Affiliation within an eCommerce business: is this a new way to earn income in your online store?

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An eCommerce business is much more than simply the products included in its catalogue. As an online store, it has a wide range of options available to increase its profits. One of these extras is sales by affiliation.

For an eCommerce business, affiliation can be understood in two ways. It’s as much of a new sales channel for your own products on other websites as well as a resource to increase revenue through the sale of services outside of your own eCommerce business.

The most common technique is the first, which allows you to set up an affiliate program with other channels to amplify the scope and scale of your products. Here, the key is in correctly choosing your affiliates as well as the software that will allow both parties to integrate.

Affiliate software allows you to maintain control over the process as a whole and of each of the factors involved. First of all, this platform is necessary to allow the affiliates to connect with the eCommerce business’s sales support. Included in the software will be everything from the sales pixels to the unique commercial URLs along with the creative and any resources that might be needed to promote the products.

Secondly, the affiliate software will allow you to keep track of the number of sales each affiliate generates (whether by click or by lead, depending on your business needs). This will allow you to avoid fraud and compare the data obtained from your own database with the reports from your affiliates.

What should I keep in mind when building an affiliate program for my eCommerce business?

Starting an affiliate program for an eCommerce business isn’t a complicated task, but it must be carried out as carefully as possible. Why? Because the success and profitability of your online store will depend on how it’s defined.

Along these lines, to create an affiliate program for an eCommerce store, it’s important to consider the following:

  • Conversion type: The eCommerce business must stipulate what a conversion is to them. In general, an affiliation will always work with the CPA, the cost per acquisition, which will be directly related to the completion of a sale.

  • Validation and failure: An affiliate will need to know beforehand what will be considered a valid lead within the program. This means that, along with the type of conversion, it’ll be necessary to define the requirements that have to be met for a sale to be considered a sale by affiliation in your eCommerce business. For example, the user has to purchase the product on the same day. When defining failures, you can include examples such as users that are not unique because they’ve accessed the site more than once.

  • The sales commission: What margin are you willing to pay to a third party for a sale? You have to keep in mind that this commission has to be attractive enough for the affiliate to join the program. Including your eCommerce business on their website will require considerable time and effort on their part. Here, you will have to weigh whether you prefer to expand your visibility and sales reach over direct benefits.

  • The products available: Not all of the products in the catalogue of an eCommerce store have to be included in the affiliate program. Choosing the most appropriate items will arouse interest on the affiliate websites and ensure the effectiveness of the campaign in terms of your number of sales. Start with your star products to get real data about the campaign’s success within your eCommerce store.

  • The acceptance of affiliates: Finally, when establishing an affiliate program, it’s essential to establish certain requirements as to who can form part of the program. This is the only way that the effectiveness of the affiliation can be guaranteed by both parties. That is why it’s convenient to set minimums for traffic and global sales, to allow you to join forces with affiliates with a certain reputation. In addition, those affiliates must have a real relationship with the same business sector as your eCommerce store so that the collaboration makes sense.

In short, affiliate programs are a great gateway to increase sales for any eCommerce business. The first step will be to define what the characteristics are going to be and the parameters that will benefit both parties. This will need to be completed as soon as possible since these types of campaigns require time to gain momentum.


Angela de la Vieja
Content Manager
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