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  1. #1
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    Why don't most online merchants have an affiliate program?
    My niche is women fashion's I've been searching for new online merchants to promote on my websites I emailed of my favorite online stores BeBe because I didn't them mentioning having an affiliate program.They emailed back stating that don't permit individuals from using there personal or business ventures. Why don't most merchants take advantage of affiliate programs?

  2. #2
    Internet Cowboy
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    Because they are uneducated and generally have someone in charge of marketing who thinks using Google PPC is a great way to drive sales. I'm sure there are many merchants who associate affiliate marketing with eBates and 180Solutions and run from it. We can thank CJ and Linkshare for that one.
    I have wondered the same thing many times and all I can conclude is that justg becaise they have a web site does not always mean they understand the Internet and Internet marketing.


  3. #3
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    Why don't most merchants take advantage of affiliate programs?
    My guesses:

    Ignorance
    Misinformation
    Or wrongheaded ideas

    For the merchant you contacted, who said they don't allow "using their personal or business ventures" I'd say it's C - Wrongheaded Ideas at work there.

    When a merchant gives some cockamamie reason like that, they've pretty much got to have some blockhead notion of what an aff. program is. Their comment basically is saying they think putting up aff links is some kind of wrongful use of "their business." Obviously they have no clue at all about how merchants benefit from affiliates!
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  4. #4
    Life is Supposed to be Fun! Rexanne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leader

    When a merchant gives some cockamamie reason like that, they've pretty much got to have some blockhead notion of what an aff. program is. Their comment basically is saying they think putting up aff links is some kind of wrongful use of "their business." Obviously they have no clue at all about how merchants benefit from affiliates!
    They'd probably offer a stupid commission % and think they're doing you a favor, too, with this mentality. RUN!
    Peace,

    Rexanne

    Rexanne.com
    Loving Everyone's Child Creates Magic


  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rexanne
    They'd probably offer a stupid commission % and think they're doing you a favor, too, with this mentality. RUN!
    And pull someone from accounts payable to be the affiliate manager because they sell sock puppets on eBay on the side.

    I guess there are some merchants we don't want in our playpen, but we never know who they are.
    Last edited by UncleScooter; June 30th, 2006 at 07:31 PM. Reason: to say...DAMN we are getting cynical...LOL


  6. #6
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    bebe isn't a small company any means they have alot of stores in the US and abroad. Especially since they don't have alot of stores, affiliates could help promote there products bringing them to broader audience.It seem skinda dumb that they wouldn't try to more of mark on the internet with an affiliate programs. I thought with as of much of a presence that they have they would been more educated.

  7. #7
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    And pull someone from accounts payable to be the affiliate manager because they sell sock puppets on eBay on the side.
    That'd be just fine, IF the acct's payable guy has sense.

    I've found that common sense, or the lack of it, has a lot more to do with success/failure of a program than any "credentials" the AM has.
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  8. #8
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    I really think it comes down to people not understanding the true power of the interent. In 10 years when everyone from forums like these arent working for anyone and are multi millionaires people will get the picture.

  9. #9
    Life is Supposed to be Fun! Rexanne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PACplaya
    I really think it comes down to people not understanding the true power of the interent. In 10 years when everyone from forums like these arent working for anyone and are multi millionaires people will get the picture.
    NICE thought Pacplaya!

    It's very true that a lot of people don't understand the power of the Internet. More for us.
    Peace,

    Rexanne

    Rexanne.com
    Loving Everyone's Child Creates Magic


  10. #10
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    "Why don't most online merchants have an affiliate program? "

    Because they don't need one. Online spending accounts for less than 2% of all retail sales, most is still offline. And from that less than 2%, affiliate marketing accounts for just a drop.

    But I wish they all had programs.

  11. #11
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    Online spending accounts for less than 2% of all retail sales, most is still offline.
    If more merchants had aff programs, resulting in more sites letting buyers know about them, maybe online spending would grow more...
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  12. #12
    AM Navigator Geno Prussakov's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by myisha
    I thought with as of much of a presence that they have they would been more educated.
    The size of a company doesn't have to do anything with education/awareness. In fact, the larger you get, the harder it is for you to keep up with things (especially in such a fast-developping segment of business as e-commerce). Over the past two months I have personally been spending about 20% of my time educating (in personal e-mails, conference phone calls and IM chats) merchants that do not have affiliate programs. I myself was very surprised to see that over 70% of online stores do not have any... Working on it...

