Best Practices for eCommerce and Affiliate Marketing in 2019

The affiliate marketing is the best and perfect to way to generate passive income online with zero investment. Many affiliate marketers are trying to finding a genuine way to make money online which not only help them to time being earning but the affiliate marketing will also help you to make money online in long term.

What exactly is eCommerce?

Ecommerce is very easy to define as it is essentially the process of buying and selling good using the internet.

This has been around since the beginning of the internet. In fact, the first ever item sold online (a CD) was done so in 1994.

Now that we live in a much more globalised society it is far easier to see items online to people from the other side of the world. Digital products don’t require any postage or custom checks and things such as eBooks, software and other digital items are very easy to sell automatically without much human input beyond the initial set up phase.

What is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing is also known as performance-based marketing.

Brands collaborate with various affiliates who then promote their products or services. When promotions by an affiliate lead to a sale, the brand pays them a commission.

This commission differs from brand to brand. You can either pay your affiliates for each sale, lead, or click.

Affiliate marketing helps you leverage the power of influence. You can partner with many affiliates to tap into new audiences. It can be a very effective way to fuel your sales funnel with significant leads and conversions.

However, using it to grow your brand takes a lot more than just that. It takes time, effort, and well-thought affiliate marketing strategies to drive the best results.

How does affiliate marketing fit in?

Affiliate marketing is when you have people promoting your products and services on your behalf.

In return, they get a commission when they make a sale. This is tracked through what is known as an affiliate link that is unique to them. Affiliates promote products through their website, social media accounts and even paid ads. Sometimes this is done directly with the company with small business affiliate programs or through an affiliate network that puts affiliates in touch with many different businesses.

Affiliate marketing has grown considerably over the years and anyone can potentially be an affiliate by promoting third party products and services.

he best definition of what affiliate marketing is can be found on Pat Flynn’s Smart Passive Income:

Affiliate marketing is the process of earning a commission by promoting other people’s (or company’s) products. You find a product you like, promote it to others and earn a piece of the profit for each sale that you make.

However, Wikipedia talks about 4 different parties that are involved: the merchant, the network, the publisher, and the customer.

Affiliate marketing is a great way to earn fast and easy money provided you target the right audience. However, there are some common mistakes affiliates make when it comes to promoting. If you are new in the affiliate marketing field, you might want to keep the following points in the back of your mind.

When does affiliate marketing fail?

  • An affiliate goes over the top and bombards his or her followers with requests to try the product he or she is promoting
  • When the product or service is promoted in irrelevant groups and forums
  • The affiliate keeps emailing and messaging user groups every day or, worse yet, every hour
  • When the affiliate does not capitalize on right opportunities at the right time — for example, during holiday seasons to promote coupons or products
  • The affiliate does not spend enough time to research and find the right target audience for the product or service
  • When they fail to verify that the people trying the product they are promoting have all the information that they need to know about the product
  • The affiliates do not pay enough attention to their social presence
  • When they do not realize that building a strong affiliate marketing structure takes time and effort, and they give up during the initial stages of becoming an affiliate

Best practices for eCommerce and affiliate marketing

So, if you are hoping to bring on board some affiliates then you need to know what the best practices are to follow. We have narrowed it down to 4 practices that everyone should try to follow when evolving their ecommerce efforts in an affiliate marketing business.

#1 Let the data lead you

Many businesses owners fail to look at the data that their affiliates generate for them.

The great thing about having affiliates is that their activity is tracked so you can see who is effective, who isn’t and what ways people are advertising your products. This gives you a wealth of knowledge that you can utilise to your advantage.

For instance, if you offer seasonal products and your data shows a big spike in sales at certain times throughout the year then why not offer better commission rates during that period?

It can help to really motivate your affiliates and ties in with point 3 that we will look at below.

#2 Customers make great affiliates

Who is better to provide the genuine copy of your products that tells everyone how good they are? Your customers of course!

They have first-hand experience of how great your business is so they make the best affiliates. There are various methods you can use which will help to convert your existing customers to affiliates. Turning customers into affiliates is a strategy that many businesses have used to great effect and it is one of the main ways in which you can facilitate growth too.

