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  1. #1
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    Where are the big-name merchants?
    I was just wondering why ShareASale seems to have no big-name merchants? LinkShare and CJ have Wal-Mart, AT&T, Toshiba, etc but the only merchant I've ever seen on ShareASale that has even a little brand name recognition is Niman Ranch.

    What gives?

  2. #2
    notary sojac Herb ԿԬ's Avatar
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    I think LS and CJ are what they consider "branding." Takes bigger pockets, too.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Herb ԿԬ
    Takes bigger pockets, too.
    very true...

  4. #4
    ShareASale President/CEO and ABW Veteran Brian - ShareASale's Avatar
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    Snowverkill,

    Our focus has never been to aggregate the "top 10" online brands, but has instead been on putting together a good mix of quality niche sites, pure play internet retailers, and other small, medium, and larger businesses.

    That being said.... we have a few names that I consider to be pretty household. You will likely recognize quite a few from our own internal merchant list... I'm not big on advertising merchant sites or saying who I think is "Big", but if you look through our "PowerRank 100" list which shows 100 of our best and brightest, I think you'll find some names you recognize.

    Personally, I think if you are only focusing on the brands that you mention - you are missing out on a ton of great web-retailers...but that is just my opinion. The amount of information and transparency that the online world enjoys benefits smaller and more nimble retailers moreso than larger ones. Price comparison for example, ... in a price comparison engine there is likely a "big guy" put side-by-side with a "little guy" and the consumer has all the information that they need - this is absent in the offline world most of the time.
    Thanks,

    Brian Littleton
    President/CEO - ShareASale.com, Inc.

  5. #5
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    I've done very well with many of the less well known merchants on SAS, but there are certainly some big brands there as well: Jones Soda, Washington Redskins, Checks Unlimited, Rockler, Meritline, Vann's, Land of Nod, International Bible Society and Chinese Laundry just to name a few.
    Michael Coley
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelColey
    Chinese Laundry
    OT, this really made me curious as the 1st impression I got.. there is a merchant on SAS doing dry cleaning?? Need to learn more about their online model.
    Google it and it is a shoe merchant.

  7. #7
    Outsourced Program Manager Jorge - SHOPiMAR's Avatar
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    Hello Snowverkill,
    Quote Originally Posted by snowverkill
    I was just wondering why ShareASale seems to have no big-name merchants?
    Right here: EverythingFurniture.com and we are on shareasale.com

    The internet changed that so called 'big-name merchant' theory cause you might think customers are looking and shopping only from those big hundred year old recognized stores only but I like to think of EverythingFurniture as a 'big-name merchant' too why, well because we have many affiliates active and selling our furniture, but we have one particular affiliate for example that should reach $100k in gross sales with us soon and they just joined us less than 4 months ago.

    Ok, sorry for the plug, but it's true SAS does have many great merchants that you should join and take advantage of what customers are shopping for, cause like I said above the internet changed that and customers are looking for great products, not just how long they've been around or how many cashiers are opened.

    So come on in, we ARE a big name merchant.


  8. #8
    Grandma broke her coccyx! Uncle Rico's Avatar
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    Neve heard of Niman Ranch.

  9. #9
    Believe knight01's Avatar
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    I had the same impression as Snowverkill when I joined SAS a little over a year ago. I sort of turned up my nose at a lot of the merchants since I'd never heard of them. (sorry, just my first impression)

    In the year or so that I've been learning and growing, I've learned exactly what Brian mentioned. Shopping online is different from shopping offline. My expectation had been that if someone saw Walmart or Sears on my site there was an instant 'validation' due to the recognition of the name brand.

    In fact I now think that may play against some affiliate marketing techniques. If I know I'm looking to buy a 42" plasma tv, I want to find the best overall deal. If I see Walmart has the best price, I'll hop in the car and drive 15 minutes to buy it. But, if Vanns has a better price I'm not driving to Wyoming to pick it up. I'm going to click through and buy it online. I've never heard of Vanns, but I trust the website that says they have the best overall deal. (this is where your job as an AM comes in) So I'm now buying from someone I didn't know yesterday.

    As an affiliate I've found some real gems in SAS that I know don't have the exposure that their national counterparts have but can provide a better all around experience for my visitor. I now think that is the strength of the SAS network, not a failing of it.

    If you are looking to promote only big national names, you're going to miss out on many sales and more importantly being able to build a reputation with visitors that you have knowledge and ability that they need and appreciate. That is what adds value to your visitor, to your merchant and to your bank account.
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  10. #10
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian - ShareASale
    Personally, I think if you are only focusing on the brands that you mention - you are missing out on a ton of great web-retailers...but that is just my opinion. The amount of information and transparency that the online world enjoys benefits smaller and more nimble retailers moreso than larger ones. Price comparison for example, ... in a price comparison engine there is likely a "big guy" put side-by-side with a "little guy" and the consumer has all the information that they need - this is absent in the offline world most of the time.
    Great point. Let's also keep in mind that smaller merchants / lesser known brands normally pay higher commissions, are more flexible and mobile, and are more open to constructive feedback. We've seen this on many occasions when smaller merchants are offered feedback and suggestions by affiliates. The larger brands tend to operate from the perspective that they are doing the small affiliate a favor, while the smaller "up and coming" merchants are more appreciative of affiliates efforts.

