What is ecommerce affiliate marketing?
eCommerce affiliate marketing is a highly effective way to drive sales and awareness for brands while also doubling as an affordable advertising platform. 80% of companies use affiliate programs to reach new customers with their products or services, and it is expected to grow to $6.8 billion in the next five years.
In fact, 38% of marketers say affiliate marketing is one of their top ways to gain new customers.
In this post, we’ll take a look at 13 of the top eCommerce affiliate programs to join and some tips on how to start your own affiliate program. So whether you’re looking for new opportunities or just curious about what’s out there, we’ve got you covered!
Let’s dive in.
How does affiliate marketing work?
The affiliate industry has four core players:
- The merchant, also known as the “retailer,” “brand,” or “advertiser”
- The network, such as Clickbank or ShareASale, hosts offers for the affiliate to choose from and also takes care of the payments
- The publisher, also known as the “affiliate” or “content creator,” and
- The customer
The market has grown in complexity enough to include many players, including specialized third-party vendors, super-affiliates, and many others. At one point colloquially referred to as “Refer-a-Friend” programs, these mechanisms have been reinvented and are now central to eCommerce businesses.
In addition to being an excellent potential source of revenue, eCommerce affiliate marketing adds a whole new dimension to the traditional art of making contacts and word-of-mouth advertising.
Whenever an online merchant promotes another company’s products, services, or website on their own site, they can earn a commission.
While some programs offer fixed-rate commissions, others operate on a pay-per-click or pay-per-impression basis. And then there are hybrid models as well, where affiliates are paid a commission for every lead or sale generated, regardless of how that sale came about.
So, how do you know how much your business will earn from affiliate marketing? The answer depends on the program you’re promoting and the compensation model. However, you can expect to earn anywhere from a few cents to a few hundred dollars per lead or sale as a general rule.
What are the benefits of ecommerce affiliate marketing?
The primary benefits of ecommerce affiliate marketing are driving revenue and building relationships with other businesses.
ecommerce affiliate marketing can be an effective way to reach new customers and generate sales.
For businesses, it offers an efficient and cost-effective way to reach new markets. Additionally, your business can benefit from the affiliate’s expertise in promoting and selling products or services.
For affiliates, ecommerce affiliate marketing can provide your business with a steady income stream.
Additionally, it can offer the opportunity to build relationships with other businesses and expand your knowledge of online marketing.
Overall, ecommerce affiliate marketing can be a beneficial way for your business to profit from new markets and for your affiliates to generate additional sales.
Here are some additional benefits of affiliate marketing for your business:
- Affiliate sales are trackable
- Affiliate marketing has a strong return on investment
- Affiliate marketing provides third-party validation and social proof for your brand
- It creates additional revenue streams
- It differentiates your ecommerce business from other online retailers
- Affiliate marketing broadens your audience
- It provides value to your current customers by connecting them with reputable businesses
- You can easily scale your ecommerce business
The best affiliate programs for ecommerce businesses
If you’re considering joining an affiliate network to boost your company’s revenue, you’ll have a wide variety of options.
The best affiliate programs for ecommerce businesses offer competitive commission rates and high conversion rates.
Commission rates should be tiered so that affiliates earn more commission as they generate more sales.
Conversion rates measure how many visitors to an affiliate’s website make a purchase. The higher the conversion rate, the more likely an affiliate will generate sales.
Therefore, ecommerce businesses should look for affiliate programs that offer high commission rates and high conversion rates. By doing so, they can maximize their chances of generating sales and earning revenue.
Below you’ll find some of the most popular affiliate platforms for ecommerce businesses:
The Shopify ecommerce affiliate program is a great way to earn extra revenue. By promoting Shopify products and services, your business can earn commissions on sales.
The program is easy to join, and the commission rate is competitive. Affiliates earn a 200% bounty for each successful merchant they refer to Shopify and Shopify pays 100% commission on the first two payments of a recurring plan.
Shopify offers reliable tracking and support, making it a great choice for ecommerce affiliates.
2. Amazon Associates
Amazon Associates is the world’s largest online marketplace, and its affiliate program allows website owners and bloggers to earn commissions on products purchased through Amazon.com. To participate in the program, you simply add links to Amazon products on your site or blog.
When a visitor clicks on one of these links and makes a purchase, you earn a commission. The amount of the commission varies depending on the product but is typically around 1-20%. Commissions are paid monthly, and you must reach a minimum threshold of $100 before payments are made. In addition, Amazon has varying flat commission rates for its” special commission income.”
The Amazon Associates program is a great way to monetize your website or blog if you have significant traffic from US-based visitors. However, the relatively low commission rates can make it difficult to generate significant income from the program.
Rakuten is a cashback site that gives consumers rebates for purchases made through its site. It provides a comprehensive and intuitive affiliate program perfect for ecommerce sites and is one of the fastest-growing affiliate platforms.
The interface is easy to use, and the reporting is robust, making it a breeze to keep track of your commissions.
Additionally, Rakuten offers a wide variety of banners and text links to choose from, ensuring that you can find the perfect way to promote their products on your site.
