I recall an outcry to the story of how Amazon embedded ‘buy it now’ buttons in articles on the Washington Post and it got me thinking about affiliates and their relevancy in what’s becoming a mobile first Internet. As this WSJ article mentions:
“Amazon could use the data it has about buying behavior to help make these ads much more effective,” said Karsten Weide, an analyst at researcher IDC. “Marketers would love to have another viable option beyond Google and Facebook FB -0.85% for their advertising.”
Forget just Amazon using affiliates however, should all retailers regardless of size be pro-active in affiliate marketing? How big an opportunity is it still? I would argue it’s often overlooked.
For example, you can now ‘roll your own’ affiliate program rather easily using software as a service solutions like Tapfiliate. If you don’t want to manager your own program, services such as CJ are still very useful for driving traffic.
The point is with affiliates, in an age where social is often the be all and end all to folks, taps into a very old but successful principle of retailing: loyalty. This is particularly important in ecommerce, you want loyal customers. The value of repeat customer is many orders of magnitude more important than single transactions. It’s no secret that Amazon is number one in the ecommerce world (at least in the west) as their customers are rabidly loyal.
And this is in no small part due to affiliate marketing. Do you use affiliates? If not, why not?