    I mentioned this earlier this year, but I do not personally see SaS's target as being to replace CJ or LJ as the biggest game in town. Rather, SaS concentrates on the huge potential available through brands that may not be the biggest names, but represent a niche that CJ and LS have no interest in, and that niche that they pass by is hundreds of thousands of good merchants. Great market plan. ;-)
    Join the Spicy Aprons Affiliate program on ShareASale Visit us on Facebook www.facebook.com/spicyaprons Follow us on Twitter @Spicyaprons

  11. #11
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Ewe
    OT, this really made me curious as the 1st impression I got.. there is a merchant on SAS doing dry cleaning?? Need to learn more about their online model. Google it and it is a shoe merchant.
    Yes Eric, it is. But I am surprised that you are not aware of the ancient Chinese secret "shoe activated" dry cleaning process! Too bad for you Grasshopper!!!
    Join the Spicy Aprons Affiliate program on ShareASale Visit us on Facebook www.facebook.com/spicyaprons Follow us on Twitter @Spicyaprons

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Hamilton
    Yes Eric, it is. But I am surprised that you are not aware of the ancient Chinese secret "shoe activated" dry cleaning process! Too bad for you Grasshopper!!!
    Yeah, my great great grandfather did not program me with that. He did put a cricket in my pants (watch Mulan to understand why a cricket is important)

  13. #13
    Outsourced Program Manager Angel Djambazov's Avatar
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    Although we are relatively new to SAS I think of Jones Soda as a pretty big name. Not only are we a national soda company that is publicly traded but we have exclusive contracts with the Seahawks AND the New Jersey (soon to be Brooklyn) Nets. Not bad.

    SAS is a great network and there are lots of gems within their network managed by some great AMs you just need to look.
    Angel Djambazov
    Managing Edtior ReveNews
    OPM for Keen Shoes and Graphicly.com

  14. #14
    Outsourced Program Manager Chris -  AMWSO's Avatar
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    Okay here's a SAS merchant with a brand some folks know.... Western Union.... need anything bigger or older? How about eCampus not as old, but pretty darned big
    Affiliate Marketing by AMWSO. Skype - chrissanderson ::: TEL 1-720-336-1784 ::: www.amwso.net
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  15. #15
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    I think that many major merchants end up with CJ or LS because they have slick sales staff and presentations; LS is especially "sales-driven" and I assume that CJ also has a top-level sales staff that probably travels to make presentations to potential big clients.

    My impression is that at "big brand" companies, the decision about "which network to use" is made by someone who won't have any day-to-day involvement (such as the VP Marketing or VP Sales, who will delegate implementation of the affiliate program to the IT department, and will hire someone to manage it). Any gripes from the IT department are likely to be ignored, and the person hired to run the program, of course, isn't going to tell the boss that this was a bad decision, or that there is another solution that provides all the same benefits at a significantly lower cost.

    Remember the phrase, "Nobody ever got fired for buying IBM"? I think the same attitude exists for those making the decisions at "big brand" companies -- if they go with the "top tier" then even if problems arise, they probably won't be blamed, but if they pick a "second tier" provider, they are much more likely to be blamed for any problems that arise.

    The investment community also likes CJ and LS because they are well-established and are subsidiaries of publicly-traded companies.

    Added: As I wrote this, I tried to identify "reasons why I don't consider SAS to be in the top tier," and I think that might be a good discussion thread. OK, then, I'll start that discussion as a separate thread

    Added: New thread at http://forum.abestweb.com/showthread.php?t=98324

  16. #16
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    No doubt that CJ and LS are the big boys, well-established and very well-known. Sometimes though, when you're looking for a partner and you're not that big yourself, you'd do better to find a better match. Still more important than the "network" decision, is the brain behind the affiliate program. For me, it's not the only factor, but the biggest determiner of success is the Affiliate Manager (AM) / Outsourced Program Manager (OPM). Companies should focus more on the AM / OPM choice than the network choice - problem is, they just don't understand that. So they pick what's obvious - the well-known ones.

  17. #17
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    we were a top 50 merchant in 2007 according to internet retailer http://www.internetretailer.com/article.asp?id=20674 and we're on SAS. We are on other networks as well but thats for non - US markets.

  18. #18
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    Good point! There are assumptions being tossed around that aren't being questioned much, thanks for reminding me of that.

    Btw, I'm an affiliate of yours (both YesAsia and YesStyle) and my lifetime combined EPC is over $100 with you. Glad you're at SAS!

  19. #19
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    Assumptions and perceptions. It's all in how you look at it. I think there *are* big name merchants on Shareasale and there are a number of merchants there that with our help can BECOME big name (meaning easily recognized household names) companies in a short time.

    And as to the other thread, I don't think Shareasale is a second tier network at all, they are top notch.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donuts
    Good point! There are assumptions being tossed around that aren't being questioned much, thanks for reminding me of that.

    Btw, I'm an affiliate of yours (both YesAsia and YesStyle) and my lifetime combined EPC is over $100 with you. Glad you're at SAS!
    Thanks for the support : ) I just checked the stats so I think I know who you are now. Well, they're actually 2 candidates with just about $100 ; )

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