Functioning and state of Slovak affiliate marketing
Affiliate is a well-developed online marketing segment in Slovakia. There are hundreds of active publishers operating in the market and the majority of major e-commerce actors have their own affiliate campaign. Affiliate marketing has dramatically grown and been professionalised in recent years. A strong link between the Slovak and Czech affiliate markets is a matter of interest.
Occupation of the market
A number of networks are operating in the market. The affiliate network Dognet comes from Slovakia, as does the minor Affial network, which however focuses rather on single-product e-shops. The Czech networks eHub, AffiliateClub or the global network CJ.com have also penetrated the market. As the Slovak market is small and non-interesting for other European players such as Awin, TradeTracker, Tradedoubler, or Admitad, these do not serve a larger number of campaigns. According to estimates, some 1,500,000 conversions a year are generated and mediated in Slovakia within e-commerce affiliate marketing (e-shop campaigns).
Given that Amazon does not operate in Slovakia, the publishers are focused just on local e-shops. This is a big advantage over those markets where affiliate revolves chiefly around the affiliate programme of Amazon as a market leader.
More than 250 active campaigns operate within the Dognet network and it is the leader of the entire market. It educates the market, publishes books for publishers, bloggers, and even also for advertisers. Dognet has already been operating in the market for over six years and currently has more than 500 affiliate campaigns from across the CEE. Up to now, it has mediated more than 1,000,000 conversions and its clients include such brands as Möbelix, GATE, Axa, BioTechUSA, or Dermacol.
The affiliate market has strongly progressed and been professionalised in recent years. This is no longer about a few individuals who click something after their work. That Google pushes for quality has shaped also in Slovakia several content partners serving the majority of the market. A non-negligible percentage is hundreds of minor publishers. What is great about the market is that new publishers keep coming into being, which taken care of by the Dognet network.
A group of cashback / loyalty projects and, of course, coupon aggregators also operate in the market. Of the cashbacks, I´ll mention the largest systems such as Tipli.sk, Refundo.sk, and PlnáPeňaženka.sk. Of the coupon websites, these are international projects like Picodi.com, VašeKupóny.cz, or Bonipo.cz.
Under community communications, there operates chiefly Facebook featuring the favourite groups TOPaffilak.cz – Affiliate diskuze #CZaffil #SKaffil, or internal network groups such as Affiliate podpora Dognet. The community are concentrated also on Twitter, the most around the hashtag “#skaffil”. Classical affiliate fora or magazines are more or less non-existent. Though there exist blogs such as Ondrěj Martinek, Affilák.cz, Peter Chodelka, or Jozef Kroupa.
The future of affiliate marketing in Slovakia
Given a clearly upward trend, affiliate marketing is assumed to have an increasingly stronger status with advertisers and publishers alike. On the upside, the market is small and players like Amazon will not soon be around and thus there will still be room for development of the local market and e-shops.
If you´re looking for your affiliate program´s partner in Slovakia of all places, select rather local networks, since the market is too small for the majority of global or European players to have their representation in it. They cannot serve the market well or do not know the community. It´s ideal to choose a single, strong local network for, say, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, and Hungary. These are oftentimes joined by the Balkan states – Croatia, Slovenia and Romania, which for one fully serves the Dognet network as an ideal option for the CEE market.
It is advantageous for an advertiser to choose a single player for several markets. Naturally, consolidation is reasonable, but if a network can cover, say, five countries, an e-shop can effectively administer one “western” network and choose another as a specialised one, e.g. for the CEE region.