LinkShare Referral Prg Online merchants were singing holiday tunes this year as sales came rolling in on the biggest Christmas shopping days, American Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Linkshare recently released their online holiday shopping season statistics based on 2013 merchant sales (including Canadians). Rakuten Linkshare manages online performance marketing (affiliate programs) and lead generation for hundreds of businesses, including Fortune 500 companies.

Cyber Monday sales increased dramatically this year, as did mobile purchases:

  • Cyber Monday sales increased 41% from 2012 to 2013
  • Mobile purchases increased 60% from 2012 to 2013 on Cyber Monday
  • 4.2% of purchases were made using Smartphones, up 110% from 2012
  • 9.4% of purchases were made using a tablet device, 46% from 2012
  • Top merchandise categories on Cyber Monday were electronics, computers, apparel and video games.

Canada’s statistics for businesses with affiliate programs are expected to reflect this increase in Cyber Monday shopping, as well as mobile shopping. A 2013 BMO Report predicted Cyber Monday would lure 49% of online Canadians in 2013, up 11% from 2012.

One of the most effective ways to reach masses of online shoppers is by offering an affiliate program, which entices website owners to promote your company or product for a percentage of any sales they send to you, or a designated amount per lead, or cost per click (CPC). They can use all marketing avenues at their disposal, including their website, blog, email subscribers and social media. Utilizing an established network like Linkshare kick starts your affiliate program because they already have access to thousands of affiliates who are eager to join you.

2013 Cyber Monday Affiliate Sales Increase DramaticallyRakuten LinkShare’s cost per action (CPA) affiliate network and lead generation campaigns can acquire new customers, increase revenue and drive overall results while achieving target return on ad spend. Recognizing the opportunities outside the US, the network launched a ‘Global Deal Dispatcher’ feature in 2013 to reach Canadians and other countries. Deals and promotions are compiled monthly, allowing Canadian publishers (affiliates) to quickly find participating merchant promotions that are either in Canada or available to Canadians.

Several other affiliate networks are also trying to lure Canadian merchants and affiliate marketers with special features and services. AvantLink recently launched an entirely Canadian affiliate network, for example. MaxBounty offers affiliates a listing of Canadian merchants to choose from. Share-a-Sale is another affiliate network that is popular among both Canadian affiliate marketers and merchants.

If your 2014 entrepreneurial New Year’s Resolution is to grab a piece of the online pie for yourself, the opportunity and tools are there for you. We hope to hear you singing holiday tunes all the way to the bank next year!

Comment on Canadians Internet BusinessHow did Cyber Monday go for your business this year? Please share your experience in the comments below.

✔ You may also be interested in reading:
Cyber Monday 2013: 49% of Canadians will Shop Online
Affiliate Marketers Reveal 2013 Top Networks, Income and More (Statistics)
Top Two-Tier Affiliate Programs for Canadians


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Digital Business & Marketing Manager at Online Business Canada | Website | + posts

Melody McKinnon is an internet entrepreneur with 25 years of experience in a wide range of online business models, backed by a formal business education and enhanced by training and mentorship. She has owned or managed both educational and ecommerce websites. Her book, 7 Recession Proof Online Businesses to Start From Home, is available from all major ebook retailers.

Melody has worked with many businesses & brands in a multitude of capacities. She can often be found on,,, and, as well as other quality digital publications. Her content has earned reference links from highly-respected websites, magazines and university textbooks.

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Great job! I’ve gone looking before but you dug up way more than I did. Keep up the great work! Canada needs you!


CPA is still underused in Canada for the same reason most technology is underused…Canadians are big chickens when it comes to something new. No matter how often they hear it they just don’t want to go there, they’d rather have their businesses fail and blame the internet. It’s frustrating to deal with that mindset!

Theresa L.

I sure hope Boxing Day is still as lucrative!!


A company I worked for last year had an affiliate program and they got a lot of sales from hundreds of websites with shareasale. I can’t imagine tracking that without a 3rd party network. Great advice! merry Christmas!