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  1. #1
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    In-house affiliate program
    Hi all,

    We want to create in-house affiliate program and we need some advices from you. We are looking for affiliates that want to offer our services. We sell and rent ready online retail, wholesale stores connected to supplier products database. So customers that want to join this network don't need to invest in products before are ordered from their stores and they display 50.000 items with no risk of loosing money.

    So our offer is about starting own business or becoming own boss without risk of big investment and not loosing much time. All products stock-level is updated every hour and new products are introduced automatically. Worldwide dropshipping is also available. So customer just need to focus on selling products offered in his online retail or wholesale store.

    We have decided to start in-house program because it is difficult to find proper affiliate network for this kind of business. Besides we think that the best way for affiliates to promote our services will be ready websites where customers online may rent or buy stores.

    So we want to sell ready websites for about 10-20 Euro/USD for all interested customers. We don’t want to earn on these websites but on the other hand we want to avoid situation that we give away websites for people not really interested in this business.

    We want to offer affiliates 30% commission of all transaction made. The average order value is about 300-400 Euro.

    This website is very similar to our main one where we offer our services. There are links connected to our main website as well. To ensure affiliates we play fair we want to offer 10% extra for their customers. In this situation even if customer visit our website they we’ll see higher prices.

    What do you think about it. What other things we might do to ensure affiliates this is secure for them. We know that lack of secure might be one of main problem of in-house affiliate programs.

    I'll appreciate for any help guys.

    If something is not clear I'll explain and answer all questions.

  2. #2
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    When you sell/rent those sites, do they connect to different databases of products.. ie. so your end-user can customize their own niche?

    Speaking as a publisher, I don't think it would be a good idea to offer the ready-made sites to affiliates, as a way of attracting business. It would be difficult for them to get ranked in this age of Google Panda, and would require dedication to one site that we just can't afford.. it's much easier to add products to an existing site, which could already have 100 merchants represented. Keep in mind, affiliates can switch to an ecommerce model anytime, but usually choose not to (some of us have experience with drop-shipping, etc).

    It also might cause problems for your own website - duplicate content, too many backlinks, etc. And if your site shows higher prices, it could negatively impact your ranking.

    Leave the actual site to those who are buying your product, not those who would promote it. Affiliates can be very creative in their approach, all you need is to keep the lines of communication open, give them a good datafeed, banners, etc.. all the things that make up a good program.

    The above is just my two cents worth...

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  4. #3
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    Thank you very much for your opinion.

    These online retail and wholesale store are connected to our partner (lingerie and clothing wholesaler) product database. So end-user may start own business selling lingerie products.

    This is our future idea to create similar system for other products supplier to give end-user possibility to customize their own niche. But this is the matter of supplier (all products must be in stock, stock-level must be updated frequently etc.).

    So in your opinion if we offer good data feed, banners etc. insted of ready website - is it better to create in-house program or better to join affiliate network?

    By the way is promo video good solution for affiliate to promote products?

  5. #4
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    You are offering a drop ship relationship. I can see charging a small setup fee but if you charge an ongoing monthly fee while the affiliate is trying to develop traffic they may not stay with you long. Take a look at the existing drop ship vendors and see what they are doing and how you can do better. We frequently hear about Doba but not in good terms, how can you beat them?

    As teezone says to appeal to an affiliate like her you will have to offer alternative datafeeds. With that model I doubt if you can charge a monthly fee since competitive merchants in networks don't. Sign-up with several networks and see what the experience is like for affiliates to utilize like feeds and what they are offering as commissions.

    As you are offering as an in-house you will have to heavily advertise to find affiliates. Do you have a budget for that?

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  7. #5
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    Chuck thanks for reply but I'm not sure if it is clear enough how it works.

    We cooperate with our partner (lingerie and clothing wholesaler). We want to rent or sell online retail and wholesale stores connected to our partner main warehouse. So end-user (end-customer) may start own business and rent or buy online store and sell lingerie products. There are about 50.000 items in stock and stock-level is updated every hour. Supplier offer dropsipping service with no additional fees (only payment for shipping).

    So now we are looking for affiliates that help us rent or sell these online stores. We don't want to charge affiliates any monthly fee.
    We have prepared promo videos etc. to advertise our services. Of course we want to provide affiliates with datafeeds for free.