They also provide a generous commission structure, escalating for high-performing affiliates. Overall, the Rakuten affiliate program is a great option for those looking to monetize their ecommerce site.
4. eBay Partner Network
As an affiliate marketing program, eBay Partner Network eCommerce (EPN) allows you to promote 1.4 billion eBay product listings on your ecommerce website and earn a commission on qualifying sales.
While the program itself is straightforward, there are a few things to keep in mind before you sign up.
First, EPN only pays commissions on sales of physical goods – digital items like e-books and software are not eligible. Additionally, you’ll need to generate at least $10 worth of sales in a given month to receive a commission payment.
Overall, EPN is a solid affiliate program with good earning potential.
PinnacleCart has one of the most popular ecommerce affiliate programs available.
They offer a tiered commission structure, and you’ll earn commission on both the lead and the sale.
They also have a two-tier program to earn commissions on sales made by affiliates that you refer to PinnacleCart.
In addition, they offer a wide range of marketing materials, including banner ads, text links, and email templates. And they provide dedicated account managers to help you maximize your earnings.
Overall, PinnacleCart is an excellent choice for anyone looking to participate in an ecommerce affiliate program.
Shift4Shop’s ecommerce affiliate program is free to join, and there are no minimum sales requirements.
Additionally, Shift4Shop provides affiliates with a wide range of marketing materials, including banner ads, text links, and product images. These tools make it easy to promote Shift4Shop’s products and services on your ecommerce website or blog.
Shift4Shop offers a competitive commission rate, so your business can earn regular income by promoting its products and services.
As an affiliate, you’ll earn a commission on every purchase made by a customer you refer, and you’ll also receive access to exclusive tools and resources.
The program is free to join, and there are no minimum sales requirements. Plus, you can be sure that you’re referring customers to a high-quality product – Squarespace is a leader in the ecommerce space, and businesses of all sizes trust its platform.
If you’re looking for a way to monetize your website or blog, the Squarespace ecommerce affiliate program is a solid option.
BigCommerce is one of the most popular ecommerce platforms on the market, and for good reason. It’s easy to use, offers a wide range of features, and is highly scalable.
The BigCommerce affiliate program is also very generous, offering a tiered commission structure as high as $1,500 per sale.
If you’re looking for an ecommerce affiliate program with a great commission rate and a wide range of promotional materials, then the BigCommerce affiliate program is worth considering.
As an affiliate for Wix ecommerce, you can earn commission on qualifying sales of Wix plans and products, up to $100 per premium user.
The Wix ecommerce affiliate program is a great way to earn additional income by promoting a platform that helps businesses grow online. And, as a Wix partner, you’ll receive support and training to help you succeed.
The Wix ecommerce affiliate program offers a tiered commission structure, so you can earn more as you generate more sales. And, as a Wix partner, you’ll be able to take advantage of exclusive partner discounts. Plus, you’ll have access to creative assets and tools to help you promote Wix ecommerce.
The Weebly ecommerce affiliate program offers a great opportunity for those with a website or blog to earn money by promoting Weebly’s online store builder.
Affiliates can earn up to $150 per sale, and the Weebly team provides all the resources needed to get started, including banners, text links, and product information. Under the program, you’ll receive a 10% commission on all sales generated from your affiliate link.
There is no minimum sales requirement, so you can start earning commissions right away.
And best of all, the program has a 120-day cookie duration, so you’ll still earn commissions on sales that are made up to four months after a customer clicks your affiliate link.
Overall, Weebly’s ecommerce affiliate program is a great opportunity to earn extra revenue.
When you become a Sellfy affiliate, you can promote Sellfy products and earn a commission on every sale.
The best part about the program is that it is free to join and there are no minimum sales requirements. This means that you can start earning commissions right away without investing any money upfront.
In addition, the program offers a generous 25% commission rate. Overall, the Sellfy ecommerce affiliate program is a solid opportunity for ecommerce businesses looking to earn money online.
Bluehost is one of the most popular web hosting providers on the market. They offer a variety of services, including ecommerce hosting.
The Bluehost ecommerce affiliate program is a great way to earn money by referring customers to their site.
The program offers a generous commission structure and provides tools and resources to help you promote Bluehost. For every visitor you send to Bluehost who signs up, you’ll receive $65.
The sign-up process is quick and easy, and you can start earning commission right away.
Overall, the Bluehost ecommerce affiliate program is an effective way to earn money by promoting a reliable and popular web hosting provider.
Fiverr is an ecommerce website with more than 11 million users in 190+ countries that allows businesses to find and hire freelancers for various projects. The Fiverr ecommerce affiliate program is a great way to earn commissions on products and services sold through the Fiverr marketplace.
As an affiliate, you can promote Fiverr products and services to your audience and earn a commission on every sale you generate.
The commission rates are very competitive ($15 – $150 depending on the service your first-time buyer purchases and a hybrid option of $10 + 10% of everything they spend in a year.) There are many products and services to choose from, including online marketing, web design, and graphic design, so you should have no trouble finding items that fit your niche.
In addition, the Fiverr team provides excellent support and advice to help you maximize your earnings potential.
Should you start your own affiliate program?
