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7 Features Ecommerce Brands Should Seek in an Affiliate Marketing Platform

May 12, 2022

Ecommerce brands are more dependent on the traffic coming to their websites than traditional brick-and-mortar brands with an online presence. Website traffic is the crux of any ecommerce brand, and it can make or break their success depending on the quantity of traffic coming to the website and the quality. To increase sales, ecommerce brands naturally need to increase the visits to their online storefronts with traffic comprised of their target audience. This is precisely why ecommerce brands turn to affiliate marketing to drive website traffic to their websites and increase sales.

Suppose you’re an ecommerce brand that’s running a successful online business with multiple employees and $1M+ in yearly revenue. In that case, chances are you probably already are running an affiliate program of your own in-house. Many ecommerce brands turn to influencers and affiliates to become loyal brand ambassadors that spread their brand to their fans and followers, thus increasing sales. They run an affiliate program internally and not on an affiliate marketing platform and usually have someone within their marketing division manage affiliate relationships, collaboration, and payouts. 

Does that scenario sound similar to your situation as an ecommerce brand? Are you looking to seriously scale your existing affiliate program and make it more easily manageable? If so, a robust affiliate management tool is your solution.

What is an Affiliate Marketing Platform?

An affiliate marketing platform is a platform that assists in the management of all aspects of an affiliate marketing program. This includes assistance in affiliate onboarding, campaign management, sales and clicks tracking and reporting, and commissions management and payments, to name a few. An affiliate platform provides ecommerce brands with the necessary tools and resources for managing and scaling their affiliate program.

What Do I Look for in an Affiliate Marketing Platform?

In recent years, the affiliate marketing industry has been exploding in popularity and growth and is expected to reach an estimated $12 billion in value in 2022. As such, there are countless affiliate platforms available that cater to the needs of the 80% of brands that run affiliate programs consisting of millions of separate affiliates. But, not all affiliate platforms are built the same, and some perform better than others. This is why ecommerce brands need to do their research when comparing affiliate platforms. A good rule of thumb is to narrow their search down to the top 10 or so affiliate platforms most frequently reviewed by trusted marketing-oriented websites online, such as Influencer Marketing Hub.

1. Easy-to-Use Interface

For starters, an affiliate platform should boast an easy-to-use interface that makes it easy to use for everyone, regardless of their technical know-how. The best affiliate platform means nothing if its user interface is overly complex and impossible to comprehend for ecommerce brands. The same goes for their affiliates. Affiliates should be able to access the dashboard easily and view their earnings, referral links, and any other data or materials necessary for their promotion. Refersion makes managing campaigns, commissions, and automating payouts a breeze with their easy-to-use dashboard.

2. Marketplace

A good affiliate platform will provide ecommerce brands with access to a large marketplace of affiliates within the platform. This allows brands to seek out potential affiliates that are suitable for their affiliate program without spending countless hours searching the web for affiliates that match the needs of their affiliate program. Refersion provides ecommerce brands with access to one of the largest marketplaces of affiliates available, all in an intuitive and easy-to-use dashboard interface.

3. Security and Privacy

The top affiliate networks take the security and privacy of their brands and affiliates seriously and utilize top-notch security, privacy, and fraud detection features. This gives brands and affiliates alike added peace of mind that their affiliate program is in safe hands.

4. SaaS Integration

Integration with third-party e-commerce platforms such as Shopify, BigCommerce, and PayPal is an absolute necessity for any affiliate platform. The best affiliate platforms go above and beyond and strive to offer the most comprehensive list of third-party integrations that ecommerce brands use to run their businesses and affiliate programs. Refersion currently offers 2,000+ and growing third-party integrations.

5. Reports and Tracking

Proper tracking and data are crucial when running a successful affiliate program. Ecommerce brands need access to robust reports that allow them to track their affiliate program in real-time with a zero-tolerance for error in order to improve what’s working and stop what isn’t.

6. Customer Support

Questions undoubtedly arise when running and scaling an affiliate program. That’s why it’s comforting to know that an affiliate platform is there for you to help you every step of the way. In addition, customer support should always be available for ecommerce brands and affiliates alike across multiple platforms.

7. Costs

While an affiliate platform’s features, capabilities, and offerings should be the primary drivers for choosing an affiliate platform, costs should also be factored in. The best affiliate platforms boast all the features most ecommerce brands need to scale their affiliate programs at a price that’s not out of reach. That’s why Refersion made it its mission to offer the best affiliate platform possible at the most affordable price, starting at only $89 per month.

The Right Affiliate Platform Can Make All the Difference

Goorin Bros. is an excellent example of an ecommerce brand that successfully scaled its existing affiliate program by switching to an affiliate platform for its affiliate program management. After just one year of using Refersion’s affiliate platform, Goorin Bros. exceeded $1M in affiliate sales, consisting of 10,000+ approved affiliate conversions, and onboarded 600+ new affiliates. 

Success stories like Goorin Bros. are one of many for ecommerce brands switching over to affiliate platforms. Affiliate management tools provide ecommerce brands with the resources, tools, and platform necessary for scaling a successful affiliate program. Ecommerce brands ready to take their affiliate program to the next level should contact a Refersion expert today

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Written by

Ruthie Carey
Ruthie Carey