    We just thought that provide affiliates with ready websites (where affiliate may rent or sell our online stores) might be good idea. We wanted to charge only 10-20 Eur/USD as an initial fee to avoid situation that we give away websites to not serious people.
    We didn't mean to earn on affiliates this way.

    So now when we see opinions (e.g. teezone) about ready websites we are wondering whether is good idea to create in-house program or join affiliates network.
    We know it might be difficult to create in-house program and convince affiliates we want to play fair.

  8. #6
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    rent or sell these online stores
    When you said rent or sell stores you gave me the impression that the stores were online. Although there may be affiliates who promote B2B programs I do not feel you will find affiliates to sell franchise stores. I recommend you look at the franchise model and see how that operates.

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  10. #7
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    One point I want to reiterate - we affiliates do what we do for a reason. If we wanted to sell online (drop shop or otherwise), we would be doing it already.

    You need to think of affiliates as completely separate from your target market, ie. those who want to run & promote an online store. It doesn't matter if you offer affiliates the turnkey stores for free, we're not interested - we spend time promoting merchants in return commission. That's our business model...


  11. #8
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    I think you are trying to start a dropship program, but checked your website and you already have one(dropship pgm). So I am confused what it is that you are trying to do new. If you need affiliates to promote your products you will need a true e-commerce site. Your current site isn't a ecommerce site. No one is going to create a login to see the price of a single item. Your site is for dropshippers.

    Don't mix the two or three, all on one site - like 1. attracting drop shippers, 2. attracting affiliates and 3. Ecommerce. It will be very confusing.
    Last edited by sam_park; November 13th, 2012 at 01:38 PM.

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  13. #9
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    Thank you for answers again.
    Still not sure if we understand each other but I see your opinion creating in-house program advertising our products is rather negative.
    To sum up what are your final suggestion what kind of promotion should we do?

    Chuck - you advise to start with franchise sites. We wanted to avoid franchise system because it is very complicated. We wanted to create "open own business" system that is easy to start.

    teezone - what would you advise

    To sam_park

    Website with hidden price you have visited is a wholesale website. In wholesale website you need to register first and after your account is verified you are able to see prices and order products.
    We want to offer ready online stores to rent or sell connected to wholesale products database. That's why we look for affiliates to help us rent or sell these online stores.

  14. #10
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    I recommend you look at the franchise model and see how that operates.
    Do your research.

  15. #11
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    Yes we did. The thing is - we started this system as a franchise system but for people interested in franchising it was ... too cheap. When they want to start franchising they are ready to invest much more.
    We wanted to create system for people that want to start own business not investing a lot of money. For those people franchise system seems too complicated. That's why we have simplified it into easy-to-start business model.

  16. #12
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    You want to sell white label websites, which others will take ownership of and sell your products. But you are not trying to make money out of the sell of the website. Your profit will come from sell of products.

    So if we forget about the white label websites part, how is your model going to be different from dropshipping? A dropshipper creates his/her own website and sells products from one/many wholesalers. The same will be the case for whoever takes ownership of your white label website(s).

    Are you just trying to make the process of creating/maintaining websites so easy that someone who is not tech savvy can buy a website from you and start selling your products. Of course he/she will have figure out how to get traffic.

    I wd think 100s of whitelabel sites with the same products, same product desc, same price, same everything will not be well liked by Google.


  17. #13
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    Thank you for your reply and I apologize for my delay.

    "Are you just trying to make the process of creating/maintaining websites so easy that someone who is not tech savvy can buy a website from you and start selling your products. Of course he/she will have figure out how to get traffic."

    Yes we do. We have created system that is easy to start and operate. We don't require any technical knowledge from customers. They don't need to do anything with stock-level and products database. Everything is done automatically.
    I don't know if you have ever sold products via internet (I mean e-commerce site) but we offer 50.000 items in stock. Stock-level is updated every hour. All products might be dispatched in 24 hours. From customers point of view this is something unusual - one supplier, so many products, dropshipping service, all products available.

    I think this is something that distinguishes our system from other dropshipping systems.

    I'm not sure what do you mean by whitelabel site.

    I get your point of view but I think in the worldwide market there might be 1000 sites or more. Each customer decide about price policy so prices don't have to be the same. Description might be changed. You may choose which products you want to sell. You can select one of more than 10 templates we prepared.
    There are other method than Google (organic) only - price comparisons, Adwords, forums, visual ads.

    Guys appreciate your help opinions.

