Many people enjoy the convenience of online shopping, especially after the pandemic. But, as e-commerce gains more relevance, you have to find ways to position your product before the right audience. That’s where affiliate marketing comes in — to match your goods to your target market.
Affiliates and the internet are good sources for shoppers to get information about products.
Because affiliates represent your brand, invest in those, who align with your image and core values. Also, when you leverage the right tools and techniques of affiliate marketing, you get a rise in sales.
First Off: What is Ecommerce Affiliate Marketing?
Also known as a publisher, an affiliate is an individual or company that markets products on behalf of another business. The affiliate leverages websites and other platforms to increase your brand awareness and boost sales.
Affiliate marketing is when a publisher uses its platform to promote goods or services in exchange for a commission on sales.
The prevalence of affiliate marketing is evident on different platforms, e.g., various social media platforms and blogs. Affiliate marketing on social media and other platforms aims to get audiences to buy or subscribe to a brand, product, or service.
Ecommerce affiliate marketing is a relationship between you (the eCommerce store owner) and a publisher. You are the advertiser, and the publisher is an affiliate who markets your products on their website.
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Affiliate programs are structured differently, but a common method is to give your affiliates a trackable code. Your affiliates then share the code with customers, and then you pay for every time the code is used to make purchases. Since affiliate marketing hands roles across different parties, you tap into a wide range of skills.
You pay an agreed-upon commission for every sale you make from your affiliate’s site.
Affiliate marketing deploys three main commission structures:
- Purchase based. You give your affiliate a code and pay when someone uses the code to buy goods or services.
- Customer-acquisition based. You pay a commission when your affiliate helps you close a deal or get a new customer.
- Traffic-based. Compensation depends on the number of people who visit your website from your affiliate’s link. The visitors do not have to take another action or buy for you to pay your affiliate.
There is no one-size-fits-all model when you hire affiliate partners. Instead, your eCommerce business can fit in different types of affiliates. Below are different types of people to consider as affiliates.
- Webmaster affiliates
- Review sites
- Large web properties
- Mobile affiliates
Affiliate vs. Referral vs. Influencer Marketing
Affiliate, referral, and influencer marketing seem to overlap. Nonetheless, each follows different paths and strategies and serves another need. A simple definition of each strategy gives you an overview of how each strategy works.
Affiliate marketing happens when you partner with a publisher to create sales-oriented content. The buyer uses your affiliate link to buy but does not have to get a discount. Referral marketing offers your customers a referral incentive, such as a small commission or branded products, to share about your business. Then, the referred part also gets a discount on the goods or services bought.
Influencer marketing leverages influencers’ platforms to share content related to your business. You pay an influencer upfront to make a post about your brand.
Advantages of Affiliate Marketing To Your Ecommerce Business
Affiliate marketing is a scalable and cost-effective way to make money for your eCommerce business. You leverage the ability of your affiliates’ websites to promote your products and pay when you see results. Here are the benefits your eCommerce business gets from affiliate programs.
Generates more sales and leads
Many affiliates have a broader audience that allows you to branch into new markets. As a result, your product visibility increases, and you get new customers to buy your products. Besides, when a network of affiliates posts about your brand, potential customers are pushed further to buy.
Increases Website Traffic
Your affiliate marketers not only market your products but direct your potential customers to your website. The more affiliates link to your site, the more opportunities you have to convert the traffic to paid customers. Also, the traffic you get from affiliate links is targeted to those who find your goods or services useful.
When many reputable sites link to your website, site engines push your website to the top of search results. Many potential customers prefer to work with businesses that appear among the top results. So, a better SEO (search engine optimization) improves your visibility and motivates prospects to interact with you more.
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Builds Brand Awareness and Recognition
If you are still new to eCommerce, you face many challenges in reaching your target audience. Affiliates come in handy to present your products to wider target audiences. Also, because affiliates spread positive information, your business’ market position and recognition strengthen.
Affiliate marketing is less risky and cheaper because you only pay for the sales generated. In short, you get a 100% return on investment, a benefit that many other marketing options do not guarantee. Besides, your affiliates bear a chunk of the costs associated with marketing.
10 Tips For Perfecting Your eCommerce Affiliate Marketing Strategy
A successful affiliate marketing program registers impressive results, e.g., higher conversion rates. Yet, you can only run an effective strategy if you have the knowledge, skills, and techniques and if you’re keeping up with any affiliate marketing-related trends.
Here are tips for a state-of-art eCommerce affiliate marketing program:
Only Include High-Value Products
When you create affiliate offers, you can have your affiliates promote some or all your products. Because you pay for affiliate services, inform your affiliates of the products with the highest value. Then, focus on the said products to increase affiliate sales and your revenue.
Establish A Set Commission Structure
A strong commission rate will attract quality affiliates if you are at the startup stage. Check your competitors’ commission rates and launch your structure with the most substantial but affordable commission. Since you are not locked into a specific structure, you can customize different designs for different affiliates.
Choose The Right Affiliates For The Job
Tactics on how to find affiliates with a high potential to boost your product visibility and drive sales. Consider factors like website traffic, search landscapes, and the number of active campaigns. For example, the more traffic your affiliate generates, the greater the potential to bring in more affiliate sales.
Work With Influencers
Affiliate bloggers and websites whose audience consist of your target market are resourceful in pushing your products. So, use partner recruitment tools and other effective channels to connect with content creators and influencers within your niche.
Then, follow up on the influencers with competitive commission rates and attractive incentives to join you.
Actively Reach Out To Potential Affiliates
Use available platforms and methods to identify, contact, and interact with prospective affiliates—for instance, affiliate recruitment agencies, niche blogs, and affiliate networks and directories. Once you identify suitable candidates, reach out and do constant reminder follow-ups until you sign a deal.
Provide Your Affiliates With Promotional Content
To boost the efficiency of your affiliate program, provide materials for your affiliates’ sites. Promotional content includes videos, banners, templates, product images, and call-to-action buttons. You could also provide data feeds to make it simpler for your affiliates to integrate your products on their sites.
Track Affiliate Performance
In many eCommerce affiliate programs, 10% or less of the affiliates drive 90% of the conversions. When you check your affiliates with track software, you gain insights into which one has the largest impact. Since affiliates and effective affiliates are different concepts, monitor performance to determine if you need a shift.
Always keep an eye on the sales numbers they are bringing in.
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Offer Discounts & Coupon Codes
Discounts attract target customers and motivate more first-time buyers to buy from you. Recent research shows that 92% of U.S shoppers use coupons to shop. To draw a high percentage of coupon lovers, work with a coupon website to distribute your discount code and promo codes.
Have Set Affiliate Guidelines
Different affiliates carry out marketing differently, and you might want some amendments. For example, you may wish your affiliate avoids controversial language because of your market’s nature. Affiliate guidelines keep all your affiliates on the same track to create uniformity across different platforms.
Use An Affiliate Marketing Tool
There are a number of SaaS tools out there that help you set up, run and monitor your affiliate marketing campaigns and your affiliate partners. These tools automate processes that would take you hours to do by hand.
Many shoppers turn to influencers and the internet to get guidance, reviews, and opinions on products. So, affiliate marketers are like your business’ brand ambassadors to create a positive image and drive sales.
The good part about affiliate marketing is that you only pay for performance.
Affiliate marketing has evolved to include new strategies that benefit your business the most. To have a profitable eCommerce business, you must deploy strategies like affiliate marketing to get revenue. Affiliate marketing evolution has no end in sight, and the current trends incorporate a lot of technology to give you the most benefits.