With the exponential growth of online shopping around the globe, there has been a dramatic increase in eCommerce or Shopping Cart websites. Makes sense, right?
But what if there was a way to capitalize on the online shopping boom without the issues of stocking inventory, postage and distribution, warranty and returns or even customer contact? There is, and we’ll explain more below shortly.
First, let's give an honorable mention to systems like Amazon Fulfilment that allow you to source your own product and supply it in bulk to Amazon Fulfillment centers around the world. Their platform then allows your products to be sold and distributed through the platform. This means Amazon takes care of everything like invoicing, payment processing and shipping, and then just sends you the profits. The downside? You still need to source and buy the initial product.
With an affiliate business model, you don’t have to stock the product.
Let us look at a digital example first like LeadPages. This is what we call a SAAS product, or software as a service. With cloud computing, these are becoming very popular as they can be accessed anywhere there is internet.
If you absolutely loved the product, why not get paid for recommending it? If you became a LeadPages affiliate, you’d get an affiliate commission for the referrals you make that sign up. This commission you get comes from LeadPages marketing funds and is not added to pricing for consumers.
Now let us look at a physical product like a beauty product or a hardcover book. As above, if you recommend this product to a friend and they buy it, you then get a cut of the sale. It might be a dollar amount or a percentage.
What Kind of Payments Do You Get?
Affiliate commissions can vary. Some affiliate programs pay a commission for every lead (not sale) you provide, others pay on every sale. With subscription models like a Shopify store, you can get paid every month for as long as the store is actively open.
There are some products that have commission structures that change depending on how many sales you have made. These are great if you are concentrating on one product, especially if you build trust and loyalty with your audience or become an expert in that field. An example affiliate program like this is Enagic.
Some programs offer credit for their product or service. Food service HelloFresh does just this. If you refer friends that sign up, they credit your HelloFresh account with a dollar amount.
How Do They Track Referrals?
In most cases, a referral online is made using a custom web link that includes your affiliate ID. You might see some links that have ‘/?ref=Aff#1234567’ at the end of the web address. This is a tracking code.
Others have a form with your ID embedded or printed on, and when you get your friend to fill out the form, it gets processed manually.
Is Affiliate Marketing Common?
YES, more common than you might realise! With the current and predicted growth for online shopping, affiliate marketing is getting bigger and bigger every day!
The advantage for shop owners and distributors, is that their affiliates are promoting their product for them. Many products that have affiliate programs grow extensively purely from word of mouth and digital referrals. In marketing, we have always said that word of mouth and reviews are the best advertising.
AND, its not just online.
Seriously, if you looked at a salesman selling a car who gets a commission for the sale, its almost the same. The car dealer grows the trust in the brand and focuses on creating foot traffic in the gates, and the salesman refers the consumer to a product or vehicle that matches their needs.