Ecommerce Affiliate Marketing: 14 Reasons to Create a Partner Program for Your e-commerce Business
E-commerce affiliate marketing: Whether you’ve developed a unique product or focus on reselling third-party goods, the main goal of your e-commerce business should be to generate more sales.
There are many advertising techniques you can implement to help boost your bottom line, but some of these options have high upfront costs and only provide short-term results. The good news is that an eCommerce affiliate marketing program can exponentially increase lead volume without putting a huge amount of pressure on your internal team or your budget.
With the above in mind, modern affiliate marketing is a relatively new technique, so it’s normal for eCommerce business owners to approach it gradually. That said, you need to consider a huge number of variables before developing an eCommerce affiliate marketing, so the process is not always straightforward.
Below, we’ll go over the definition of an affiliate marketing program and discuss the main stakeholders that make up the ecosystem.
What Is An Affiliate Program?
Before going any further, let’s take a moment to define an affiliate program. In simple terms, an affiliate program is an agreement developed by a company (the advertiser) that wants to work with affiliate marketers (publishers) to generate leads, brand awareness, or both.
This agreement contains all of the details that publishers need to know to earn a commission from each lead or conversion, including the location, device type, and other demographic information about the target audience.
Moreover, the affiliate program also specifies the commission on each conversion, informs publishers how the payout schedule works, and contains all the resources that advertisers are providing for their affiliates.
Understanding the Affiliate Ecosystem
We’ve covered the definition of an affiliate program, but to understand the benefits of this type of advertising we need to have basic knowledge about how the ecosystem works.
The affiliate ecosystem is composed of many moving parts and the exact structure varies depending on the industry and advertiser program. However, there are found main stakeholders that are present in the vast majority of affiliate interactions.
These are advertisers, consumers, publishers, and affiliate networks.
As we mentioned earlier, advertisers are the eCommerce businesses that want help with their marketing. Affiliate marketing is particularly beneficial for these companies because it's suitable for all types of industries, including B2C, B2B, and even more obscure specialties like B2G and industrial providers.
Advertisers are in full control of the affiliate program, so they determine what makes up a conversion, how much the payout will be, and make other key decisions. But, remember that competitors are also trying to attract the top affiliates in your industry, so your program has to be attractive enough to entice these marketers.
In the affiliate context, the term “consumer” is used to describe the audiences that advertisers want to target. Each advertiser will target a segment rather than all consumers, but note that these audiences can consist of business owners and similar individuals.
Publishers are affiliates that focus on developing content and distributing it through a variety of channels. Publishers can either specialize in producing original organic content, focus on paid channels, or implement a combination of both. Depending on your industry, you may need to work with specific types of affiliate publishers, like influencers, media buyers, or app owners.
In some cases, developing an attractive affiliate program is simply not enough to recruit the best publishers. Fortunately, affiliate networks are platforms that focus on connecting advertisers with the leading publishers in their spaces.
There are countless affiliate networks you can partner with, so choosing the best alternative isn’t always an easy task. You should take the time to analyze all your alternatives, compare their features, and make sure that you find a provider based on your unique eCommerce requirements.
14 Reasons to Create Your e-commerce affiliate marketing program
One of the biggest benefits of creating an eCommerce partner program is that you can create multiple schemes based on the goals you want to achieve.
For example, you can divide your programs into categories like advocate, referral, and strategic. In this setup, advocate partners only endorse the advertiser’s products or services when appropriate, while partners in the referral category are usually more direct. As for strategic partners, these entities usually appear to be dormant, but they work with advertisers on a long-term strategy to achieve goals in the long run.
Let’s take a look at 14 additional reasons why you should create an e-commerce partner program.
1. Allows You to Expand Your Reach
Even when they operate in the same industry, affiliates can connect with unique audiences that are not accessible elsewhere. By creating a partner program, you’ll automatically boost your business’ reach and contact potential customers that would have been outside of your current marketing scope.
