An effective way to market your ecommerce website and increase sales is with an affiliate program. With Upshot Commerce’s integrated affiliate extension software, we make this easier than ever. However, many clients and business owners new to the world of ecommerce may not be familiar with the concept of an affiliate program, what it does, why one should have it and how it is managed. I hope to answer some of these questions for you and explain how our ecommerce software solutions can manage your affiliate program and help grow your customer base, lower customer acquisition and marketing costs.
First, lets define what we are talking about. An affiliate program is an advertising method designed to drive traffic to your ecommerce web site and produce greater sales. Under this system, third party websites, called “affiliates,” are allowed to post links to your site on their websites in exchange for some type of commission. The links can be in the form of text links, banners or other forms of creative media. Commissions are calculated based on the number of times that a link is clicked on and subsequent sales of products occur. In this way, the business owner and the affiliate both benefit from the sale.
Affiliate programs are intended to drive direct sales and increase brand exposure. By encouraging affiliates with related web content to promote your site you can more easily reach your ideal audience.
For example, lets say you manufacture a new type of organic baby food. You can promote your brand to your ideal audience (likely new and expecting mothers and fathers) by acquiring affiliates with a similar audience, such as retailers of baby toys, children’s clothing, or other organic products. You can also create affiliate relationships with bloggers, link shares or even websites that have no direct relationship at all with your product. With an affiliate program, you are in charge of determining the best strategy for marketing your ecommerce store. Some companies are highly selective in determining who they will partner with, others are less so. The point is, YOU decide.
Naturally the next question is, how does one manage an affiliate program? How do you calculate commissions, keep track of your affiliates and determine whether or not a particular strategy is working for you? All of this and more is directly managed in Upshot Commerce’s Affiliate Extension Program, which is available to sellers using the ecommerce platform Upshot Commerce Core Platform. Here, sellers can manage affiliates and determine the commission based on all sorts of factors including:
- Affiliate status – Reward “high performers” or new partners in customizable, tiered system
- Product type – Promote specific categories or even specific products for more targeted commissions
- Percentage or fixed price based – You determine how amounts are calculated, and set the rate yourself!
- Integrated processing – Because the Affiliate extension software works with the Upshot Commerce Core Platform, we are able to tie commissions directly to processed sales that make it past the shopping cart. If items are returned or orders are canceled, then the amount of the commission is deducted from the affiliate’s total.
To track the progress of your program, administration and reporting ecommerce tools allow you to view detailed reports and graphs of activity. Your affiliates can also view reports as well, so that they too can actively participate in adjusting their marketing strategy as you promote and build your online store.
Affiliate Extension software is easy to manage, with low upfront costs and several marketing options available. To view more information on Upshot Commerce Affiliate Extension software, please view our website: Affiliate Programs for your Online Store