Affiliate Marketing for E-Commerce Businesses: The Complete Guide for 2023

Affiliate marketing and E-Commerce can work like a charm if appropriately articulated. We’ve made this comprehensive, step-by-step guide to help you create an effective strategy for your E-Commerce business and drive more sales. Implementing this will also impact your brand authority.


The forecast of affiliate marketing earnings in the US for 2023 is estimated to reach $8.2 billion. That is $2.7 billion more than the initial sum in 2017.

According to the numbers above, this marketing tactic is still growing. With the online shopping habits we've obtained during the pandemic, e-commerce businesses called for the affiliate for eCommerce business guides.

Therefore, this article will cover how affiliate marketing and e-commerce become compatible with others, the impacts of the affiliate, and other business strategies for a successful 2023.

Affiliate Marketing in E-Commerce Business

Over 80% of the world's companies own an affiliate program. Many businesses are eager to create more affiliate partnerships for one apparent reason—more money. Besides, this marketing strategy has a practical business improvement scheme.

The businessperson (or an advertiser) finds a promoter (an affiliate partner) to promote their product on their site. The goal is to expand the customer audience, drive traffic and sales, and get visibility. In turn, the affiliate receives a commission or a small percent of a sold product under their name.

Although it sounds simple, nailing the affiliate in an e-commerce business divides into several responsibilities:

  • Driving sales through affiliates;
  • Managing affiliates;
  • Recruiting affiliates.

The following content breaks down each responsibility and elaborates how it impacts a business. If you start an affiliate marketing program, pay close attention because there's a long road ahead!  

Boost Sales with Affiliate Marketing in E-Commerce

Affiliate marketing and e-commerce can work like a charm if appropriately articulated. Read through our affiliate marketing guide to learn ten ways how it can boost your sales.

1. Get a Reliable Affiliate Marketing Tool

The first step in this marketing tactic is always to use the correct marketing tool for your business domain. However, each business domain requires specific tools that cater to its niche.

Therefore, for e-commerce, we've got Amazon, Rakuten, Impact Radius, ShareASale, Clickbank, and all the like tools that eventually direct the audience to your site.

Such tools act as a mediator between your company and its affiliates. Additionally, once you see the options, the tool changes its mission—to teach you how affiliate marketing operates and how to improve your strategy. As a result, you become richer in knowledge and budget.

2. Build a Strong Commission Structure

Having a solid commission plan does impact the choice that quality affiliates who'd like to collaborate with you make. Therefore, you should offer a commission rate of around 5% and 15% to attract effective affiliate partnerships.

You must determine the commission rate according to the following factors:

  • Industry;
  • Affiliate partner value;
  • Price and product margin.

The only way to obtain valuable affiliate partners is to offer a better commission rate than your competitors. This strategy is trending at the moment.

However, let's not rule out creating special commission rates. Since you have different affiliates, you're not bound to use fixed commissions or a one-fits-all public offering.

Therefore, we recommend you determine the individual rate based on a simple affiliate formula that combines your cost of goods sold (COGS), profit margin, and affiliate commissions. You won't have problems finding the unknown XY because commission comes only after the sale.

3. Hire Influencers

Collabs with influencers are an absolute must for all online businesses in 2023.

If you want to raise more money through affiliates, your business mustn't break the chain of trends. At the same time, you shouldn't recruit affiliates aimlessly; instead, you must think everything through carefully.

Plan A is to find suitable bloggers or Instagrammers whose audience is your target customers and propose an offer. Once you find a relevant influencer, follow up with them and catch their attention by discussing competitive commission rates, free items, and other benefits of joining your program.

Plan B is to get one of the special partner recruitment tools that help you match with the appropriate affiliate marketers and content creators for your e-commerce.

Ultimately, start with integrations of existing email templates when connecting with the influencers. However, remember that an overused template appears as spam to successful influencers. Therefore, always opt for original email when you're trying to hook new partners because the first thing they read from you says a lot about your business.

4. Connect With Your Affiliates Regularly

The communication between affiliate partnerships must remain active all along. Therefore, you have to stay in constant touch and provide them with all relevant data.