2. Reduce Marketing Expenses
Affiliate marketing is a performance-based strategy, which means that advertisers don’t have to pay a commission unless affiliates generate valid conversions. So, instead of investing money and hoping it will work out, advertisers don’t have to pay unless they get something in return, reducing marketing expenses across the board.
3. Positions Companies to Enter New Markets
Just because a leading business has developed a product for a new market, it doesn’t mean that this vertical will be easy to enter. One of the reasons why so many companies turn to affiliate marketing is that publishers are already familiar with the audiences that are being targeted. This puts advertisers in a much better position to enter new markets than having to study the audience members from scratch.
4. Higher Number of Online Conversions
Social media networks, websites, and third-party e-commerce platforms can all generate leads for a business. But, affiliate marketers can get creative and implement an even wider range of techniques, which significantly increases the number of online conversions that advertisers get as a result.
5. Enhanced Trust in Products/Services
Even if you have ultra-engaging content, text and video materials produced directly by an advertiser don’t have the same power of persuasion over consumers. Fortunately, when the content comes from third-party publishers like influencers, it increases trust in the advertisers’ products and services that are being promoted
Because it doesn’t require a huge amount of resources, creating an affiliate program is a cost-effective way to promote products and services. But, remember that you’ll need to research the best networks, program structures, and other elements, so you still need to invest additional resources.
7. Doesn’t Require a Set Salary
Affiliate marketers work strictly on a commission basis, so you won’t have to factor in a set salary when creating your marketing budget. If you already have a marketing manager, all you need to do is coordinate with this employee to manage the program and work with your network on optimizing it.
8. Boosts Your Website’s SEO and Backlink Profile
Advertisers often rely on a healthy marketing mix that includes affiliate marketing as well as search engine optimization (SEO). When an affiliate program drives a large volume of engaged users to a page, this website often experiences a boost in traffic quality, usability score, and overall SEO rating.
9. Benefit From Consumers’ Trust of Influencers
Besides making your products and services look better, partnering with the right influencer can also help you improve your brand trust levels. This is because influencers cultivate a trusting relationship with their audience members, So, when an influencer endorses a product or brand, followers tend to embrace the company in more ways than just making a purchase.
10. Maintain as Much or as Little Control as You Like
One thing that some businesses struggle with when creating an affiliate program is learning how to trust affiliates. Many business owners feel like they have to relinquish full control of their marketing effort -- but this is a misconception.
Affiliate advertising is flexible, so some businesses rely fully on their program while others implement it as a part of a much bigger marketing strategy.
11. All Elements Can Be Tracked and Monitored
As with other forms of online marketing, your affiliate program will allow you to track your marketing spend, understand how your resources are distributed, and see exactly how much business or revenue you get in return. You can see this at the publisher level, so you can also figure out who your top publishers are and focus on building a strong relationship with these specialists.
12. Affiliate Programs Have a Higher ROI
Because the initial investment is relatively low, affiliate advertising has an extremely high ROI that’s only eclipsed by organic methods. But, unlike organic methods, affiliates can help you achieve a high ROI while also reducing your marketing strategy turnaround time.
13. Can Grow with Your Business
There are countless affiliates spread throughout a huge range of industries, so your program will be as scalable as you want it to be. Once you get into a rhythm and your publishers are producing consistent results, you can start thinking about growing your internal team or diversifying your products/services.
14. Suitable for All Types of Products and Services
As we’ve mentioned previously, affiliate advertising is a superb option for all types of products and services, regardless if it’s a physical good, an intangible service, or a blend of solutions.
Ready to Launch Your E-commerce Affiliate Marketing Program? Get Help from the Pros at lemonads
Developing an e-commerce affiliate program may take some time. But, if you study your audience, build a trusting relationship with your prospects, and partner with the right network, you’ll exponentially increase your chances of success.
To learn more about working with lemonads and launching a new e-commerce affiliate program contact lemonads today.
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