There's no doubt that affiliate marketing is one of the most effective ways to increase sales and revenue for your ecommerce business.
It's even the case that affiliate marketing is responsible for 16% of global ecommerce sales globally. (Source)
But how can you make sure you're using it effectively in 2023?
In this article, we'll share tips on making the most out of your affiliate marketing program and boosting your bottom line. So read on for insights you can use today!
What is an ecommerce affiliate marketing program?
Affiliate marketing involves promoting a website's product and getting a commission for generated sales.
The merchants and affiliates are the pioneers of the affiliate program. The affiliate and merchant connection is the base of affiliate marketing.
Affiliates use the brand's website to promote the product or company's link; the affiliate earns a commission once buyers purchase from the link.
Some use paid marketing for their product promotion, such as Facebook Ads. You might not have a return on investment or even proper sales, so it's full of uncertainty when you use paid promotion.
Instead, you can use an ecommerce affiliate program to grow your sales without additional cost.
6 Reasons to use an ecommerce affiliate program for your store
An affiliate program can be an earnings channel for any ecommerce store. When you have an online store, ecommerce affiliate marketing helps you stand out, hold your audience, and sustain your ecommerce store.
At least 40% of online marketers believe that ecommerce affiliate marketing is a crucial skill to have and helps build your online career in the first place.
This is the reason ecommerce affiliate marketing is growing rapidly.
Let's find out some more next.
1. Expand your target market and grow your business
Every business's ultimate goal is to raise brand reach. As affiliates bring traffic to your website, they also bring reach to your brand. You constantly get new audiences through your affiliate.
Ecommerce affiliate marketing helps reach wider audiences who find your service helpful.
Also, it all depends on the affiliate you choose, which enables you to get a targeted audience in the long run. As customers observe your product, they provide a constructive review while they purchase the product.
Moreover, at least 95% of customers read reviews before purchasing products, which helps generate traffic and elevates your ecommerce platform's authority. So, customers play a crucial role in growing your business.
2. Increase your Average Order Value (AOV) with offers
Average order value or AOV is one of the essential metrics that track the average spent amount by the customer.
AOV measures a long-term value of a customer. Measuring AOV is quite simple:
Average Order Value (AOV) = Total revenue/Number of orders
For example, In June, your total sales or revenue was $40,000, and your number of orders was 1,000, so your total AOV is $40,000 divided by 1000, and it’s $40.
AOV helps you measure online marketing efforts and pricing structures to help you observe how worthy a customer can be with a long-term relationship.
In affiliate marketing, when marketers focus more on their costs to increase traffic, following simple strategies will help you maintain low-cost and effective AOV.
This way, effective and low-cost affiliate marketing is ensured all the way:
- Cross-selling and upselling. Up-selling and cross-selling recommend customers with more upgraded or additional pieces to purchase. For example, ask the customer if they want to go with more upgraded parts of purchased products or if they want to spend some more than their current orders.
- Discounts and coupons. Offer customers to save some amount on purchasing bulk products or place some coupons for their purchase.
3. Low cost, high return on investment (ROI)
Like AOV, ROI is one of the essential factors in the ecommerce sector. ROI shows the profit margins generated by specific marketing actions.
Determining ROI can be a challenging task, and all the activities of ROI depend on the profits.
Also, most businesses profit only from sales, not from creating impressions or clicks. This is why most small businesses connect to affiliates to sell their products.
With affiliate marketing, you connect yourself to a large targeted audience for higher reach. Ultimately, this provides high returns on investment in the long run due to increased reach and saves your cost.
4. Decrease the cost of advertising
While running an ecommerce store, you need to advertise your products to get publicity and attract visitors. This costs you quite an amount at the end of the day.
On the other hand, affiliate marketing enables you to reach a wider audience, get publicity, and sell products.
So, you are getting a lot more than the usual marketing.
5. Helps to differentiate yourself and stand apart from competitors
An affiliate program helps you find out your competitors' weaknesses and strengths.
You may not have the potential to dominate over others, but looking at competitors' performance graphs over the years with affiliate-through analytics and tools gives you a clear view of your potential.
Also, try to exceed your competitors and discover their shortcomings. Add extra value to your affiliate program to get past your competitors.
Moreover, you need to find the competitor's niche similar to your affiliate program and use those to run an efficient affiliate program.
Using the competitor's niche and your search values of trending niches will help you stand apart from competitors.
6. Helps boost your sales with influencer marketing
There are influencers on different digital platforms and social media, such as Youtubers and bloggers.
Moreover, you can use these media influencers for advertising and increasing your product sales.
While you use these media influencers, they use your promotion link and advertise your product or service. This way, your service gets promoted and boosts your sales.
How do you get started with an ecommerce affiliate program?
You can start your affiliate program if you have the mindset and dedication. Starting takes nothing but your proper concentration on the program to figure out the strategy and affiliate's implementation.
Let's head to the steps for creating a successful affiliate program.
1. Consider this before launching your ecommerce affiliate program
Before launching an ecommerce affiliate program, there are myriad tasks to do. You need to reach out to a broad audience, follow product trends, and know audiences' demands in the first place.
There's more to know if you want to launch an ecommerce affiliate program:
- Commission paying. There are commission payouts each month, which rely on the publishers you appoint and the traffic you're getting from them with the final sales.
- Managing capacity. Your store and its size, available products, and time management are the major factors in launching your ecommerce affiliate program.
- Research on competitors. Keep yourself up-to-date with your competitor's niche and affiliate program structures. Find out their strategy to implement the affiliate program.
2. Find the right affiliates or influencers
In this stage, you need to find an appropriate affiliate marketer. Create a page on social media to help you connect with affiliate marketers and promote the program.