In other words, you must keep your influencer posted about any:

  • Upcoming product launch;
  • Products on social media;
  • Product feature videos;
  • Banners;
  • Ads.

In addition, you should present your affiliate partners with the best converting landing pages, discounts, and added incentives. Besides, if your affiliates ask for additional information—secure them immediately.

If an affiliate is driving many e-commerce orders, be sure you thank them properly—with higher commissions, unique promotions, or free stuff.

Also, you can always change the number of influencers you collaborate with. Not only will you increase your budget with more influencers under the belt, but your business will also not suffer the loss if one decides to leave your program.

On the other hand, you must monitor the affiliate performance at all times and see where you can improve your business. Jot down everything, and arrange a meeting at least once a month to discuss the advantages and disadvantages.

5. Create Text and Banner Ads

Building a solid text and banner ad campaign to fit with what your affiliates promote is an excellent stimulator for buyers' decision-making and becoming more visible on the market. Statistics find that:

  • Three out of five customers pay attention to ads they've seen in some other place;
  • Content marketing is cheaper than traditional marketing by 62% with guaranteed visibility.

The formula for a solid and effective banner ad is to complement the traffic from affiliate marketing by following these four steps:

  1. Transparency - your online audience must know who is the adverser, or they will not proceed to the site;
  2. Short and simple - to attract more audience, you should stay away from long, elaborate promotions. No one reads until the end; strive to be as straight to the point as possible;
  3. Introduce Animation - Implementing animation to your banner is another psychological trick you can pull to attract more audience. Eye-catching animation is hard to overlook, and it gets the customers to click to see more;
  4. Implement CTA - or use call-to-action. Always end your banner with an impactful 'call' that will put your customers to 'action.'

6. Prioritize High AOV Products

Recent statistics show that the top-performing e-commerce's average order value is $82.

The most effective approach to boost your revenue is prioritizing higher AOV with your affiliates. The affiliate can advertise the items and generate visitors to your site, but to enhance your AOV with offers, use the following steps:

  • Free shipping threshold (free delivery on all purchases over $50) - According to retail research, free shipping is the number-one inducement for online buyers to make a purchase;
  • Minimum expenditure discount - Customers enjoy the feeling of receiving a good bargain;
  • Use a discount scale to incentivize - Give a 10% discount on orders over $50 or a 20% discount on orders over $100.

How To Recruit More Affiliates for Your Brand?

It's evident why influencers, bloggers, and YouTubers are the best business strategy trend for 2023 to boost revenue.

However, to get several influencers to collaborate with you and have a successful partnership is rare – but not out of the question.

The following tips will help you understand how to recruit more affiliates to your program and have a successful collaboration that raises revenue.

Tip 1: Analyze Your Competitors

If your e-commerce is new to the market, it will be an underdog compared to similar experienced businesses. But, that position isn't definitive, as top dogs and underdogs constantly vary depending on the strategy each company pulls.

The first string any new e-commerce should pull is learning more about their competition. E-commerce experts advise that there must be at least one outreach strategy to explore in learning competitors' habits.

The most effective way to research competitors is by looking into their backlinks. Backlinks reveal much about a site - it tells the affiliates driving the audience into the e-commerce and the promoting strategy they conduct to drive the audience to your site. To find the most accurate data, you should use an affiliate tracking software that reports every movement behind e-commerce.

Once you learn about your competitor's affiliate partners, you can reach out to them with a decent collab proposal if they accept the proposal—good.

If not, you'll always find other affiliates to conduct the same promoting strategies you've learned. Either way, it's a win-win.

Tip 2: Join an Affiliate Network

Any new or underdog e-commerce needs brand visibility to increase revenue or expand its business.

Joining an affiliate network is the quickest approach to increasing brand visibility. Affiliate networks present your products in their directory, allowing your business to gain a more presentable profile for increased value and better sales.

So, if you are to join an affiliate network, you don't search for affiliates, but they search for you. Especially if you're within an established affiliate network, expect many recruitment options at your disposal. However, always research the strategies and affiliates offered before accepting any offer.

