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The power of affiliate marketing: Why gift guides are everywhere this year

From Goop and The New York Times to TikTok creators, everyone is putting out a gift guide this year, trying to get a piece of this year’s holiday sales pie, which we forecast to reach $1.317 trillion.

And it’s not just one gift guide to rule them all. There are guides for cooks, for kids, or even for people who are always cold.

But what’s behind the sudden onslaught of uber-specific guides? They’re the perfect affiliate marketing tool.

  • Readers are likely already in-market, looking to gift guides for recommendations or inspiration.
  • Each product can be linked via a customized URL, making it easy for brands to track what consumers are clicking on and for partners to earn commission on specific products.
  • Reputable publications don’t have to work as hard to win consumers over with their recommendations as they’ve already earned consumer trust.

Affiliate marketing is a small but growing channel that can be used for both upper- and lower-funnel tactics.

  • Though estimates put worldwide spending at around $14 billion, per our Affiliate Marketing 2023 report, close to half (48.9%) of marketers said they would increase their spending in the channel this year, according to Martech Record data.
  • US marketers use affiliate marketing throughout the purchase journey, including awareness (56%), consideration (58%), and conversion (50%), per June 2023 Gen3 Marketing data.

Plus: As shoppers continue to be cautious about where and what they spend their money on, presenting them with more personalized gift guides could encourage them to purchase.

Pro tip: Elevate your gift guide by incorporating exclusive discounts that can’t be found elsewhere. Over half (51%) of digital shoppers said they pay attention to ads for products on sale, more than ads for best-selling items (44%) or ads suggesting products you “may also like” (41%), per Integral Ad Science.


This was originally featured in the Retail Daily newsletter. For more retail insights, statistics, and trends, subscribe here.