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Are Your Holiday Affiliate Promotions Creating Value For Shoppers?

Research agency Nielsen Online has released a recent survey of 1,300 online shoppers polling their reasons for shopping online:


Some of the factors are native to operating a website like: being able to shop 24 hours a day, saving on gas, saves time.

But the smart affiliates know that a number of site-dependent factors like:

  • sales/discounts/promotions
  • available product information
  • selection
  • comparison shopping

Are dependent on the type of site you’ve developed.

I’m fortunate to be working with a very talented developer, so we’ve been doing some sophisticated tracking with the Sub ID tracking link facility, usually used by PPC marketers. We’re also doing some tests with the APIs (application programming interface) access that merchants and networks to create some pretty interesting sites.

In previous blog posts I’ve mentioned that there’s a lack of product information sites – in most cases, with the exception of sites like CNet, most “info” sites are cobbled together with datafeeds that are found on manufacturers sites. So how does going to your “review” site make a difference from going to Dell or Apple and look at the specs there?

Affiliate networks like ShareASale have gone 1 step further to compile coupon/code databases which affiliates can easily plug into their sites and provide value for customers.

Still, I’d suggest that since most smart SaS affiliate will be publishing coupon codes, you should still go one step further, with creating depth for your site – including a synopsis or summary of a product review, if you can’t get your hands on the real thing.

A ranking site (eg: “Top 10 most popular digital cameras”) is always popular because it plays on the human psychology that we need to consider alternatives before making a final decision (hence, the need for “3 quotes or more” in government and private sector procurement). Having a list of items and having an expert tell you why the #1 is the best is one of the strongest motivator, especially if you’re not motivated enough to go to the store to check it out for yourself.

One of the keys for online shopping for me has been to look at user ratings. Maybe I’m a contrarian, but I like checking out the negative ratings and decide if I can live with those shortcomings.

With any affiliate promotion, the more preparation you put into it, the better you’d generally do.

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