So, what is an Affiliate Platform?
The key to understanding an affiliate program is to first understand how affiliate marketing works. Affiliate marketing is the process by which an affiliate (usually a blogger or vlogger) earns a commission from sales made through website traffic he or she directs to a partner website. The merchant uses affiliate tracking software to track these referrals.
Finding the right merchants, however, is often a struggle for an affiliate marketer. This is where an affiliate platform is helpful. An affiliate platform connects affiliate marketers with merchants for a fee. Therefore, you won’t have to spend months searching for the right affiliates to partner with for your growing blog or vlog.
Why choose Affiliate Platforms?
Connecting affiliate marketers with merchants creates two important benefits for e-commerce. Firstly, affiliate platforms help merchants find partners who can help them reach more potential customers. It’s often challenging for e-commerce businesses to generate enough website traffic to get consistent sales.
Secondly, affiliates can find a reliable source of revenue through the connections facilitated on affiliate platforms. Affiliate marketers often have websites with a substantial amount of traffic. Therefore, earning money through embedding affiliate links into their content provides them with even greater incentive to increase their website traffic and increase the valuable content available in the e-commerce space.
In other words, it’s a hands-off approach for merchants to boost sales but that comes at a cost. And only big players and big brands are able to afford. More details on that in our next series of Growth Strategies.
Top 10 Affiliate Platforms for Australian Businesses:
Below, we cover ten platforms for you. Some of these platforms are Australian-based, while others aren’t. It quite common for affiliate platforms to sometimes use or be part of larger international affiliate networks.
1. Growth Ops
Growth Ops is an Australia-based affiliate platform that uses Impact Radius, an affiliate platform with international reach, to track affiliate links. Some of the world’s best-known merchants, such as Dell and Estee Lauder, use the platform to find the right affiliates for their brands.
Commission Factory is another Australia-based affiliate platform that caters specifically to businesses in Australia and the Asia-Pacific region. Payments are made weekly to affiliates. There is also a mobile app for iPhone and Android users to make it easier for partners and merchants to access the platform on the go.
Headquartered in New Wales, Australia, Impelus is an affiliate platform with global reach. Payments are on a pay-per-lead basis where commissions are disbursed only when the merchant gets a qualified lead through the affiliate link.
This London-based affiliate platform has a unique and highly useful feature. The platform offers a special code that can be embedded onto an affiliate’s website. This code scans the website’s content and inserts the chosen affiliate links in the most appropriate places. It beats having to input the links manually. Over 60,000 affiliates and over 48,000 merchants have signed up for the platform, thus demonstrating how useful it is.
Based in Boulder, Colorado, this international affiliate platform serves more than 2 million affiliates. It has technology similar to Skimlinks that reads your website and inserts approved affiliate links in the right places. The platform was formerly called VigLink, but it still has a robust performance dashboard that shows affiliates the most critical performance metrics.
Impact Radius, based in California, is known for the way it handles their product sales and performance marketing. Founded in 2008 by the same team of digital marketing experts who founded Commission Junction (CJ), Impact Radius is seen as a pioneer in the digital marketing products. They distinguish themselves because they don’t act as the middleman. Instead, they provide a direct platform where the advertiser and the media partner can communicate.
Through loyalty programs and blog affiliates, they’ve dissociated themselves from the traditional affiliate network model. Their evolution has comprised becoming a SaaS technology platform which includes paid media partners and even social media influencers. In 2019, they launched the “Partnership Cloud”, which focuses on enterprise management.
In their clients portfolio, they have Lenovo, Microsoft, Walmart and Levis.
Ebay, a globally renowned marketplace, has an in-house affiliate marketing program, the Partner Network. They pay publishers for clicks sent to their marketplace based on their Quality Click Pricing. Yes, this means they pay per click, but the payout amount depends on the traffic’s quality.
Ebay has put in place a tracking system that monitors behaviour. It determines if the clicks qualify for commission. Tracking includes impressions, clicks, earning and estimated cost per click. In other words, the more revenue a certain traffic generates, the higher the payout per click.
Alongside Ebay, Rakuten has one of the largest affiliate marketing platforms out there. Formerly known as LinkShare, Rakuten was founded in 1997 in Japan, the marketplace has evolved throughout the years, and now they have over 40,000 merchants online. For nine years in a row, it has been voted the #1 affiliate network.
Rakuten is present in over 200 countries, and affiliates residing in any of these can receive payments easily, in one of 25 different currencies. They have a large pool of recognizable brands with which affiliate marketers can partner with.
Their portfolio includes Clarins, Macy’s, Vans, and Lancome.
Amazon can be said to have pioneered online affiliate marketing. Amazon Associates is one of the largest affiliate network programs available today. With millions of products to choose from on Amazon.com, their Associates, as they call it, are content creators, publishers, and website owners looking to monetize their traffic through easy link-building tools.
Associates earn commission on products they refer traffic to (4% – 10%) and they run on a CPA (cost per action) basis. The wide commission range is a reflection of the big range of products the Amazon offers.
For example, commission for luxury beauty items is 10% for those promoting it, while televisions and digital video games lies at 2%. Amazon also offers a bounty program, which are payments that Amazon makes when someone subscribes to an Amazon service after using an Associate’s link.
Awin is an award-winning global affiliate marketplace with headquarters in Berlin. They can count with over 100,000 contributing publishers, 13,000 advertisers and a global presence in over 180 countries.
The operate across wide range of categories such as travel, finance, retail, and telecommunication. Awin has different rates for different products, ranging from 50% commission to a lower one at 10%. They also offer different models of revenue, such as CPL (cost per lead), CPA (cost per action) and CPS (cost per sale), among others.
They have partnerships with industry giants such as Marks & Spencer, Business Insider, HP, O2 and ASOS.
Shopbot works with all international established affiliate platforms. For more information on how to plug a store onto our platform via an affiliate network contact our sales team here.