No matter how big or small your marketing budget might be, your business can’t reach every potential customer through your own ads, content marketing, social media, and other promotional efforts.
This is where starting your own affiliate program can be effective. Your ecommerce business can leverage the reach and influence of bloggers, media sites, YouTubers, and other influencers to tell their audiences about your brand or products through an affiliate program.
Because affiliate programs generally cost much less than advertising, and your affiliates earn money when they send leads and customers to you, affiliate marketing can be a win-win-win for everyone.
Things to consider when developing your affiliate program
If you’re thinking of starting your own affiliate marketing program for your ecommerce business, there are a few factors you’ll need to take into consideration.
First, you’ll need to choose the right platform. There are several different options out there, so it’s important to do your research and select the right one for you.
You’ll also need to create compelling content that will encourage people to click through to your site and make a purchase.
Finally, you’ll need to monitor your results and adjust your strategy as necessary to ensure that your program is successful.
By following these simple tips, you can develop an effective affiliate marketing program that will help you boost sales and grow your business.
Here are the basic steps to set up a successful ecommerce affiliate program for your business:
- Determine if an affiliate program is right for you
- Research your competitors
- Know your affiliate program objectives and KPIs (Key Performance Indicators)
- Have a defined commission strategy
- Know your customer retention rate
- Know your customer’s lifetime value
- Calculate your commission payouts
- Attract publishers/content creators
- Review and approve publishers
- Conduct ongoing monitoring of your affiliate program’s results
Common affiliate program challenges
When you are first starting with affiliate marketing, there are a few common challenges that you may face.
First, you need to find potential affiliates who are a good fit for your ecommerce business and have an audience that is likely to be interested in your products.
This can be difficult as there are a lot of affiliate programs out there and it can be hard to know which ones will be the best for your specific business.
Once you have found a few potential affiliates, you need to negotiate terms and conditions with them. This can be tricky, as you want to make sure that you and the affiliate are happy with the agreement.
Finally, you need to monitor your affiliate program to ensure that it is running smoothly and that your affiliates are meeting their targets and following the terms of the agreement. A clear contract and excellent communication are the best strategies to avoid potential problems and misunderstandings.
To create the most profitable ecommerce affiliate marketing program to grow your business, you should:
- Recruit the most effective affiliates for your brand
- Find the best affiliate management technology for your ecommerce business
- Make someone in your company responsible for managing your affiliate program
- Ensure you do not harm your brand’s other marketing efforts
Which software should you use to manage your ecommerce affiliate program?
There are a number of software options available to manage your business’s eCommerce affiliate program. Whichever software option you choose, be sure to research the different features and determine which ones will best suit your needs.
Here are some popular options:
If you’re looking for an easy-to-use yet powerful tool to help manage your ecommerce affiliate program, LeadDyno is a great option.
With LeadDyno, you can easily track clicks, conversions, and commissions and provide your affiliates with creative assets and links, all from your own customizable dashboard. The interface is user-friendly and intuitive, making it easy to get started. Plus, your affiliates will have access to their own unique dashboard once they join your affiliate network.
And, if you ever have any questions or need help, the support team is always responsive and helpful. LeadDyno is a great choice if you want a simple way to manage your ecommerce affiliate programs.
With Affiliatly, you can track your affiliate sales and commissions, set up coupon codes and banners, and pay your affiliates all in one place.
The platform is easy to use and navigate, and it offers a wide range of features to help you run a successful affiliate program. Plan costs are dependent on the number of affiliates you have.
Overall, Affiliatly is a great tool for managing your ecommerce affiliate program.
Refersion is a great option for managing your affiliate program because it’s incredibly easy to use and offers a variety of features that can help you keep track of your affiliates and their performance.
With Refersion, you can recruit influencers and affiliates, see how much each affiliate is selling, what products are popular, and where your traffic is coming from.
You can also set up commission tiers and customize how you pay your affiliates.
Refersion is a solid pick for managing an ecommerce affiliate program.
Impact Radius is a popular choice for many ecommerce businesses, and for good reason.
With Impact Radius, you’ll be able to track all of your affiliates’ activity in one central place. This includes data on how much traffic they’re sending to your site, how many sales they’re generating, and their commission rate.
You’ll also be able to see which affiliates are performing best, so you can give them higher commissions and additional opportunities.
While Impact Radius is on the higher end price-wise, they also offer best-in-class features and support to grow your affiliate business.
In short, Impact Radius will help you take your affiliate program to the next level.
Affise is one of the most popular options for ecommerce affiliate marketing because it offers many features and flexibility, making it a good choice for both small and large businesses.
With Affise, you can easily track your sales, clicks, leads, and conversions in real-time.
You can also set up custom commission structures and create promotional materials. In addition, Affise provides robust reporting tools that can help you to optimize your affiliate program.
Affise is a solid choice for businesses looking for an easy-to-use affiliate program management solution.
Whether you’re looking for a new ecommerce affiliate program to join or just starting out and need some advice on getting started, we hope this post has been helpful.
Affiliate marketing can be a great way to drive traffic and sales to your online store, but it takes effort to set up and manage correctly.
However, with the right tools and planning, you can create a successful affiliate program that helps grow your ecommerce business.