Affiliate marketing platforms have been integral in critical aspects of e-commerce business operations, and strategies have been adapted to changing technology and further risks associated with marketplace variables. Large marketplaces have been providing consumers with affiliate links to large brands, and companies who’ve been efficient or effective in this have had comparative advantages in industry. Designing corporate social responsibility (CSR) plans involving socially conscious stakeholder decisions have integrated strategic donation selection affected by these shifting trends, and transparency in these types of decisions and actions can help stakeholders network with companies willing to donate. Organizations willing to maintain a partnership with an organization such as this one, Doejo, naturally involve different dynamics than those willing to work with different categories or sizes of business.
Affiliate marketing has evolved substantially across the past decade. Social media along with the extent that Web 2.0 and 3.0 have integrated much more blogging and commenting from viewers, and this has greatly facilitated connectivity and online partnership formation. Naturally this has involved marketing as a fundamental principle, and affiliate marketing programs have been increasingly available to small business owners and bloggers willing to follow accessible processes. Generating sales of a product or service through online mediums can be improved with any added connectivity especially considering the extent that incentive and rewards programs have been integrated into online business.
There are several potential benefits of affiliate marketing that may not be achieved without it, although stakeholders may be able to circumvent integration through manually targeting these benefits. Online store connectivity is one example of this, and some experts have claimed that e-commerce is officially comparably or more strategic than traditional storefronts.
Online stores are doing really well. Most could say that they are actually outperforming their brick and mortar counterparts. In fact, most people have turned to the web for their everyday shopping. As you can imagine, this is great for affiliate marketers. Expanded social media platform connectivity is regarded as another benefit of the added connectivity, potentially greatly expanding the reach across different market segments without further monetary (or even time) investments. Of course affiliate marketing can also improve website traffic, and therefore sales, leading to potential for marketing-related expenses to be lowered as a result as well.
Modern success stories of affiliate marketing include the outcomes experienced by famous organizations including Amazon and Chewy, expansive organizations able to reach multiple market segments through their great e-commerce span. Amazon created its Amazon Affiliates and Amazon Associates programs to connect bloggers and sellers of any field able to provide proper expertise in a way that generates driving competition. There are different levels of commission that vary according to product, which can affect aspects of marketing strategy development and application. Chewy is similar in the extent of connectivity they have to their business through affiliates and blogging, facilitating network maintenance and growth in their range of business areas. Both organizations are examples of potential outcomes for evolving or developing competitors. An example of Amazon’s development is shown in the image below.
(Source: Referral Marketing School)
Beginning an affiliate marketing program requires that a stakeholder or business owner ensure they have a product demanded well enough within a market, they have a plan for managing their program, and that affiliates capable of representing their brand are located and confirmed for partnership. Affiliates are generally strategically selected for the extent of traffic that they have through their blog pages and extent of connectivity achieved through social media service integration.
Many organizations have been increasingly dependent on e-commerce as a means of ensuring sufficient connectivity to consumers internationally amid the nature of competition in whatever industry they operate within. For example, many travel- and tourism-related organizations would not be able to operate with even a comparable amount of success if they continued to operate locally from a traditional storefront. Organizations have been able to register with search engines to promote the extent of visibility they have, and services such as Google Ads and Google Analytics have been of increasing assistance through assessments, reports, and strategic recommendations amid their connectivity. Affiliate marketing has increasingly been integral with e-commerce marketing strategy as these services have become more effective and accessible to new market entrants.
Other aspects of traditional business operations have also changed as a result of affiliate marketing strategy. Previously, businesses had a tendency to operate in a manner where products were located on a basis of alignment with website topics. More recently, affiliates have been assessing the products achieving the highest sales which are provided by advertisers in established affiliate channels, leading to the development of additional websites while strategically selecting categorical topics as the basis of trying to lure consumers for sales. Models of assessment and payments involved in affiliate relationships have included Costs Per Click (CPC), Costs Per Acquisition (CPA), and Cake Performance (CP).
There has been potential for these strategies and programs to assist in the connection of hundreds to thousands of companies. This has been helpful to business needs ranging from passive incomes and monetizing blogs to large online marketplaces. Agencies can potentially assist with affiliate marketing networks by increasing or “unlocking” great deals of SEO traffic, generating content that can be strategically engineered towards market demands for use in marketing, payment management from integral monitoring systems, integrating and maintaining reward or incentive programs, and custom report providence.
