Many sites now have affiliate programs where you can advertise for them and earn a commission. There are large companies that manage many affiliate vendors and if you become a member there you have many companies at your disposal. Or, if you use ShopSite, it has a built in affiliate program.
But as a manufacturer, how to decide if it is a good idea and how big do you go? Look at your direct competitors … are they doing it? Look at the cost … how much does it cost you to maintain the program vs how much you get in increased exposure and revenue. You must also be careful who you allow to be an affiliate. If it is what is called a “coupon” site and they are your affiliate you may be paying out when really they didn’t give you any benefit. How can this be? Say a customer is on your site already. But they think, hey, maybe I can find a coupon code. They do a search for “coupon codes for X company”. They get to the coupon site, click the link for your store that looks like a coupon and really all that happens is the coupon site now gets a commission for referring that customer when they really didn’t.
With ShopSite you can run your own affiliate program. You decide who gets in and you also decide how much commission each partner earns. So you can have different earnings based on how large they are, if they are a website or blog or just send the link in email. ShopSite creates reports that show you how much each affiliate earns. The only down side is that YOU maintain all of the program … meaning you must cut the checks to the participants.
Nelle and Lizzy just setup an affiliate program. Stay tuned and we’ll let you know how it goes. But for now, you can check out the pages created explaining the program and see if it might be something you’d want to try with your store.