Every January the eBay Partner Network team converges with Partners in Las Vegas for Affiliate Summit West, one of the largest affiliate marketing conferences in the U.S.


These few days are a highlight of our year, when we get to meet with our partners face-to-face, share goals, and find new ways to work together. This year we highlighted our focus on new buyers, smarter ways to target the right kinds of buyers and the value of testing and experimentation. We enjoyed seeing so many of our partners in person last week!


We also picked up on a few trends for affiliate marketing:


Getting smarter about smart devices

Smart device use, from Google Home to Facebook Portal - not to mention phones and tablets - is on the rise as more consumers of all ages adopt this technology. Affiliate marketers have a new opportunity to optimize their campaigns and sites for not only SEO, but with a renewed and stronger focus on voice search. Adopting a strategy for voice search could soon evolve into a must-have for a good user experience instead of a nice-to-have feature.


Elevating efficiency

As retailers are navigating today’s landscape of diverse shoppers and their unique needs, competition for quality traffic is heavier than ever. Retailers and affiliates alike are seeking new ways to optimize the funnel and convert better quality buyers. Based on conversations at ASW, we anticipate affiliates will combat these challenges by creating custom offers and messages for specific audiences, focusing on share of wallet to guide partnerships and investments.


Mobile is mandatory

A highlight of our first day at ASW was seeing our own Carlos Avello, Director of Paid Marketing Analytics, present with Chris Jensen, SVP of Retail at eBay partner Ibotta. Chris and Carlos talked about how mobile apps fit in the affiliate landscape, bringing convenience to  consumers and better accessibility to brands. Whether or not an app makes sense for your business, it’s essential to have a site optimized for mobile traffic.


ASW wouldn’t be complete without spending valuable time after hours with our eBay partners. We were thrilled to connect with so many partners at our annual Topgolf event at the MGM Grand Hotel.