  18. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by LingeroseNetwork View Post
    I'm not sure what do you mean by whitelabel site.
    A white-label site is a branded site with its own cart, but the backend (order fulfillment, customer service etc) is handled by another entity/wholesaler. The visitors to the white-lable site would only see and interact with that one site. They wouldn't realize there is another entity in the background who is actually fulfilling the order, answering customer service questions, handling returns etc.
    All communication that goes out to the customers of the white-label site will bear its branding/logo etc.

  19. #15
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    Ok, so sites we offer are now white-label.

    We give our customers a lot of freedom in action. They decide about price policy and strategy. They have access to back-office so they might process orders and provide customer service.

    Our company provides ready online retail or wholesale stores at convenient price. Our wholesale partner provides lingerie products and dropshipping service.

  20. #16
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    How much does your white-label websites cost to purchase. Around 2000 Euros (from your website)? I thought you mentioned it costs very less (10/20 Euos/$)

    BTW, I may be interested in buying a website and giving it a try. But I won't be interested in promoting affiliate pgm.

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  22. #17
    AffiliateMan
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    An in-house affiliate program is a tough sell to affiliates. It's hard to let them know about the program and it's hard to convince them to trust it.

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  24. #18
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    sam_park
    Online Store costs 2000 Euro. (10/20 Euos/$) was supposed to be a cost of the website for affiliates. Misunderstanding. Thank you guys for all your replies, you have shed some light on the problem.

  25. #19
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    What's the role of an affiliate in this setting. Promoting products with product links or promoting online stores that sell for 2000Euros.

    Its getting confusing. And trust me I am not new to affiliate marketing.

  26. #20
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    Now I see it might be confusing.

    We wanted to provide affiliates with websites similar to the website you have visited. At this website our customers may rent or buy ready on-line store (connected to our partner - lingerie wholesale - products database).
    To let affiliates their work easier we wanted to create similar websites with all products we offer. So they shouldn't create new website, just get the ready one put on their server and start promoting.

    We thought it can be good idea and helpful solution for affiliates.

    I'll do my best to clarify if something is still confusing.

  27. #21
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    Thanks. I will stop asking.
    Its still not clear to me as to how this model will work. So I wd assume it will be as confusing to others also.

  28. #22
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    We wanted to provide affiliates with websites similar to the website you have visited... So they shouldn't create new website
    I said it earlier - we affiliates have our own websites... trying to promote your products on a whitelabel site (similar to yours) is far more difficult than adding your products to our existing sites.

    Being an affiliate marketer in today's environment means you have to have some originality - we don't need merchant mini-sites, as we are trying to create our own unique space.

    I'm in agreement with sam_park - I think you need to figure out what exactly you want affiliates to promote (leave the "how it's promoted" to us!). Lingerie sites can add your products to their site.. or software publishers can review/sell your "stores" concept.

    Hope this helps!

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  30. #23
    OPM/Moderator Hectic GHC's Avatar
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    I had a startup program 3 years ago that failed miserably. It was basically this concept. What you want to do, isn't worth the time for affiliates.

  31. #24
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    sam_park
    I did my best to explain

    teezone
    I got your point of view before, just wanted to explain again to sam_park.

    We do know exactly what we want affiliates to promote. We sell or rent online stores with lingerie. So we want affiliates to rent or sell lingerie online stores.

    akagorilla
    We've been doing our concept successful for 2 years. So I guess there shouldn't be problem with affiliates. That's why we wanted to start cooperation.
    Could you give more details about startup and its concept that failed. Maybe not that concept maybe not enough attractive products.
    Why it wasn't worth the time for affiliates?

  32. #25
    OPM/Moderator Hectic GHC's Avatar
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    Successful affiliate programs are not confusing. You don't have the opportunity to sit the affiliates down and fully explain to them how they will make tons of cash if they work with you. They will give you about 3 seconds to figure out if it is worth their time and effort to promote you.

    The program I tried to launch was a business card company that wanted to white label stores. No one wanted to manage a store. All they wanted to do was post links and banners on their own site and let the merchant handle everything. Affiliates do not have the time or patience. They want facts. If I add this link, how much will I make this month? It's a simple formula. If you can't offer them solid proof on how much they should earn, they will walk away.
    Greg Hoffman
    Affiliate Marketing Advocate of the Year 2016; Best OPM/Agency - 2014; Best OPM/Agency, Five Years in a Row - ABestWeb.
    Visit Greg Hoffman Consulting

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