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July 5th, 2009, 08:27 AM #1
one product, multiple merchants, how do you choose one?
- Join Date
- October 7th, 2007
For the sake of example, I have a type of product I wish to promote, a special type of a towel. The nice thing is I have a few choices for affiliate links to offer this towel on my website. I realize offering too many options to my visitors would just confuse rather than "funnel" them to the sale.
I am looking for advice how to choose the merchant to feature. These are my thoughts:
1) Go with the merchant that would offer me the best affiliate program.
2) Merchant A expands into kitchenware, more upscale, and this would make a nice lure into that lucrative arena.
3) Merchant B is a "country store" type, and would capture a different type of visitor.
4) Is there such a thing as offering both merchants for the same product (or is this a no-no?), and what would be a good way to present this on the webpage?
Thanks in advance, Sweet Iowa
July 5th, 2009, 08:31 AM #2Originally Posted by sweetiowa
Are you getting the best deal from their landing page?
Would you buy from them after doing some research on the net?
Then, if that narrows it down, look at %'s.
Which program pays the most?
Hope that helps.
July 5th, 2009, 09:03 AM #3
If you have the ability to dynamically change your content, cookie your visitors and show one merchant to every other visitor. Once you have enough traffic to generate 10-20 sales at one merchant or the other, look to see which one earned the most.
Make sure to try a variation where you show BOTH as well, and track which sales came from that page compared to the versions that showed one or the other.
July 5th, 2009, 09:10 AM #4
IMO part of the value we add is "recommending" not just the right product, but also the right merchant. Sometimes there are important differences other than price or commission level that will set merchants apart.
A couple of years ago I chose to go with a single merchant in a particular niche. The merchant had an excellent catalog, decent conversion rate and average commission for the niche. After a few weeks with this merchant I started getting complaints from friends that had ordered products from the merchant as well as other visitors to my site complaining of poor customer service, long backorder times (even though their credit cards were charged immediately and I was credited commission immediately), products not delivered when promised and some never receiving their orders at all and never receiving a credit.
Bottom line is that you need to look beyond the affiliate program and the merchant's product mix. Spend some time on the merchant's site. There are on-site variables that can make one merchant convert better than another (Are there leaks?). Sometimes you won't see these until you've tried multiple merchants. Work through an order on each of the merchant's sites and see how easy it is to complete an order. Compare shipping rates, one of the things I find very frustrating about ordering online are merchant's that low ball the price to "appear" competitive and jack up the shipping to make a profit. If it's a product that you could use or give as a gift, complete the order. Obviously if you did this with every merchant on your site you could go broke, but I order from my merchants whenever possible not only to ensure that they track but to see what my site visitors see when they place an order and to make sure that the merchant delivers promptly.
After placing an order with the merchant I mentioned above, I discovered that they shipped some products in clear plastic bags with a shipping label on them. The products weren't breakable, however everyone could see what was in the package which made theft a definite possibility when the delivery person just left them at the door.
So sometimes there are variables other than those that you mentioned (or that I mentioned for that matter) that can make one merchant a better choice over another. I'm sure others can chime in and come up with a couple of dozen more. However, all things being equal there's no reason why you can't highlight different merchants to different audiences. The trick is in finding a creative way of doing it that appeals to each audience and doesn't cause confusion.
-rematt"I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant." - Richard Nixon
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