With so many promotions, sales pitches and “must-have” offers flooding everyone’s inboxes each day, it’s no wonder affiliate marketers are always finding creative ways to get their offers clicked. The traditional method of driving traffic via blogging, social media posts, SEO and display ads is still working – though more and more affiliate marketers are setting up online storefronts to present their promotions.
Affiliate storefronts are set up much like traditional online retail sites, such as Overstock and Best Buy. The products are displayed with information that includes images, product descriptions and pricing. The difference is that products in affiliate storefronts contain affiliate links from the merchant or product creator, giving affiliates credit for the clicks and product sales. Another benefit is allowing affiliates to create a co-branding shopping experience.
The storefronts are getting successful and a lot of attention, and even digital fundraisers, nonprofits and schools are setting up their own online shop for an alternative revenue source. In 2013, for example, online fundraising grew 13 percent, according to the Chronicle of Philanthropy.
Here are 6 tips for creating and launching affiliate storefronts:
- Test your affiliate link. All merchants, retailers and product creators will require you to have an affiliate account that tracks the clicks and sales of the products you’re promoting. Don’t trust that things will work 100 percent. Take some time to test the links, try clicking on the offers and review your account metrics.
- Pick a beautiful website design. Your storefront is going to have a different look and feel from your blog. Unlike your blog, your storefront should display your products in a visually appealing way, so pick a website design or theme that accentuates images and thumbnails.
- Use pretty photos. Beauty sells, so use professional product images. If you think the images provided by the merchant or product creator won’t get clicks, suggest alternatives to them. Remember, they’re also interested in growing revenues and may be open to your ideas.
- Include your bio. Whether you’re driving traffic to your storefront through blogs or social media, there will be organic traffic to your storefront. That means people will want to know what they’re seeing if they don’t know you. Take this opportunity to introduce yourself and provide some testimonials for the products.
- Disclose your ties. Being open is always a great policy. It’s a good idea to disclose your affiliation with the merchant or product creator, stating that you receive commission on the sales. This is especially important for nonprofits and gives you an opportunity to talk about your cause.
- Leave your contact information. Being inquisitive is our nature, so it’s good practice to offer a way for your customers and subscribers to contact you. Plus, it’s another way to increase your engagement and grow your email list.