If you’re running an eCommerce business, especially a small one, you’re sure to have your hands full with all the aspects of the business. After all, you have to handle the production, procurement, shipping, payments, warehousing and customer service in addition to marketing.
That sure makes your head spin while reading. Can you imagine doing all that in addition to marketing? So what’s the answer? Try setting up an affiliate eCommerce store!
Sure, you can hire social media marketing professionals and enlist other advertising agencies for targeted marketing for your products. But a more affordable and diversified approach is establishing an affiliate eCommerce store.
Don’t underestimate the power of affiliate marketing. According to statistics, 81 percent of the brands use affiliate marketing, 38 percent of marketers think it’s one of the top methods to gain customers, 16 percent of online orders are through affiliate marketing and 10 percent of affiliates generate 90 percent traffic and conversions.
In other words, investing in setting up an affiliate eCommerce store can be a great idea for your online business! Here’s a closer look at what affiliate marketing is, types of affiliate you can work with, what an affiliate eCommerce store is, how to set one up and more!
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is a form of performance-based marketing where a company rewards affiliates for every customer or visitor brought in due to the affiliate’s marketing and advertising efforts on the company’s behalf.
Now, let’s focus on how affiliate marketing works. Consider a four-step cycle in the same sequence as listed:
- The affiliate attracts visitors by promoting or recommending your store or product through SEO content and social media
- Visitors click on the link to the store
- Visitors buy on the store or register
- The affiliate marketing individual or company gets paid
Essentially, this is how affiliate marketing for eCommerce works. Some companies may offer affiliate marketing programs from time to time for promotion and outreach to their target audience. Particularly when launching a business in a new country or region, affiliate programs are introduced for greater market penetration.
What is an Affiliate eCommerce Store?
An affiliate online store is a store that doesn’t sell or displays its products. Instead, it redirects to other retail stores through affiliate links.
Let’s break it down for easy understanding. You can make an affiliate store which will display the products and items of a certain retailer. So, when a visitor at your store clicks on any product, they’ll be redirected to the original store where they can add the item to a shopping cart and complete the checkout process.
You’ll get your commission for the sales you made. All the information about the traffic you redirect is handled through an affiliate link, which will carry your unique information. So, in short, you don’t have to do much of an effort or invest a lot of money to start selling online. All you have to do is open an affiliate store which and invest a decent amount of time optimizing it to see results.
Creating an affiliate business online can be accomplished in a few easy steps:
- Select a domain name and register it
- Pick a basic hosting package
- You can get your website made from a small web development company or even a freelancer for very affordable rates. If not, then use free platforms like WordPress
- Join the affiliate programs that are suitable for you
- Start adding products and running your business
Advantages of Affiliate eCommerce Stores
- Zero liability when it comes to actual sales and order fulfillment. You’re only responsible for redirecting or encouraging conversions, at most. The actual process of sales, including shopping cart checkout and shipping, are handled by the retailer. Not to mention that you won’t have to deal with customer service and returns!
- You can have a wide variety of products from renowned brands in your store simultaneously. This will not only increase your commission, but will also increase your visitor conversion ratio.
- Affiliate programs can help you grow your product range without much investment. If you’re an online retailer, then you can add products of affiliates to increase the variety you offer.
- It’s a more affordable approach to start your own online business.
Disadvantages of Affiliate eCommerce Stores
- Although it offers easy money, the margin is pretty small. If you have a target in mind, then you might have to send a large number of customers to achieve that number.
- There’s no reliability in your business model, as you’re dependent on retailers who offer affiliate programs. If they decide to cut you off or pack their business up completely, then you’re business is left with nothing.
- Your user experience may be muddled or disorganized, especially if you’re listing products from several retailers, which you will be for the sustainability of your business. Redirecting users to a different store for different products can jumble up your store’s own data and design considerably.
- You’ll have to put an effort yourself to keep the affiliate links updated along with the product description and images. No matter how many latest tools you use, a certain amount of time and effort will be required to make your store a success.
What is an Affiliate Program In eCommerce?
An affiliate marketing program for eCommerce is a digital program that lets the merchant’s ad be placed on an affiliate website.