Tip 3: Optimize Your Affiliate Landing Page

The landing page is your profile on the market. When customers come to your site, they must get informed about your business quickly and effectively.

To optimize your landing page, you must run a quality keywords analysis and implement those that gather more audience or those with high volume.

Otherwise, landing pages don't only serve as pages to "land" on when searching for a particular product. You can also land there when you click on a link.

The second way to optimize your landing page is by tidying up your backlink profile. You must create a good affiliate background to redirect more customers to the site to receive all the info they want regarding the product.

Lastly, every affiliate landing page must be well-written informative content where visitors or customers can learn more about your business and everything they want to know about the product. Also, pay attention to site navigation because most online users are intolerant of unorganized or hard-to-navigate websites. The longer a visitor stays at the site, the more traffic you'd collect.

Since landing pages gather an audience from links or SEO, the recruitment strategy lies in the CTA button to join your affiliate program. The affiliates interested in promoting your business can reach out to you immediately, so the affiliate recruitment through a landing page case is closed.

How To Manage Affiliates Effectively?

Every successful e-commerce strives to attract more affiliates to succeed in 2023.

However, managing the affiliates without any heads up leads to many problems you could've avoided or possible financial leaks. You must make two fundamental decisions to maintain your old affiliates and attract new ones.

The following tips demonstrate how to manage affiliates and narrow your decision-making process.

Stay Reachable

To turn your affiliates into loyal partners, you must give them the support they need to promote your product. So, be active and don't get them to wait for your response.

Also, if they have some issue regarding a setting or creating promotional ads at their sites—offer your help. Another thing you must be is to remain active on social and other forums.

The more accessible you are on social media platforms, the more loyal your affiliates are. Try to be punctual and answer their questions in less than a day. Assist them in setting up and placing your promotional links.

Offer Rewards

The fair and square way to maintain your existing affiliates and attract new ones is to respect their job and contribution to your business. That is, express your respect through the appropriate commission rate.

Like any other business, if you propose low commissions, the affiliates wouldn't be motivated to continue. Also, if you offer high commissions, then your business will suffer.

The best way to maintain your revenue and business partners simultaneously is to have fluctuating affiliate commission rates. That means you'll pay them according to their success rate when pulling clients for your business.

Experts advise that even if you want to reward them with more sales, you shouldn't take that road until you're financially capable of surviving the loss. Instead, you can opt for modest rewards like bonuses, discounts, or promo deals that still send the message of appreciation.

Pursue Learning

Although many affiliates come with a formal third educational degree, there are still many practical things to learn when facing work.        

Initially, you must familiarize the affiliates with your products and show them how to drive more sales to earn more money. If you have an eager but inexperienced affiliate, find a suitable course or training, and pay all the expenses. That's an investment that will benefit both your affiliate and your business.

Also, if your affiliates struggle at first, separate a few hours to work with them. However, always plan what you'll cover throughout the day, regardless if you have a small business or a big corporation. Your time is precious, and it's essential to spend it on what matters most—establishing a mutual connection and understanding with your affiliate partner.

Don't Leave Your Affiliates Unsupervised

The role of an affiliate partner is to present your brand on the market, which is a highly responsible task. Hence, they can easily jeopardize your reputation by taking inappropriate or unethical actions.

Therefore, you must constantly supervise your affiliates in promoting your business, to whom they send messages, where they locate the banners, and why. The history of e-commerce counts many ruined high market ranks because some affiliate partners send spam emails or banners on random sites, including prohibited ones.

In such cases, it's best to abandon all business with that affiliate partner and move on to a better one.

Affiliate for E-Commerce Business: Final Say

As we've seen, affiliate partnerships are the highlight solution to turn the tables after the pandemic. Each e-commerce business, regardless of its size, can profit from affiliates.

The commission rates aren't fixed but determined after a given formula—so everyone can afford an influencer or two! There are business plans to recruit more affiliates and ways to manage multiple partners at once.

The bottom line is—affiliates are the most profitable marketing trend of 2023 and leave cost-effective results on your budget. And the best part is—they are affordable to anyone!

Therefore, don't fall behind, and take your chance to set your e-commerce business on the path to large-scale success.

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