Starting an eCommerce business and taking it to the next level requires a lot of effort. You have to get your marketing strategy right to drive traffic to your site and convert leads. In this regard, affiliate marketing emerges as a great digital marketing tool that helps eCommerce businesses live up to their revenue potential.
Affiliate marketing has been around for a long time, and it's not a new term for most business owners. It involves paying a commission to your customers, other brands, or influencers whenever they bring a new customer to your business.
Your affiliates post your products on their websites and promote them on their social media channels. In return, they get a commission when a visitor directed to you makes a purchase.
Affiliate marketing comes with many advantages for eCommerce businesses. In fact, it accounts for over 15% of total eCommerce sales today across all industries. Besides, many marketing professionals consider it as their most desired digital asset. It's an effective marketing tool that will increase your overall ROI.
But how do you go about affiliate marketing? What does it take to have a successful affiliate marketing program? Here are six tips to get you started.
Before you start your affiliate program, make sure that your eCommerce platform is scalable enough to service the expected increase in visitors and sales from your affiliate program. For instance, if you offer limited forms of payment, you may want to start by expanding your payment methods. You also want to streamline your order fulfillment process for quick shipping and accurate product deliveries.
Your affiliates can only do so much. They only refer prospects your way, and it's still your job to converts these visitors to buyers. Your business should therefore live up to what your affiliates are telling customers about your brand.
Ensure that your affiliates truly value your products and the entire brand. Affiliate marketing is not simply paying to get referrals. The more your affiliates believe in and value your products, the more they will refer and promote your brand to others. Your visitors are more likely to buy from you if your affiliates promote your products with honesty and genuine first-hand experience.
You can opt to develop your affiliate program from scratch or partner with an already existing affiliate network.
Working with an already established affiliate network such as Commission Junction, ShareASale, Impact Radius, Rakuten Affiliate Marketing Service, or Amazon Associates offers you access to high-quality affiliates who know the best practices for affiliate marketing. They also deliver statistics on the effectiveness of every affiliate and manage their payouts. However, you have to pay an extra commission to the affiliate network for each sale closed through the efforts of an affiliate.
If you decide to develop your own affiliate program, you'll have to look for affiliates, monitor them, and pay them yourself. However, here you'll pay only your affiliates and have a direct line of communication with them.
Influencer recommendations are powerful. About 82% of customers reveal that they are more likely to buy a product endorsed by their favorite influencers.
Good influencers could be bloggers, YouTubers, and Instagram influencers who have genuine traction with your target audience. You can also reach out to non-competitor brands and businesses that cover the industry you are in for a mutually beneficial marketing deal.
Check out platforms like Buzzsumo to identify the influencer who generates the best content in your industry.
Each sale an affiliate makes earns them a flat fee or percentage. On average, affiliate percentage ranges anywhere from 5% to 30%, depending on the type of product. You may want to pay competitive rates when starting your affiliate marketing campaign for your brand to attract effective affiliates. Carry out research to determine what your competition offers and give enticing commission rates. You can also pay different commission rates depending on the effectiveness of each partner or affiliate.
Affiliate marketing programs that focus on a narrow range of high-value products are the most effective. If you can convince consumers to buy a relatively expensive item, you can work from there and build a good relationship with them. Therefore, convincing them to make smaller purchases in the future will be easier.
Inform your affiliates about the high-value products to promote. You may also want to include other offers such as discounts on first-time purchases as more incentives. For instance, 90% of online shoppers reveal that free shipping is the most luring incentive influencing their purchase.
As demand for your products increases from successful affiliate marketing strategies, you’ll need more resources to meet your customers’ expectations. Learn how Rakuten Super Logistics can help scale your business by streamlining your order fulfillment and reducing shipping costs. We offer everything you need to quickly and accurately deliver your products to customers, including warehousing, subscription box services, return management, and more.
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