Decide if your affiliates are capable of promoting your program. Here's what to find out:
- Audience reaching capability. Find out if influencers have followers on social media and ask about their email list.
- Observe the business. Ask about their business values and how they prefer to run a business, and if it matches your own, they are ready!
- Consider using influencers. There are lots of influencers to promote your program. Inquiry about their credibility and if they are willing to serve you with your program.
With all these factors combined, you can find the best affiliates or influencers for your product and help boost your sales.
3. Offer a good commission rate for your affiliates
Consider the broad research on competitive analysis and make the business structure more intuitive.
Consider if you want to use different payment methods such as PayPal, Visa, and Mastercard to pay for online transactions or store credit and the percentage of your service's cost that you will pay to your affiliate.
Also, remember these points:
- Customer acquisition cost. This is the costing term related to how much your service has to spend to get new customers. Using web analytics, you can easily find out the customer acquisition cost.
- Customer lifetime value. This defines the total revenue your customer generates throughout their lifetime.
- Retention rate. The number of customers a company achieves over time. If a customer visits your shop regularly, you count the company's percentage of existing customers who are loyal customers of your store.
Pro tip: The average affiliate commission should be around 5 to 20 percent.
4. Creating a content marketing strategy for affiliate
When you are about to utilize affiliate marketing, you appoint an affiliate; they take complete control.
Your content sharing on social media, email marketing campaign if you have a subscriber list, and adding a quick list to your resources page are all the works accomplished by your affiliate.
Here are some of the tips for effective content marketing strategy for affiliate marketing:
- Using keywords and research. Your affiliate should search and add appropriate keywords for your content that bring you more visitors. Use search volume and CPC and apply effective SEO to get your content to the next level.
- Be creative and add value to your content. Add value and generate impressions from your visitors through your affiliate. Once your content gets creative and creates value, your chance to reach the audience and raise the rank of these products becomes higher. So, remember:
Focus on the audience first rather than sales.
- Use attractive images and optimize the content. Images are the center of your successful content. Also, images help to optimize and add extra value to your content. Only piles of text look messy, so images make it more appealing.
Also, optimize your content by arranging paragraphs, adding bullet points, and well-structured, easily readable texts.
5. Create marketing materials for your affiliates
Although the success of affiliate marketing ecommerce solely relies on your affiliate's sales, an alternative way to raise traffic is by getting a tutorial on a specific occasion or offer.
You provide a tutorial that solves visitors' problems and shows your product's value. Also, you can add a video tutorial for a new product.
This way, you give the customer a stronger indication of your product or service. This will convert the visitors into potential customers.
So, creating a tutorial is a productive way to enhance your user experience.
6. Launching a cashback reward program
While there are many ways to increase your sales, a cashback reward is another way to raise the charm of your affiliate marketing.
When the usual ecommerce conversion rate has just increased by 2.87%, the cashback reward can increase it ten times faster.
Cashback reward programs give users extra benefits, and you provide some commission to your customers. This results in recurring sales or returned customers, which is crucial for customer acquisition.
You're providing customers with an excellent way to save money by providing coupons. When customers know about these offers, they will grab them faster.
So, how can you start using the cashback reward program?
You can find some cashback solutions, like EnactSoft, which provides an automated script to run a cashback program.
Just set the percentage of cashback you want your customers to get in the admin panel, and the process automatically operates the rest of the work.
They will provide an affiliate link with a merchant campaign formula once you get connected with them. Their API can import data, coupons, and deals to your website.
7. Leverage discounts and coupons as an ecommerce marketer
Coupon affiliate marketing enables you to increase your brand reach through your promo code or affiliate link. Your affiliate can use coupon websites to post your affiliate link with the promo code.
Websites like Offers, TecBargain, Rakuten, and RetailMenot are some of the most used coupon affiliate marketing websites.
As 90% of users use coupons, it can be a part of your marketing strategy.
Remember that you're giving away some percentages of your customers' products, which is a highly efficient marketing strategy.
But you need to have valid reasons behind something you're giving away. Otherwise, customers might question the quality of the product. Use discounts or coupons on a special occasion or in a contest to arrange the giveaway.
8. Use your affiliate’s promotional content in your marketing activities
Use social media websites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to post and promote your products. These social media platforms include different tools to promote and share your marketing activities.
Post photos, product reviews, or videos to promote on social media to grab attention. Make sure you share your affiliates' content that promotes your products.
But how can you find the right social media platform?
Find a social platform where you can easily convince customers with attractive images and posts.
Use an image-centric social platform like Instagram or Pinterest. As these platforms are the most used ones by influencers, referral links and discount codes are found everywhere.
9. Create a promotional calendar for holiday shopping seasons
Have promotional offers on special occasions, like a massive discount on Cyber Monday, and share the promotional offer with affiliates. Have the promotion on specific products that you have more than enough in stock.
Some ecommerce stores offer discounts over a week, so stay up to date with the holidays and times of the year when you should offer discounts.
FAQs about affiliate programs for online stores
Before closing this article, let's go over a few frequently asked questions!
How do you track affiliate conversions?
You can track the conversion with a custom link or code on each area of your website. You need to have an advertiser to track the affiliate conversion. The advertiser generates the tracking code, and most call it a SID.
What are some of the best affiliate marketing products?
Affiliate marketing products are abundant. Some of the best product categories are financial, gaming, fashion, and travel products. Choose the product that you have adequate knowledge of, or choose the most demanding affiliate niches that are highly collectible.
By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to making the most of your affiliate marketing program in 2023.
Remember to keep testing and tweaking your program as needed, and always be on the lookout for new opportunities to grow your business.
Are there any other tips you would add to this list? Let us know in the comments below!
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