Best Practices for Managing Affiliate Partnerships for Your eCommerce Business

Discover the key to successful affiliate partnership management for your eCommerce business with our essential guide. Learn about important KPIs and how to track them for optimal growth.

Trackdesk Team

Affiliate marketing is experiencing a shift in today’s highly advanced digital age.

Content creators are hopping on the bandwagon and trying to seize an opportunity and make a buck as affiliates. This is an excellent opportunity for eCommerce sites as they can have others do the heavy lifting for a specific commission rate.

And why not? You can spread the word about your business quicker with affiliate partners than with other marketing practices, eventually increasing your customer base and driving sales upward.

Read on to discover the best practices for managing your affiliate partnerships as an eCommerce company.

Benefits of Affiliate Partnerships for Your eCommerce Store

Before we list affiliate strategies for eCommerce business, let’s discuss their four main benefits and why you should consider establishing your own program:

Reducing Costs

One of the major advantages of launching an affiliate marketing campaign is cost-effectiveness. Since affiliate partners are paid based on their performance, you, as a business, won’t have to invest before seeing actual results. In other words, you only pay for what you get, which makes this marketing tool a great way to reduce operational costs.

Increasing Brand Awareness

Affiliate marketing allows you to reach a broader audience and promote your business through several content makers and channels. However, before embarking on this journey, it’s necessary to focus on properly branding your eCommerce site - determining a target audience, content and visual style, product quality, mission, etc.

Boosting Sales

Increasing brand awareness makes way for developing other aspects of your business, namely the sales sector. Affiliate marketing is one of the best tools to do this, as your partners will gain access to a wide-ranging audience and attract a diverse panel of customers. To make the most out of this, choose an affiliate that matches your niche and brand.

Tracking Performance

Today, you can track your entire business digitally, and your affiliate program is no exception! With an affiliate tracking platform, you can gain a deeper perspective of your campaign’s performance. This includes tracking the number of new consumers, the performance of promotional materials, customer behavior, sales, CTR, customer lifetime value, and so on.

8 Ways to Manage Affiliate Partnerships for Your eCommerce Business

Now that you are familiar with the key benefits of eCommerce affiliate partnerships, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and create a proper affiliate strategy. Remember, your strategy should match your business goals, budget, and needs.

To learn more, read our guide to affiliate marketing and the eight best ways to manage affiliate partnerships, including strategies and effective practices:

Start with the Basics

Before you start any type of campaign, it’s important to cover all the basics. That will set the ground for your success.

The basics we refer to are:

  • Developing a plan;
  • Budgeting;
  • Clarifying campaign goals;
  • Determining a target audience;
  • Analyzing your performance;
  • Finding suitable affiliate partners.

These tasks might take up more of your time, but they will quickly prove advantageous. For instance, if you pick affiliates that match your business brand, you will attract your target audience. On the other hand, if you pick an affiliate with an opposite niche to yours, you will only end up sacrificing valuable time and money.

Create High-Quality Content

Let’s say you want to promote new printable posters your eCommerce shop offers. In this case, you should have mockups, banners, gifs, videos, promo codes, and all other content ready at your disposal.

By providing your materials to affiliates, you will have a firmer grip on your campaign’s outcomes. In addition, you will gain respect from affiliates as you will show true dedication and professionalism.

When creating promotional materials, make sure the design and content complement your campaign’s goal, brand identity, target audience, niche, etc.

Set Mutually-Accepted Terms

Setting the terms of your campaign is a crucial step that will eliminate potential issues and ensure a smooth flow.

Below are three key things to focus on during the process:

  • Commission rates - Affiliates can get paid per click, lead, or sale. They can also get paid a fixed amount or through a percentage of sales. Choose whichever works best for you and your affiliate team and set the agreement terms;
  • Payment Frequency - Will you pay affiliates instantly or after a set period? Consider payment methods and average sales to decide on the best payment schedule;
  • Agreement length - A partnership can last from a few days to years. However, it’s recommended to set agreement lengths that are reasonable and work for both parties.

Use Technology to Your Advantage

There are a variety of digital tools that can help you manage your program and track its performance. It’s recommended to look into them before starting your campaign.

Besides universal tools like Google Analytics, you should go a step further and subscribe to a high-quality platform for affiliate tracking for eCommerce. The platform will track everything automatically, based on the KPIs you set.

Treat Your Affiliates With Respect

At the end of the day, your affiliate partners are people too! They need to feel respected and cared for. If not, you could drive them away - right in the hands of your competitors.

However, if you treat them with kindness and respect, they will keep on working hard and delivering results.

You can do this by:

  • Providing high-quality affiliate support;
  • Giving decent commissions;
  • Implementing affiliate marketing automation to send thank you emails, bonuses, congratulation gifts, and so on.
  • Being open to suggestions;
  • Granting them perks (coupons, discounts, free products, etc.);
  • Providing them with the right resources.

Introduce Bonuses Commissions

Another way to keep your affiliates satisfied is by giving bonuses. A bonus can come in the form of an incentive, such as free products or discounts. However, it’s smarter to give bonus commissions.

You can even automate bonuses on your tracking platform (e.g., set the software to give out a 5% bonus when an affiliate makes five conversions). Remember to budget wisely and utilize the bonus strategy during holidays, important events, and big sales.  

Don’t Forget SEO

SEO is a key factor in your online success, whether you are an eCommerce store or a construction company. To put it to even greater use, try to combine your SEO and affiliate marketing strategies.

First, focus on your website and content. There’s no logic in investing in affiliate partners if site visitors aren’t engaging with your content.

Second, make sure your ads are up-to-date and have the right keywords. Next, improve your website’s speed and safety. Finally, track your SEO and affiliates to scale your business and fix errors early on.

Try Cross-Promotion

If you want to drive revenue from multiple sources, try cross-promotion. It’s an affiliate marketing strategy that is based on promoting businesses with a similar target audience as yours. Think of it as opening a coffee shop next to a bakery.

Cross-promotion can bring you a lot of new leads. You will get the contact information of tons of potential customers as you promote your “competing” business on your social media or blog. In addition, this strategy allows you to gain a reputation as an industry expert, which is a great path to establishing trust with consumers.

Setting up an affiliate marketing campaign is easy. You can get the job done with a high-quality detailed plan and a reliable tracking platform.

Remember, it’s crucial to budget wisely and keep your brand identity in front view. Then, you can start testing practices like cross-promotion and mobile optimization as you gradually work your way up to a powerful global brand.

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