#3 Keep your commissions competitive

Remember our first point where we used the example of analysing affiliate data to offer better commission rates? Well, keeping your rates competitive is one area of good practice that will ensure that your affiliates stick with you in the long term.

Many Ecommerce businesses make the fatal error of having fixed commission rates for years. Affiliates become bored and when they put in a lot of extra work and are only minimally better off. Try surge commissions which mean offering much better commission rates over slower periods to help boost sales and keep affiliates motivated.

#4 Value your affiliates

Finally, you need to value your affiliates and this goes beyond simply offering better commission rates.

Your affiliates will likely bring in a big portion of your overall sales. They need to be supported with marketing materials, content and most importantly make sure that they are paid on time!

An unhappy affiliate will not benefit your business so ensure that you keep them happy and motivated.

#5 Know Your Product, Know Your Audience

See your website as a resource for consumers. By taking the time to learn about the products or services that you’re offering, as well as your target audience, you can create content for your website that builds your credibility. That credibility builds trust. If your audience does not have trust in you then it’s more likely that they will not purchase from your storehouse.

#6 Don’t Put All Your Eggs in One Basket

Promote products from different merchants within your niche. This way, if you have a problem with receiving payment from a merchant, or their products do not convert well, the effects on your business will be minimal. Watch out for exclusivity agreements. Protect yourself and diversify so that you do not feel the famine effect if something goes wrong. This is your business, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with promoting niche products from different merchants.

#7 Seek Knowledge and Embrace Change

If you are familiar with internet marketing at all, you know that what worked three months ago may not work today. Stay on top of the trends. Seek knowledge, and start by learning something new about affiliate marketing daily. For example, remember those marketing tools called banner ads that use to drive sales at an astronomical rate a few years ago? A result of all of those banners was banner blindness. That means most online viewers will not click on banners even if they do relate to what they are looking for because they have been bombarded by them too many times.

Monetizing Traffic – Performance-Based Models

CPA (cost-per-action) is the mobile pricing model where an advertiser pays for the subscription to their offer.

The flow of the subscription can vary according to the country and operator policy.

It can be single opt-in, double opt-in, or pin submit.

It seems obvious that – the easier the flow – the higher the conversion rate.

CPI (cost-per-install) is the model used to promote mobile apps, where an advertiser pays to the publisher when users install their app or perform an action.

CPA and CPI are performance-based models.

They’re used by affiliates of affiliate networks so as to earn money from the difference of buying traffic on a CPM/CPC basis and earning based on a CPA/CPI method.

Apart from the CPA and the CPI model, there are other less popular models in the market.

One of them is CPL or PPL which is the abbreviation of Cost per Lead.

In this model, the advertiser pays as soon as the user provides their personal info in a form.

CPL is a common model for Dating offers.

Another pricing model is CPS (cost-per-sale) or PPS.

Here, the advertiser pays when the user is charged by the service.

The payout is normally higher and the conversion rate is generally lower compared to other models, due to the credit card billing used in this model.

To be a super affiliate you must always spend time learning and embracing the changes in Internet marketing.

Ecommerce and affiliate marketing best practices

Consider these pointers while selecting the best affiliate program to make more money.

  • Always choose a product that appeals to your niche. Make sure that you have enough experience and influence in the segment to make an impact.
  • Do not run only behind big brands (or popular products). With such products, the competition is high, which makes it difficult to get conversions. Instead, choose a product that has low competition, giving you higher chances to convert from the audience that you build.
  • Always prefer a product that offers recurring commissions.
  • It is best to have a limited number of products in your portfolio so that you can promote them effectively. It will ensure a high return on investment.
  • Make sure that the program you select provides all the necessary resources related to their product, making it easier for you to build value around it.

An ecommerce affiliate can be invaluable to your business.

They not only promote your products but they help to accelerate your growth as well. Following these best practises for managing and motivating your affiliates will ensure that they are happy working on your behalf and get a fair pay as a result.

More and more businesses no matter how big or small are using affiliates now and as long as you follow these tips they will create a happy, enthused and effective team of affiliates to help your business achieve success.

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