    This thread is a very good one, and the more feedback we get in it the easier it will be for OPMs around here to convince new prospects to start affiliate programs, and as a result, benefit the whole of the industry (both affiliate marketing industry, and e-commerce as such).

    Good thread. Thank you, myisha! And by the way, welcome to ABW!

    Geno

  13. #13
    Member Jigsaw2order's Avatar
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    As a small merchant just about to launch their affiliate program, I think merchants lack understanding about what affiliates marketing is all about and what potential it offers for their business. Many businesses have only just now started to get to grips with ecommerce and building a new revenue stream. Most have not yet got around to affiliate marketing. Mind you its not just one thing, but a combination of factors I think.

    - Wories about control over brand
    - Lack of understanding
    - Affiliate Marketing getting bad PR in the early days.
    - Merchants Margins do not allow attractive program
    - Setup cost

    Unless you educate yourself, its not something you would generally read much about. Google Adwords is everywhere these days to thats mainstream now but not so affiliate marketing. This is changing but affiliate marketing in my view has not hit the mainstream big time yet.

    Colin
    Jigsaw2order.com

  14. #14
    AM Navigator Geno Prussakov's Avatar
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    Colin,

    "Lack of understanding" as in "lack of understanding how it works, how to manage it, and what it can bring you"?

    How did you educate yourself? What helped you understand?

    G.

    PS: I think you have one of the coolest avatars around!!
    Last edited by Geno Prussakov; July 1st, 2006 at 07:43 AM. Reason: avatar compliment added

  15. #15
    Member Jigsaw2order's Avatar
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    Hi Geno, my business started via the internet and grew to the point where it became worth my while to invest in manufacturing. We sell almost exclusively via the internet and have no real bricks and mortar (B&M) sales outlet. This is not the same as most merchants who come from a B&M beginning and “discover" the internet and ecommerce at some point. To the businessman, website design, hosting, SEO, PPC and all of the other "mainstream" stuff is hard enough to understand in addition to running their business at the same time. Affiliate Marketing is just not on the radar yet of many of these merchants.

    "Lack of understanding" as in "lack of understanding how it works, how to manage it, and what it can bring you"?
    IMHO, your typical merchant is not aware of what affiliate marketing is. They may have heard of it but really don't have a clue what it is, how it works and what potential it offers. Ask me 6 months ago and I would have been hard pressed to tell you much about it.

    There are also merchants who have tried and failed or at best, become disillusioned when the revenue did not roll in. This has not been the fault of affiliate marketing, but just the half hearted attempt of an uneducated merchant who believe the promise of easy money. Negative or less than positive postings are quite common on forums giving a bad impression to new merchants. As AMs know, you have to work hard and smart to make affiliate marketing work. Many merchants have not yet understood this.

    There is also not much mainstream press out there about Affiliate Marketing from a Merchant perspective. Lots of stuff like "Make your Fortune by becoming an Affiliate" or "Work at home and make US$50,000 a month" and all that stuff but few respected hardcopy business books. Those that are available and generally out of date which is not surprising as the industry is moving so fast.

    How did you educate yourself? What helped you understand?
    Well as I said, I'm probably not a typical case. In a previous life, I setup and managed an IT Solutions company for 12 years so I have always stayed up to speed with developments on the internet.

    I started by reading "Successful Affiliate Marketing for Merchants" by Shawn Collins which got me interested. Based on this, I checked out some of the sites referred to in the book (many links are now dead) and started to understand the relationship between the affiliate, merchant and network. I then hit the various forums and finally found my way to ABW where I read everything I could for the last 3 months. As with everything, you have to figure out what are the keys to success and once you feel confident you understood these, you can then dip your toe in the water. You won’t always get it right first time, but you do increase your chances. The more you read, the more you understand and at some point you become “knowledgeable” and excited by the prospect.

    To be honest, I have no idea what real results I can achieve when I launch my program later this month, but I plan on doing it the right way from the start and keep my expectations low. I figure if I do this, I won't be disappointed.

    Colin
    Jigsaw2order.com

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geno Prussakov

    Good thread. Thank you, myisha! And by the way, welcome to ABW!

    Geno
    Thanks for warm welcome Geno. I like it here everyone is really friendly.