There is potential for affiliate networks to be disadvantageous, such as in cases where the commission rates that are extended are impractically low, or an amount of traffic that may be too high to achieve is an application requirement. There are presently numerous affiliate networks that are easily accessible from search engines, and strategically selecting the optimal one for a specific organization’s strategic business needs generally involves some combination of audience variables, economic dynamics, and dynamics of service features. There is now a great amount of competition between organizations of these types.
Examples of other more popular organizations that have been successful within this affiliate network industry presently include ShareASale, Awin, CJ Affiliate, Rakuten Advertising, Avangate Affiliate Network, ClickBank, PeerFly, FlexOffers, JVZoo, and SKIMLINKS. The strategic selection of one of these amid the combination of interests and potentials may depend on the factors discussed below. Naturally, different aspects of marketing strategy and planning are relevant.
ShareASale has been in operation in Chicago since the year 2000, and integrates over 4,000 programs while offering commissions for a large variety of popular products including Etsy and Reebok. It is one of the largest in the industry, offers competitive commissions (generally in the 5-20% range), and may be more challenging for new market entrants to use amid the extent of system complexity it possesses.
Awin is a fairly expansive affiliate network that has connected over 15,000 advertisers. After generating over 150 million sales in 2019, it was regarded as one of the more successful and competitive options for consumers to use. They are also the owners of other affiliate websites, providing them with perspective and experience that they continually apply to their strategies. Popular merchants they provide access to include UnderArmour, AliExpress, StubHub, and Hyatt. Their average commission rate is only near 5%, although there is an especially wide variety of products, ranging from travel and technology to finance and insurance.
CJ Affiliate is another affiliate marketing company that has substantial history in the industry, and it is also among the largest. They have recorded over 14 million annual records and are credited with aiding affiliate marketers in earning near two billion annually. Popular organizations within the thousands of brands they work with include Barnes & Noble, Lowe’s, and Overstock. They require approval from individual merchants prior to promotion, and there is substantial rejection potential. This service, unlike the former two reviewed, is more recommended for companies that are not defined as novice or new market entrants.
Rakuten Advertising is Japanese and hosts one of the largest international networks. They are affiliated with brands popular in America such as Wells Fargo, Ecco, and Virgin Holidays. They specialize in travel, finance, and retail. They are best known for stable traffic and establishing deep relationships with partners.
Avangate Affiliate Network has been highly successful within the software industry. They have been networking sellers of digital products with security demands and publishing. They work mostly with digital or SaaS product lines. They are affiliated with popular organizations such as Malwarebytes, and have been the leader of the WorldWide Affiliate Network (via Blue Book Global) across the past six years. They also have one of the lengthiest cookie periods available (120 days) while permitting coupon creation. Although their reporting features are less expansive and competitive, their commission rates are high, beginning near 25% while extended beyond 50% in some cases.
ClickBank has major global reach and an expansive product accessibility. Their commission rates span as high as 90%, although they integrate a range of lower-quality products in their network. They integrate a substantial variety of product types. They are recommended for affiliate marketing demands encompassing generally physical (versus digital) product types.
Peerfly is among the most quickly growing affiliate networks in operation, and provide access to products spanning brands including Target, CBS, and Fiverr. Both their commission and product offerings vary greatly. They are recommended for more experienced marketers.
FlexOffers network spans over 500 premium advertisers and 12,000 advertising programs. They offer a wide variety of physical products, and have been recommended for novice as well as experienced marketers. All publishers are assigned account managers while their approval process has been praised for being both speedy and effective.
JVZoo is fairly large, spanning over 800,000 affiliates active within its network. The majority of the merchants work within AI, other technologies, and marketing fields. They have less of an emphasis on product promotion than competitors, and specialize in digital products.
Skimlinks works with over 60,000 publishers, spanning popular organizations including Yahoo and HuffPost. They specialize in fashion and electronic products, and their product line spans digital products. They are considered to be ideal for larger publishers, but with potential to be worthy of use by smaller organizations.
Affiliate marketing is expected to span considerably further into industry while assisting a wider range of organizations. There are many large marketplaces where people can access affiliate links to famous brands. Strategic selection amid specific business, market niche, and economic demands is predicted to fluctuate considerably amid the extent of software dynamics applicable to both these fundamental aspects and e-commerce.
What Is Affiliate Marketing? The Beginners Breakdown (referralmarketingschool.org)
Exploring Risk and Fraud Scenarios in Affiliate Marketing Technologies from the Advertiser’s perspective (arxiv.org)
Exploring the Potential of Affiliate Marketing: The Challenge – Public Radio BizLab