There are two broad categories of affiliate programs - one is pay-per-click (PPC) and the other is pay-per-action (PPA). Pay-per-click or pay-per-view is when an affiliate gets paid for every time a visitor clicks the link on the affiliate store. This is usually used to generate organic traffic. Pay-per-action is the most commonly used affiliate marketing type. It refers to when the affiliate gets paid when an action, like purchase, is done through the affiliate links. This action can also be to refer more affiliates or encourage registration for a service.
But before starting affiliate marketing, make sure you have a top-rate website. Your content should be good and your site optimized for traffic. The website should fulfill SEO requirements and should be refined in design and the latest trends. The better your website and content are, the more chances of success you’ll have with affiliate marketing!
All affiliate programs have the same working cycle. They involve three participants:
- A web advertiser
- Webmaster recruiter
Affiliate marketing programs work when you join one or more affiliate programs you think fit your website for affiliate marketing. The program will show you different affiliate links and affiliate products that you can showcase on your website. Select the products or services that you think are relevant to your website content and publish them.
When a visitor clicks the image or product, they’ll be guided to the actual website of the advertiser. After a purchase is made or the required action is done, the affiliate will get a commission for it.
How Do I Set Up an Amazon Affiliate Store?
Amazon is, not surprisingly, one of the top brands for affiliate marketing in eCommerce! Setting up an Amazon affiliate online store can be done in a few simple steps.
Amazon actually has affiliate programs that let you use your Amazon account to become an affiliate of Amazon and sell Amazon products directly from your website. You can increase your earnings by selling more affiliate products and upgrading your fee categories.
To open your Amazon affiliate business, complete the following steps:
- Open an account with Amazon, or, if you have one already, use it. Fill in a form about Amazon affiliate programs with your personal information
- After approved, open your confirmation email link
- Develop an aStore (Amazon’s version of affiliate online stores) with Amazon through the confirmation link
- Choose one of the eight designs Amazon offers for your store
- Add a category page where you’ll be able to add affiliate products
- Name your store and upload your logo
- You can add widgets like the same item and accessories to your store too
- Complete the process by embedding the store to your website by using the link given for your store by Amazon
To make free affiliate stores on Amazon, you can make a website with WordPress or WooCommerce and follow the same process to embed the store with your website. Also, be sure to install the WordPress affiliate plug-in to use the features.
Tips for a Successful Affiliate Store
Creating an affiliate eCommerce store isn’t enough - you have to take the necessary steps to ensure its success. A few tips to consider include:
- Make sure you pick a niche for your store. Although you can keep a diversified range of products, they should be relevant to your content and interests so that it appears authentic that you recommend or publish the affiliate products.
- Your store should be unique and reflect a standard and character of its own. You should have every element in your store from elegant design and information about your business. Mission statements and about us pages are very important to gain the trust of visitors.
- Be open and honest about your affiliate relation and display disclosure statement openly on your website. Some eCommerce affiliates hide this fact from their visitor, which may result in legal issues. In addition to this, you’ll lose the confidence of your visitors if you don’t openly inform them about why they’re being redirected to other sites.
- Don’t include distractions to your website. The purpose is clear and it should remain so - that is, to direct visitors who want to buy the products that you display. Things like outbound links to other websites, banners, advertisements and non-affiliate widgets can cause the visitor to become distracted and leave.
- The content of your website should be top quality. It’s also good for SEO and social media marketing that the images you use are of high quality, the product descriptions are comprehensive and precise and SEO best practices are always followed.
- Pay attention to your social media presence to reach new customers and keep current ones engaged.
- Believe in the company that you’re an affiliate of and select the products that are most relatable to your business niche.
Create an Affiliate eCommerce Store Today!
Affiliate marketing is mutually beneficial for both the affiliate and the business you’re an affiliate of. The business gets affordable and widespread marketing through affiliate marketing programs while the affiliate can earn a considerable amount of money with minimal effort.
Setting up an affiliate eCommerce store can be a great way to not only earn more money, but also learn more about eCommerce from the ground up. It takes time to establish and successfully run an affiliate business, but the financial and marketing rewards can be great for your company!