If you are someone like me, you ask recommendations from 10 people before making a final choice.
Be it Chinese food, a new pair of jeans or even an iPhone — we want someone to tell us which is the right choice. As humans, as social beings, we find it easier to decide when guided by experts.
This is the foundation of affiliate marketing.
- So, What Is Affiliate Marketing?
- Why Affiliate Marketing and eCommerce Go Well Together?
- How Affiliate Marketing Is Transforming eCommerce?
So, What Is Affiliate Marketing?
Think of it this way. You want to buy a pair of sneakers. You ask your friend for suggestions who refers to a website and the exact model which you should try. You buy the same model as suggested by your friend. Your friend gets a commission for referring you. This how a typical affiliate transaction can be explained.
Now, in ground reality, it is a website which will take the place of your friend. You stumble upon some website — read about something and end up buying a product by clicking on a link that the website. The website owner receives an affiliate commission for referring to the eCommerce store.
Affiliate marketing is a two-way lane. It helps bloggers, promo websites, deal websites and affiliate marketers to earn income. For an eCommerce store, it doubles up as a way to increase their sales without exerting too much on advertising and online promotions.
In fact, the influence of affiliate marketing in online retail is so strong that it is expected to rake in 8.2 Billion USD marketing spend by 2022.
Why Affiliate Marketing and eCommerce Go Well Together?
Affiliate marketing has to it certain core elements, which, surprisingly, coincide with the expectations of online shoppers.
The core elements include:
- A trustworthy website
- Genuine & updated content
- Influencer presence
1. A Trustworthy Website
Circling back to the example we mentioned in the beginning, you trust your friend’s recommendation and buy with the trust that it will turn out to be good. That trust you place on your friend is what puts the transaction in motion.
For instance, for eCommerce stores security signals like an SSL certificate are very important. Especially when there are too many domains and subdomains involved, you must secure the store with a Wildcard SSL certificate.
Similarly, in affiliate marketing, the website is the point of contact. It should invoke trust in the customer. It should have necessary elements like market reputation, brand identity, factual correctness of the information and so on. When such factors are checked for, the customer finds it easy to buy from the website.
2. Genuine & Updated Content
Affiliate marketing works only if the content provided by the website is genuine and updated. Stale content that belongs to the previous year will not make the cut.
Moreover, customers want to know about the latest happenings with a product or service. Since affiliate marketing delivers genuine & updated content, it works well for online retail as well.
3. Influencer Presence
The website owner, the blogger, the curator — literally anyone who is running the website is able to influence the visitor to become a buyer. They play their charm, use their knowledge or demonstrate how the product proved good to be them to convince the customer into buying something.
How Affiliate Marketing Is Transforming eCommerce?
Under the hood, affiliate marketing is acting as a strong force that is helping eCommerce stores nudge their sales volumes higher. Here is how it is working in their favour.
1. A sidekick to the direct sales team
Your online store could sell through direct advertising or even with the aid of a sales team. An affiliate marketing can add more hands to the deck without asking for salary and administrative expenses. They are your indirect sellers who help bring in more traffic, sell to the target audience and convert more revenue without at lower costs.
2. An added point of conversion
Email marketing. Search engine optimization. Blogging. Video marketing. You can try all the tricks in the book to sell more. With affiliate marketing, you get to add more one point of conversion without having to exert any effort.
3. Higher ROI
Affiliate marketers help you sell. What do they take in return for helping you sell? Commission. They take a 3-10% commission on the sale value. Even after the advertising and overheads, this commission still makes room for a higher ROI.
4. Better credibility
Also, affiliate marketing has a large volume of user-generated content. This means it appeals as more genuine to customers.
As more and more affiliate marketers spread the word about your store and its products, your business will grow in credibility. A higher level of credibility means that customers trust the store and are ready to buy from it without any constraints.
5. Target audience reach
Affiliate marketing reaches out to a niche audience with specific interests and requirements. It does not broadcast vague content to the world at large. As a result, the quality of leads that affiliate marketing brings in is also higher.
6. Should you opt for affiliate marketing
Affiliate marketing has been around for quite a long time. It is only now, in recent years that it has become a recognized form of marketing. Affiliate marketers help online stores sell faster by providing links to products on their content. Additionally, they may also place ads on their websites for easier discoverability by their website visitors.
Affiliate marketing brings to business several benefits that one cannot a blind eye to. Global brands are already pouring in several millions worth of investment in affiliate marketing. They must have seen some sense in it. It could possibly benefit your business as well.