Affiliate Marketing for online shops: the perfect effortless system to multiply your sales

Can you imagine having network of salespeople selling your products like crazy? And, what’s even better, only having to pay them for completed purchases?

This system that sounds so wonderful is not only a utopia, but it’s been working for years with online businesses. We are talking about affiliate marketing for online shops.

If you have no idea about what we are talking about, don’t go too far from the screen. Today at Doofinder we are explaining one of the best systems for you to expand your company profits.

Let’s get those affiliates!

What is affiliate marketing in an online shop?

The term “affiliate marketing” may sound familiar to you because we already mentioned it in the post “can you sell without stock?”.  However, in that post we explained affiliation from a different point of view. We described how to create an online shop by selling other people’s products in exchange for a commission.

So, what is today’s post about?

Today we see affiliate marketing from the perspective of those e-commerces that want other shops to distribute their products. That is to say, from the other side.

We will help you to understand it more clearly with this small scheme:

  1. You have an online shop.
  2. You see a shop or website with a similar audience as your own.
  3. You contact them make them an offer to sell your products for a commission.
  4. The affiliate accepts and creates an ad or a review on their website talking about your products.
  5. A person sees it, clicks the link, accesses your shop and buys it.
  6. You pay the commission to the affiliate.

The clearest example is Amazon. Jeff Bezos’ “shop” (actually, he invented this system) not only is a monster because of the volume of direct sales, but because of having the biggest affiliate network in the world.

If you think about it, it’s a perfect system for the shop. With affiliation, it acquires a selling network at zero cost because it only pays when the purchase is completed (cost per acquisition or CPA). All the responsibility is on the affiliate, who is the one in charge of the whole marketing strategy.

There is another variation for this model in which the affiliate gets the commission when the user enters just their details. This is called cost per lead or CPL.

Advantages and disadvantages of affiliate marketing

For an online shop, having affiliates is very interesting, but not only because sales will increase. There are many other related benefits

Advantages

  1. You only pay the affiliate if the purchase is completed
  2. Your e-commerce visibility increases without any investment
  3. Very low costs
  4. No risks
  5. Infinite scalability

Disadvantages

  1. You need specific software
  2. Working with affiliate platforms can be difficult if your shop is small
  3. You must provide your affiliates with resources (for example, banners)
  4. It is only possible if you have a large profit margins

This last point is very important. If you are not offering an attractive commission, it is not likely that anyone will accept your offer.

Don’t forget that affiliates have to invest their time and resources into promoting your products. If they don’t see that the return on investment (profitability) is high enough, they won’t accept.

How do I know if my competitors has an affiliate network?

This creates a big doubt: is creating an affiliate network worth it?

In order to respond to this, we have to scope out the competition. If the shops that sell the same kind of products as you are using this system, it may be profitable.

To find out if a shop has an affiliate program, you just need to google: “(brand of the shop) affiliates” or “(brand of the shop) affiliate program”.

Lots of e-commerce openly state that they accept affiliates, so it won’t be difficult to find this information. Check the conditions that they offer (to see if you can top them) and the percentage that they pay as a commission.

How to sell my products by affiliation?

Now that we know the advantages, we are going to get to action and we will tell you how to create your affiliate network.

1. Which products do we offer?

You may have been thinking that you would have to distribute all of your products, but that’s not necessary.

Actually, if it is your first experience with affiliation, it is better to start with your best sellers. Here is why:

  • They are easier to sell: in addition to increasing your sales, you will attract more affiliates.
  • Safety: it is a product that you know well and you can offer a better assistance.
  • Testing: if an affiliate doesn’t sell a bestseller, it will be more difficult for them to sell other products. Maybe it’s not worth it.

If the system works, you can always add more products from your catalogue.

2. How much can you afford to pay?

If you could check how much your competitors pay, even better. If not, you need to make a decision. You have two options:

  • Few products: apply a percentage according to your profit margin.
  • Many different products: you can have a flat rate depending on the category, which is what Amazon does.

If you want to have a look at what Amazon pays, click here (careful, it depends on the country).

3. Who can be an affiliate for your online shop?

The more the better, isn’t it? Nope. Although it may sound shocking, it is not like that. If your products are good, a lot of people will be interested in your affiliate network.

Don’t just accept whoever, choose carefully following these 5 criteria:

Reputation

In many of our posts, we have insisted on the fact that one of the keys to selling online is inspiring confidence. And, to get that, you have used a lot of strategies:

And when it’s time to choose who’s going to sell your products to the final client are you just not going to care? Your affiliates influence your brand image, so you have to look out for your reputation.

Interesting keywords

SEO is one of the most useful sources for getting qualified traffic (interested in our products) to your site. However, it is not always easy to reach the first position for very competitive keywords.

If you detect an interesting keyword for your business (especially those with a sales emphasis: “buy women’s shoes”), it can end up being worth it to contact the website owner. If they are not your competitors, of course.

If you manage to get them to be your affiliate, in addition of increasing your sales, you will have just gained loads of visibility.

Blogs, YouTubers, online magazines…

Bloggers and YouTubers are the new market influencers. Don’t hesitate to contact them and make a proposal.

The vast majority already use this system to monetize the traffic that they have.

Offline affiliates

We just talked about bloggers and YouTubers, but what if our influencer is not online? With online businesses, we often forget that the outside world still offers us plenty of possibilities.

If you are interested in having an offline affiliate, you just need to assign them a discount code. That code will identify any buyers coming by way of them.

Platforms

There are many websites that act as intermediaries between advertisers and affiliates. If you register with them, your products and services will be available to many people that are dedicated to product marketing.

It’s a good option, but if your store is small or you have just started, it’s possible that they won’t accept you. Sometimes they require the following information:

  • Average amount of traffic
  • Conversion data
  • Average profit margin

Keep in mind that you will have to pay in order to register with some of these networks. The most well-known affiliate marketing platforms are as follows:

There are a few that are specialized in certain markets. For example, Prelinker is a network that focuses on the dating sector.

4. Which software do I use?

With these platforms, you’ll see that you have total control of everything that is sold and how much you have to pay your affiliates.

What can you do if you don’t want to use those platforms? Here you have some options:

  • Discount codes: the easiest system. You create a discount code that the affiliate can distribute (what we were talking before regarding offline affiliates). WordPress, Magento and Prestashop have the option to create them without installing any new plugins.
  • Special programs for affiliation: you can set them up with these software packages, among others): Clickinc or Qualityunit.
  • Special plugins for your CMS:  AffiliateWP (WordPress), Affiliate 3 Pro (Magento) and Post Affiliate Pro (Prestashop ).

And that’s all, with this you have enough information to start finding affiliates and expanding your online shop without limits.

Are you interested in affiliate marketing for your online shop?

Developing an affiliate program is a huge opportunity to increase visibility and sales at a very small cost. Take advantage of it.

Who knows, maybe in a few years you’ll be the new Jeff Bezos!