  17. #17
    Staril - Mad Cat Woman Sue's Avatar
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    Hi Colin,

    I'm looking forward to your jigsaw affiliate program. I have been addicted to jigsaws for many years and have heard several people complain about how few are available to buy online ... I don't know anyone who likes the totally online versions.


    Sue.

  18. #18
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    Hi,
    You seem to be experienced with Affiliate marketing, our site is just geting into it, where would be the best place to drum up some affiliates? I am offering 10% of every sale with the average sale of $99.00+. We are a Health & Weight Loss site.
    Any way, anything you could help with would be appreciated.

    Thanks,

    B. Niskala
    diets@ptd.net

  19. #19
    AM Navigator Geno Prussakov's Avatar
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    Identify the ponds and lakes where the fish you're looking for lives, and fish there.

    Also, check your e-mail.

    Geno

  20. #20
    Member Jigsaw2order's Avatar
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    Hi Sue,

    I'm looking forward to your jigsaw affiliate program. I have been addicted to jigsaws for many years and have heard several people complain about how few are available to buy online ... I don't know anyone who likes the totally online versions.
    I appreciate your comments and hope that I can welcome you very soon as one of our first affiliates. We are now in the final stages of getting our banners, text links and other program details ready and plan to activate the program on SAS around the middle of the month. It is surprising how many people do enjoy puzzles - and even more so when they reflect their own picture.

    Colin Southwell
    jigsaw2order.com

  21. #21
    Member Jigsaw2order's Avatar
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    Hi Geno,

    Identify the ponds and lakes where the fish you're looking for lives, and fish there.
    Yes, very well said. I have scouted out a few good fishing spots and now just getting my lures ready. Here's to successful fishing for all of us!

    Also, check your e-mail.
    Should I be looking for something in particular?

    Colin
    Jigsaw2order.com

  22. #22
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
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    Merchant affiliate programs
    Most merchants likely don't offer affiliate programs because they do not understand them and / or because they have used other traditional media for so long that they are naturally resistant to this new internet thingy.

    Lack of knowledge has always been a challenge to overcome with any new concept. Of course, I am old enough to remember in the late 70's when people asked the same thing about PC's. "Why don't more businesses and individuals use these new computers? Someday everyone will have one."

    In any new industry / concept there is ALWAYS a tremendous amount of missionary work to be done in order to create a market. The benefits, cost savings, revenue potentials, cost effectiveness, and other selling points must be promoted to the market for many years in order to bring about awareness, increased knowledge, desireability and hence, demand.

    Merchants have had over 200 years of print, video / audio media to rely on to promote their businesses. The traditional media and field representatives have been their livelihood and the method they used to build their successes. The internet media is (effectively) only 10 years into its evolution. 200 years of habit versus a new promotion concept says a lot.

    Undoubtedly as more merchants become more aware of the potential of affiliate programs, and as more "big hitting" affiliates evolve in the industry, affiliate marketing will account for more marketing expenditures by merchants. The bottom line is patience and persistence - as it always is when creating long term / long lasting success.

    Best To All

    Alan
    AmeriTrustRx

  23. #23
    Member Jigsaw2order's Avatar
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    Hi Staril,

    Quote Originally Posted by Staril
    I'm looking forward to your jigsaw affiliate program. I have been addicted to jigsaws for many years and have heard several people complain about how few are available to buy online ... I don't know anyone who likes the totally online versions.Sue.
    Just thought I would let you know that we are up and running now. I'm not sure if I can post the link here to our affiliate program but you can find it if you check out the New program Announcements

    http://forum.abestweb.com/showthread.php?t=76225

    Colin
    Jigsaw2order

  24. #24
    ABW Ambassador best123's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by myisha
    My niche is women fashion's I've been searching for new online merchants to promote on my websites I emailed of my favorite online stores BeBe because I didn't them mentioning having an affiliate program.They emailed back stating that don't permit individuals from using there personal or business ventures. Why don't most merchants take advantage of affiliate programs?
    The worst I've seen is affiliates posting links of merchants who dont have affiliate programs along side links of merchants who do have affiliate programs.

    I feel it's unfair to the merchants who are paying for their links to be placed while some others get it for free.

  25. #25
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    Question New to the site
    Hi all, I am new to the site but in these kinds of cases wouldn't you get access to all the fashion retailers via one of the networks. They have full time sales people who are constantly trying to bring new and inexperienced merchants to the table.

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