How To Start Your eCommerce Store's Affiliate Marketing Program

By Llouela Asim | May 30 2022 |

Affiliate Marketing

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How To Start Your eCommerce Store's Affiliate Marketing Program

What if I tell you that you are still not reaching most of your potential customers?

Think about this...

You spend most of your marketing budget on paid ads for Google and Facebook. And you get paid traffic from people looking for your product or service.

But...

There are also users who are not actively looking for your business but can be potential customers.

And when you are not reaching out to them, you are missing out on more sales!

So, this is the perfect time for you to really consider the eCommerce affiliate program.

Because with an eCommerce affiliate program, you open up your online store to more web traffic, and increase revenue.

After you read this blog, you'll have a better understanding on:

  • The multiple benefits of affiliate marketing
  • How to start your own affiliate program
  • Valuable tips to have a successful affiliate marketing run

So let's jump in!

 

What Is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing is a marketing channel where a publisher can earn money by promoting a product or service from an advertiser.

For instance, you've probably seen the words "affiliate link" or "sponsored" on social media posts. That means the people who posted it are part of an affiliate program.

For eCommerce sites, the payouts usually come in the form of:

  • Direct sales
  • Free-trial users
  • Leads such as newsletter sign-ups and follows
  • Clicks

Let's take a step further...

 

How Does An eCommerce Affiliate Marketing Program Works?

How Does An eCommerce Affiliate Marketing Program Works?

An affiliate program is a partnership between two people.

The first one is the merchant, also called the publisher. As the eCommerce store owner, you sell the product or the service.

The second one is the affiliate partner or the publisher. They promote your products or services on their website in exchange for a commission on each sale.

The commission structure for an affiliate program depends on the eCommerce site owner and the affiliate partners.

But there are affiliate marketing programs that have a flat rate per sale, not a percentage.

With an affiliate program, you work with different affiliate partners. They can promote your eCommerce brand in a lot of ways, such as...

  • Affiliate links
  • Blog posts and reviews
  • Posts on social media platforms
  • Podcasts

You will essentially use their social proof and website traffic to increase site traffic and increase sales for your eCommerce brand.

I'd like to tell you more about...

 

What Are The Benefits Of Affiliate Marketing?

Let's start with the apparent one. Affiliate marketing surely...

 

Drives Website Traffic

On eCommerce affiliate programs, you'd have a chance to work with different affiliate partners.

You'll work with bloggers, social media influencers, and content creators.

That means you will have access to omnichannel traffic. Which leads to a wider reach on your target audience.

Let me give you an example. You have a partner in the beauty and lifestyle niche. Then, they promote your cold-pressed juice on their social media channels, where you don't have a presence.

Your target market will see your eCommerce store being promoted, which they will remember the next time they want to buy your product... Thanks to the affiliate partnership!

Up next, affiliate marketing can also bring you...

 

Excellent Return On Investment

Here's something you need to know...

Affiliate marketing is responsible for 16% of all online orders.

And what's even more... Consumers will spend more when the product is an affiliate's recommendation.

Since an affiliate program depends on the affiliate link's performance, you can also set the commission when affiliates promote.

This marketing strategy also...

 

Boosts Credibility

Remember what I told you... An affiliate program means you are leveraging the affiliates' influence.

You see, customers trust online reviews. And they trust what influencers and content creators recommend.

So when the latter promotes your eCommerce store, online shoppers will trust you even more.

With that in mind, affiliate marketing can...

 

Increase Sales

You know how building trust is crucial for online businesses. Especially for newly established ones that lack product reviews.

But with quality affiliates' reviews and useful content, your target audience can trust their product recommendations.

That leads your affiliates' audience to turn into qualified leads that suit to become your target audience.

And that's how you generate revenue with affiliate marketing.

Last but not least, an affiliate program is...

 

Easy To Scale

You might think that spending more on your marketing efforts means more ROI.

But only some online businesses have that option. In fact, all you need is an efficient marketing strategy.

Here is where an affiliate program enters.

Since commissions are only given after a sale, you won't have to spend anything upfront. All you need to do first is work smart on your affiliate program.

Plus, affiliate marketing is all about the relationships you manage. Doing so makes it more scalable.

To get the best results, you may consider hiring an affiliate manager. Affiliate managers can handle your program to get the best affiliates.

Now, do you see how affiliate marketing is one of the top customer acquisition methods?

Let's get to the best part...

 

How To Start Your eCommerce Affiliate Marketing Program?

How To Start Your eCommerce Affiliate Marketing Program?

1. Plan Your Objectives And KPIs

Let's keep this step simple.

You have to ask, "What do I want to accomplish? And how will I measure my success?"

Clearly defining your goals will help you choose the affiliate networks that suit your brand. Having key performance indicators (KPIs) will also let you know if your affiliate marketing strategy is working or not.

