Why Consider Affiliate Marketing for Your E-commerce Website

  by Neethu Jolly for Digital Marketing 10 July, 2017

The online marketplace is now flooding with businesses that sell their products and services online. Hence, the competition is growing day-by-day. And so, in order to stand-out from the rest, you need to put in a little “extra” effort. One way this effort can be taken is by considering affiliated marketing for your e-commerce website.

What is affiliate marketing?

For starters, affiliate marketing in simple words is a strategy wherein you allow other people (third parties or affiliates) to market your products. By means of these other people, you also get an increased percentage of users visiting your website. In return, you reward the affiliates with a small portion of the sales they brought-in for you. Some of the well-known websites that use affiliate marketing include Jabong, Amazon, Flipkart, etc.

Benefits for merchants from affiliate marketing

  • Offers a measurable ROI (Return on Investment). In affiliate marketing, the merchant only has to pay for every successful transaction. So, if you invest a certain amount in affiliate marketing, you get to know exactly where your money is going.
  • Better website traffic. With your ads running on various affiliate websites, chances are high that more people will visit your website.  
  • Effective brand building. Your affiliates are spread all across the globe. This increases the probability of your brand getting a global reach.
  • Cost-effective. As compared to digital marketing campaigns, you need to invest smaller amounts in affiliate marketing.
  • Little or no investment is required in affiliate partnership.

How affiliate marketing works

In affiliate marketing, the merchant website requires its products or services to be advertised and any person who agrees to do so is known as an affiliate. Once a person agrees to become an affiliate, he is provided with a hyperlink which he publishes on his blog or website. The hyperlink contains a unique tracking code that tracks down every successful transaction. 

Upon clicking the ad displayed on the affiliate website, a user is directed to the merchant website where he/she can proceed to purchase the product or service. And, if the user does so, the transaction is successful. The major advantage of affiliate marketing is that only successful transactions are counted; i.e. the merchant does not have to pay for every visitor re-directed by the affiliate.

Points to keep in mind before you turn to affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing can seem very attractive; a one-stop solution for all your marketing issues. But there are a few points that you should keep in mind to ensure that things go in the right way.

Determine how much you can afford to give your affiliates

What percentage of the total revenue from a sale can you set aside for your affiliates? Say like 5% or 10%? Do the entire math and arrive at the best figures which you can afford to put into affiliate marketing. From what has been seen so far, higher the percentage, better are your chances to attract more affiliate traffic.

Going solo or joining an affiliate marketing network

If you are interested in affiliate marketing then you have two choices: either you’d have to develop your own independent tracking system or join an affiliate marketing network. If you are to go with developing your own tracking system that is safe and efficient, you will readily get plug-ins and modules to assist you but will have to take efforts to advertise it properly so as to attract affiliate marketers to join it. The latter gives you everything ready-made and also takes care of trust issues. With the service being provided by a third party, affiliate’s fear of being cheated is also greatly reduced.

Choosing affiliates

When it comes to choosing your affiliates, make sure that they are your source to get to an even wider audience. Some of them include:

  • Successful bloggers with a huge following can make up for good affiliate marketers.
  • E-commerce websites (examples include PricePanda, My SmartPrice, etc.) that offer supplementary services like couponing, price comparisons, etc. 
  • Another option is outsourcing. Find out companies that manage the affiliate networks of the concerned e-commerce website.
Affiliate marketing is an effective marketing tool today. With several affiliates from all around, it is like an army of salespersons that work for you with only one goal in mind – generating sales leads. And since it benefits both the parties involved, the situation is a win-win. So, go ahead. Plan your affiliate marketing strategies well and get ahead of your competitors.

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