Online Store Affiliate Program

Many business owners consider an online store affiliate program an excellent way to attract new customers, and website owners concede that these programs can be a relatively easy way to pick up some extra cash from commissions on sales generated through an individual's own website. The Web is a complicated and extensive network. Therefore, it is somewhat unlikely to think that a store's own website is able to reach all of the customers who may be willing to purchase its goods. Instead, website owners who are willing to participate in an online store affiliate program can become agents of the organization, extending its territory into new realms of paying customers.

Participants do not have to be computer gurus in order to take part in an online store affiliate program. The concept is actually quite simple. A website owner applies for the program, and the store will examine the site to be sure it is appropriate. This does not necessarily mean that the content on the site has to be a perfect fit with the items sold by the retailer, (although it is wise to feature the types of products which a site's readers may be interested in purchasing). The store is mainly concerned that the site should not have any inappropriate or illegal content.

If the website is approved for the online store affiliate program, the site owner may begin to download code for logos, banners, pictures of merchandise and other items ('creatives') which will help to attract the attention of potential new customers. Often stores will feature articles about advertising principles for its affiliates in order to help increase customer response rates. Participants are wise to take advantage of every opportunity to improve their knowledge about advertising techniques. As Proverbs 15:22 states, Without counsel purposes are disappointed: but in the multitude of counsellors they are established. Some even offer links to free HTML tutorials so that interested affiliates can gain knowledge in this area and use these skills to improve their websites. However, in order to maintain brand recognition, most stores do not allow affiliates to tamper with logos or other important elements.

Sometimes, an online store affiliate program will allow its members to construct their own pages filled with the kinds of items which they believe will sell. Others programs merely feature a link or banner advertisement on the website, which transports the customer to the store's own website. Codes on the link or banner include the account number of the affiliate, so that when a customer chooses to make a purchase, the credit (and commission!) is given to the appropriate affiliate. A store can choose to also delegate payment obligations to the tracking company, which may pay the affiliate directly.

Payment is usually made on a monthly or quarterly basis, although often some type of minimal purchase amount is set before an affiliate begins to receive commission checks. If this level of sales has not been met, the commission will roll over into the next month until the amount is reached. Commission percentages may vary widely, from about 2-15%, although some higher-priced items may feature a special commission structure. Sometimes, affiliates negotiate their own commissions. Be sure to read and understand the specific details relevant to the online store affiliate program that is chosen. Also, take care to ensure that the account coding is accurate when it is copied to your website, so that commissions can be tracked. Stores will likely allow a test of the system, if an affiliate requests one. Companies sometimes have a special email address to resolve any problems with their affiliates. Since it is in the best interests of all involved, problems will usually be resolved quickly. Some companies also have forums where experienced affiliates can give counsel to newcomers.

One of the best parts of the online store affiliate program is that it is fairly easy to set up, and requires no real oversight from the participant. Actions which will improve site traffic or draw further sales are recommended in order to increase commissions, but all of the rest of the work (designing ads, coordinating special sales or campaigns, tracking traffic and commissions, etc.) is done by the store or its tracking and advertising departments or partners. All that the affiliate really has to do is to agree to feature the link or banner on his web page. There is no cost to the affiliate for membership, and a person may usually cancel the program at any time. Some programs offer extra bonuses for attracting a certain number of customers or reaching a certain level of sales. Larger stores may even have its affiliates compete for a more substantial prize, such as a vacation to an exotic location, or the latest 'must-have' item in electronic equipment.

Altogether, an online store affiliate program seems to be an attractive proposition. Although commission rates may not seem too impressive, these programs do provide another regular stream of income while requiring minimal maintenance. If a site has a steady base of visitors, it seems that this would be a good situation for all involved. Store owners will be delighted with an increased flow of customers who are interested in buying their products. Website owners will certainly appreciate their commissions. Customers will appreciate knowing that they have an additional choice of places to buy the items which they need. Be sure to research the companies which are being considered for association with a website to determine the best 'fit' with the site's goals. There are online forums which discuss both the positive and negative experiences various sites have had while being affiliated with certain companies. Some research ahead of time can make for a long and beneficial experience for all concerned.

Internet Store Affiliate Program

An Internet store affiliate program is designed for two companies to benefit from inexpensive advertising, with the potential to increase sales and earn commissions. An online store affiliate program usually pays commissions to their partners based upon sales. A banner is placed on one's website that links to the affiliate partner's website and each time a prospect clicks on the link and sales are generated, a commission is paid. Some companies encourage placing banners on several web pages to increase potential for increased commissions. Businesses that offer affiliate programs will have a sign up page on their site with the particulars on how to join the program and the potential percentage for earned commissions. After signing up, the company offering the opportunity will want to survey the website to determine the potential before making an approval to engage in a partnership. Starting an affiliate program or participating in one can help to increase traffic, build brand and name recognition, and increase sales.

Tracking clicks and sales is possible through an Internet store affiliate program. The affiliate partner, after approving the potential partner's website, will send codes and a link that helps to track sales, clicks, and commissions. Some provide a choice of banners to choose from to place on a partner's website. It is important to choose a partner that offers a similar product or service taking into consideration viewer interest. When selling garden supplies and tools, consider choosing a company that performs landscaping services. Partner up with a reputable company that offers quality products and services and presents themselves in a professional way to the public. Pray about finding the right partner before applying, by asking God to lead you to the right company. "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him" (James 1:5).

Marketing promotions can help to generate and achieve viewer interest when participating in an online store affiliate program. Allowing another company to place a banner with a link on one's website, that is offering a promotion to prospects, may help to generate more sales for the partner and can increase web traffic for both parties. When a viewer realizes that promotions are going to be accessible on a website, they will return periodically to find new information, hoping to take advantage of discounts on products and services. Promotions and discounts should be of quality content and offer something that will generate consumer interest. Increased web traffic is bound to result in increased sales.

Small businesses on the Internet that need some additional start-up income should consider inexpensive ways to advertise. Starting an Internet store affiliate program will get links on other businesses' sites to help generate web traffic and provide greater exposure. Links to other websites will help to provide greater search engine optimization as well. In order to qualify for some partner programs one's website must be designed professionally and have quality content throughout. When starting a business on the Web check into getting some help with website design and search engine optimization and find out about link popularity to provide higher rankings. Starting one's own program can help make link popularity a reality through placing banners and links on various websites.

A few key areas to be concerned with when starting an online store affiliate program include a well designed affiliate sign-up page, approval process of each site that has signed up, a web-interface that allows for commission tracking, link building, and other reports or account maintenance. Creating the links to place on partner's sites is vital and should be designed to link to specific pages. A decision will have to be made based upon commissions paid by either per-click or per-sales. Deciding on a single structure is probably the best way to set up the program for commissions paid. Link tracking should provide detailed reports that show what is owed to partners as well as any payments made. For accounting purposes it is a good idea to set up accounts receivable files for each partner to help create reliable tracking and balances.

Software can be purchased online that is designed to set up and operate an Internet store affiliate program. Flexible programs that are available can provide multiple ways to pay commissions to partners. A company choosing to take advantage of this type of partner program may want to provide multiple ways for partners to earn commissions instead of just a flat rate based upon sales. Having a way to reward partners for referrals concerning new affiliate recruits will motivate others in creating expansion opportunities for the affiliate company. Software programs provide accurate tracking of referral recruits and commissions as well as creating links. Some programs keep track of all the ins and outs with accounts receivable regarding commission payments. Do a search online for an online store affiliate program and research the possibilities.

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