Some goals you can consider for your eCommerce business are:

  • Reduce customer acquisition cost
  • Increase site traffic on your eCommerce platform
  • Increase average order value
  • Increase conversion rate by the end of the year

After you have listed your goals, you can list how you will measure your progress.

Consider these common KPIs:

  • Click traffic: the amount of clicks you get from your affiliate program
  • Gross order: total number of sales through affiliate marketing
  • EPC: earnings per 100 clicks.
  • Conversion rate: percentage of people buying from your site

Your affiliate partnerships manager can recruit more affiliates so you won't have to depend on just one partner. That way, you'll have a healthy division of affiliate sales.

Once you have your goals and KPIs set, move on to...

 

2. Research Your Competitors

Make no mistake: Your competitors most likely have their affiliate program.

And you can learn a lot by analyzing your competitors.

So, list your competitors (and online retailers) and do a quick Google research on their affiliate programs.

You can sign up for their program and keep track of their affiliate network. Doing so will let you in on their distribution channels.

You will also see their commission rates, email marketing, incentives, and bonuses.

Knowing these things can help you prepare your own affiliate network. It will also help you create your commission structure.

For instance, your competitor offers a commission of 15% per sale. You see their online store being featured on popular websites.

You can then match the amount to target relevant sites.

Of course, your goal should be to stand out from your competitors, not just copy what's already existing.

The next thing you need to do is...

 

3. Choose Your Affiliate Platform

Affiliate marketers have different preferences when it comes to their platforms. Here are some you can consider for your affiliate platforms:

  • Review sites and niche forums. These sites are created for specific audiences. You can create content relevant to the affiliate site to gain more visitors.
  • Digital marketing content. Think of bloggers, vloggers, and social media influencers. They have their own audience you can reach out to.
  • Events and workshops. You can get active affiliates to be a part of your events.

To choose your platform, consider which one you understand the best, as well as what you use the most.

You can also choose to join an affiliate network. It is a dedicated platform for you to find your potential publishers to promote your product or service.

By this point, you might be wondering how to set up an affiliate program on Shopify.

Shopify has its own network of affiliates you can choose from. It lists entrepreneurs, influencers, and creators who can do referrals.

Learning what you are most familiar with will make your marketing strategies run smoother.

The next step is...

 

4. Define Your Commission Strategy

So, how much can you pay your affiliates?

Of course, a low commission rate won't attract affiliates. But a higher rate may negatively affect your profit margin.

To have a profitable strategy, you need to consider this...

A commission of 8-10% is generous for eCommerce purchases. But it all depends on how much you can gain from each sale.

Also, keep this in mind...

Your affiliate commissions are considered in your Cost per Acquisition. That means repeat sales are important for your ROI.

The most important thing is you...

 

5. Launch Your Affiliate Program

Have you decided on what platform you are going to use? Good!

It's time to make it live.

If you choose to go with affiliate networks, you can use their marketing tool to manage your affiliate campaigns.

No matter what platform you choose, the next thing to do is to connect it to your eCommerce

business. You can create a page where your potential affiliates can sign up.

Speaking of recruiting affiliates...

 

6. Invite Potential Affiliates

Here's an obvious secret: For your affiliate program to succeed, you need to attract quality affiliates!

So, find a potential affiliate website, social media influencers, or prominent bloggers. Make sure that their audience matches your target.

To recruit affiliates, you can also make use of email marketing strategies to reach out. Create a list of productive affiliates.

You can send them the dedicated page you created for your affiliate program. Provide every detail affiliates need to know about your monthly fees, commission rate, etc.

Once you examine and approve affiliate marketing accounts, you have to...

 

7. Provide Marketing Materials To Your Affiliates

Yep, your job does not end at step number 6.

Affiliate marketing is performance-based. This means you need to help your new affiliates with their promotion.

Make sure that you provide relevant affiliate links. That includes their personalized discount codes.

You can also give them social media materials such as high-resolution images or videos they can post.

And don't forget... It's all about authenticity and connecting with your audience. So ensure that your promotions align with your affiliate's branding, too.

Of course, you have to...

 

8. Track Your Own eCommerce Affiliate Program

To know if your affiliate marketing works, you regularly monitor it.

You'll learn more about what your audience likes and dislikes when you do.

You can also monitor your conversion rates to check if changes are needed. Go back to your KPIs to check if there are improvements.

Are you excited? It's now your time to...

 

Create Partnerships, Boost Conversion Rates!

As you have now learned, affiliate marketing can open your business to more sales and revenue. You can level up your digital marketing to boost your brand awareness.

And that's without too much initial payout!

There's a reason why affiliate marketing is one of the most recommended marketing strategies for your business to grow.

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Written by

Llouela Asim


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