With more and more choices to purchase online, customers seek validation of the product through reviews written by other customers. Overwhelmed customers are more likely to share their product experience with others, but it may not happen every time. However, what if the customers are rewarded for sharing their experience?

According to consolidative statistics on 99firms – 81% of marketers, 84% of publishers utilize the power of affiliate marketing. It is a medium that requires zero investment to capture customer attention and engage with existing customers, thus driving sales and revenue, and is amazingly popular among distributers (publishers) and brands.

Cloud storage product tends to work well with affiliate marketing. This article helps you understand how we create value in your retail business chain and, how Aspire can help you to establish a connection between affiliate marketing and salesforce commerce cloud. 

So, What is Affiliate Marketing? – Affiliate Role

Affiliate marketing is an advertising model in which an affiliate marketer earns based on their performance for marketing other brands’ or persons’ products. The affiliate creates a well-defined niche simply for products they enjoy, then target the audience and promote that product to earns a commission from each sale they make. The purchases are tracked via affiliate tags (links) from one website to another.

 

Hurdles in Affiliate Marketing Business

As we head into whatever our ‘new normal’ will be after COVID-19, there are some challenges to encounter on the path to affiliate marketing success. First, the world is your competition, there are innumerable affiliates with long experiences in this field. Sometimes affiliates are not given the credit for the referral they make, loss in payment is also a major drawback.

Sales come from generating targeted traffic. Although affiliate marketing provides a lot of ways to make money online, some risks and obstacles are still worth taking into account.

  • Getting profitable niche requirements
  • Researching and collecting the right information
  • Time management
  • Good rapport with merchants
  • Working with affiliate links (Codes)
  • Getting traffic
  • Good content: Sales
  • Creating a responsible mailing list

It all starts with the customer experience. Customers are reliable brand ambassadors, but how do they become affiliates? It’s not easy to do it in a single go. Setting up an affiliate marketing business model with a rich set of capabilities requires a CRM with an efficient B2B2C platform to organize it effectively. Nevertheless, the question remains how to implement it?

How to use Salesforce Ecommerce Platform to set up an affiliate marketing program

With enhanced salesforce commerce cloud core capabilities, integrating with affiliate marketing is as easy as pie for brands. Inside the bounds of the commerce cloud, retailers can oversee the customer’s behaviour as affiliates. Also, as affiliates, they can share item data, content, and pictures across categories, indexes, and locales, without losing data. You can even bind together multiple sites, languages, and currencies. Now the next question arises, as to how to encounter it?

Customer level changes are defined to differentiate affiliates in SFCC. The existing customer can turn into an affiliate by applying as an affiliate in the SFCC account section. Once the form is filled, the customer can become an affiliate within 24 hours of doing so. At the backend, SFCC creates a source code group that is unique for each affiliate which acts as an identification for the orders the affiliate produces. Using these source code group discounts are generated for creating promotions. The affiliates are then paid depending on the agreement with the particular brand, which is a low-risk reward marketing system.

Ultimately, in order to maximize conversions without technological assistance, customers as affiliates, act as brand marketers and content creators who can impact sales, launch campaigns, frequently update and run promotions, etc.

 Affiliate marketing business models- what to expect

You need to have a stable business model that runs on reliability to turn an existing customer into an affiliate. Through astounding customer service and special offers, you can motivate your customers to promote your business. However, how do affiliates get paid?

In affiliate marketing, there are various percentages for each commission, depending on the agreement with the merchant.

  • Cost per Lead or CPL: Fixed commission for any lead that could be converted into an offline sale.
  • Cost per Click or CPC: You will get paid for each client you will bring to the merchant’s website, by including links to website updates, social media posts, and even email newsletters.
  • Cost per Sale or CPS: Revenue share, will get a percentage of the sale, based on the agreement.

In the future, we expect that Cost per Action or CPA: getting potential buyers to subscribe to a newsletter (or other similar action), will also be in the roadmap as an Affiliate Marketing solution.

How to execute this strategy, what to do next:

Most successful retailers believe in quality over quantity, therefore, finding the right affiliate marketers to promote the business is an important part of this plan. It requires research and a plan which describes how the influencer would use the various options available. Some of the common methods are:

  • Blogs and websites: Product URL in the storefront and create campaigns on affiliate marketing solutions
  • Email lists (Target customers) and newsletters: Create good content
  • Coupons and promotions: Product at a discounted price
  • Maintaining analytics – Existing affiliate, new affiliate registration, events, etc.

Once this plan is laid out, implementing it using Salesforce Commerce Cloud becomes a walk in the park- when done perfectly by an expert in the industry.

Final thoughts:

Like any other type of marketing, success in affiliate marketing depends on the challenges, converting your customers into affiliates, and opportunities handled in the right manner. By acknowledging affiliates with good incentives, you can see a good revenue stream coming in, as well as increase brand affinity in the process.

 

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Vidya Ramakrishnan

Vidya is a content marketer with over 12 years of progressive experience in content management, marketing, and client servicing. She is a B2B and aims to deliver customer delight with her eclectic mix of skills that she has picked over her years of carving her content career. She is fascinated by the next-gen digital technologies and has spent many curious years reading, understanding, and writing about how these technologies work and can influence lives in the future.