to starting their first affiliate program. Part of the ambition was to drive sustainable ecommerce growth for companies that, according to Forbes, only have around a 50% chance of making it to their fifth anniversary. That was in February. By the time Awin Access had an official rollout in May, launching an affiliate program went from a worthwhile pursuit to a critical response tactic.

Restrictions across Germany during the first wave of COVID-19 in March seemed to align with the general European tone. The country had its own way of capping numbers on public gatherings and drawing the line that constitutes social distancing. The general approach was to close non-essential businesses - especially those in premises below 400 square feet - and limit physical interaction.

Looking at the impact on affiliate categories, we saw the first lockdown become a picture of preparation and survival as Books & Subscriptions, Fast Moving Consumer Goods, Health & Beauty, Sports, and Home & Garden all benefited from customers heading online to stock up on provisions. 

Looking at the impact on affiliate categories, we saw the first lockdown become a picture of preparation and survival.

H2 brought slightly slower ecommerce growth as stores reopened with hygiene rules and social distancing in place. Germany was hailed for its relatively low number of cases and fatalities before a more tragic second wave around November, culminating in a second lockdown around Christmas. Despite warnings, German retailers were said to be readying themselves for a 'stampede' of shoppers before the shutting of non-essential stores between December – January 2021. 

While low infection rates gave customers a degree of comfort about shopping in physical spaces, it failed to detract from what was happening online. Black Friday put the situation in full view through stellar performances across Electronics, Health & Beauty, and Home & Garden, inspiring year-on-year improvements to sales (+37%), commission (+43%), and revenue (+14%). 

Singles’ Day and Cyber Monday brought more attention for ecommerce, which not only maintained consistently high levels of performance compared to 2019 but also rose to the challenge of owning the customer experience. Save for travel, any remote indication of defeatism was soon replaced by adaptation. Germany’s world-leading logistics industry kicked into gear, and record sales were all but assured.

The launch of Awin’s Incentive tool in Q3 allowed brands to use third-party incentives to encourage sales of their own items, ideal for targeting spend-conscious shoppers after a year of financial uncertainty.

If the launch of Awin Access indicated an odd sense of premonition, then the same could have been said for Awin’s Incentive tool. Introduced in Q3, the feature allows brands to use third-party incentives to encourage sales of their own items – ideal for targeting spend-conscious shoppers after a year of financial uncertainty. 

Amid the fluctuations, surviving and thriving, certain publisher models continued to build momentum with a tunnel vision approach. CSS partners mounted a serious business case in 2020 by posting a 167% lift in sales and a staggering 247% increase in revenue year-on-year during Q4. The readings show just how popular CSS is proving to be in areas like fashion while supporting an underlying theme of brands opting for a network-based method of managing these affiliates, rather than keeping things in-house. 

On the advertiser side of the fence, Sportswear and Beauty retailers took the initiative in 2020 by representing two major growth areas in terms of new programs. Estée Lauder made a significant commitment to affiliate by launching six brands in Germany after having success in Austria and Switzerland. Should more brands follow its lead, we’d wager there has never been a better time to do so. 

Looking at the impact on affiliate categories, we saw the first lockdown become a picture of preparation and survival.

H2 brought slightly slower ecommerce growth as stores reopened with hygiene rules and social distancing in place. Germany was hailed for its relatively low number of cases and fatalities before a more tragic second wave around November, culminating in a second lockdown around Christmas. Despite warnings, German retailers were said to be readying themselves for a 'stampede' of shoppers before the shutting of non-essential stores between December – January 2021. 

While low infection rates gave customers a degree of comfort about shopping in physical spaces, it failed to detract from what was happening online. Black Friday put the situation in full view through stellar performances across Electronics, Health & Beauty, and Home & Garden, inspiring year-on-year improvements to sales (+37%), commission (+43%), and revenue (+14%). 

Singles’ Day and Cyber Monday brought more attention for ecommerce, which not only maintained consistently high levels of performance compared to 2019 but also rose to the challenge of owning the customer experience. Save for travel, any remote indication of defeatism was soon replaced by adaptation. Germany’s world-leading logistics industry kicked into gear, and record sales were all but assured.

The launch of Awin’s Incentive tool in Q3 allowed brands to use third-party incentives to encourage sales of their own items, ideal for targeting spend-conscious shoppers after a year of financial uncertainty.

If the launch of Awin Access indicated an odd sense of premonition, then the same could have been said for Awin’s Incentive tool. Introduced in Q3, the feature allows brands to use third-party incentives to encourage sales of their own items – ideal for targeting spend-conscious shoppers after a year of financial uncertainty. 

Amid the fluctuations, surviving and thriving, certain publisher models continued to build momentum with a tunnel vision approach. CSS partners mounted a serious business case in 2020 by posting a 167% lift in sales and a staggering 247% increase in revenue year-on-year during Q4. The readings show just how popular CSS is proving to be in areas like fashion while supporting an underlying theme of brands opting for a network-based method of managing these affiliates, rather than keeping things in-house. 

On the advertiser side of the fence, Sportswear and Beauty retailers took the initiative in 2020 by representing two major growth areas in terms of new programs. Estée Lauder made a significant commitment to affiliate by launching six brands in Germany after having success in Austria and Switzerland. Should more brands follow its lead, we’d wager there has never been a better time to do so. 

Awin Talks
Meet the market
Daniel Kocher, Senior Affiliate Manager at the leading performance marketing agency Xpose360, joins Awin's Rob Davinson to explain what distinguishes the German affiliate industry from others around the world. Recorded in August 2020.

Data protection, user consent, browser regulations and compliant tracking options were dominant topics in 2020 and will continue to accompany us long into 2021. Members of the affiliate industry have made enormous efforts to adapt to the ever-changing requirements in each area. They’d be well-advised to stay abreast of the latest discussions and prove once again how adaptable the channel can be.

Valentina Piol
Director of Affiliate Marketing, Artefact Germany GmbH
+50%
sales
+41%
revenue
+26%
new customers
Figure 1

Quantifying the 'network effect' with CSS campaigns

+50%
sales
+41%
revenue
+26%
new customers
Figure 1

The ease of launching and measuring CSS campaigns led to perfume and beauty brand flaconi taking the management of its activity in-house, while engaging with partners through Awin.

The idea was to use multiple CSS partners in pursuit of growth via previously untapped keywords and product terms.

Awin encouraged more activity from CSS publishers by increasing their commission for a short period, and flaconi unlocked the benefits that many retailers see when running their CSS activity via the network.

In my opinion, the affiliate industry in Germany is currently at an all-time high in terms of innovation. There are constantly new publisher models emerging within the market here. I would always recommend for advertisers to try new things and not be afraid of experimenting with these possibilities.

One area that I think is particularly interesting in terms of potential is in podcasting. Podcasts are getting more and more popular in Germany and the fact that these are usually accessed on mobile means it's arguably easier for listeners to then browse, shop and convert."

Daniel Kocher
Senior Affiliate Manager, Xpose360
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