The Internet has changed the world. People can now make money from the comfort of their own homes. The digital revolution in India has brought several ways of making money online. One way of making money is affiliate marketing. It’s easy to know about affiliate marketing, but what is an affiliate network?
What is an affiliate network?
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We know that affiliate marketing is the process by which a blogger can earn commissions from eCommerce sites by promoting available products in their blogs, and compelling readers to purchase these products by clicking a link provided by the website.
Let’s imagine the E-commerce industry as a common marketplace from which you can buy your daily groceries. You might be thinking of cooking biryani. For that, you’ll need Mirchi, aloo, spices and rice.
What if the vendor who sells aloo and Mirchi, the store that sells spices and another store that sells rice are all side by side, in their own little network?
The aloo and Mirchi, spices, and rice are all compatible products. The vendor that sold you the aloo will recommend you to purchase rice from the store nearby.
But how can the spices vendor be sure that the customers he gets are because of vegetable or rice vendors? How can the other vendors be sure that the spices vendor is driving customers to their stores? There needs to be someone who is checking each vendor and tracking each customer. This is where an affiliate network comes into the picture.
We can apply the same analogy to the online world. Brands will come together and partner with other online channels for the promotion of their products and services. This is done through link sharing, and these online channels will be responsible for driving web traffic. However, both the merchants of these brands and the affiliate marketers need some sort of tracking service, which is why we require the presence of an affiliate network.
These affiliate networks typically work through a system of link sharing. Members share links to other members’ products, and a small commission for sales or web traffic is generated by their content when sales are made.”
While affiliate marketing has struck a chord with digital marketers, the universe of affiliate marketing isn’t so simple.
We can notice two features in the partnering of our spices vendor with other vendors:
- It is cost-effective; almost free.
- It doesn’t take much effort.
In eCommerce sites, merchants and affiliates will have this question:
How does an online company track transactions from the click on an affiliate’s website, generate individual reports for affiliates, process payments for affiliates, etc.?
This is when a company requires an affiliate network.We have to answer the following questions on behalf of merchants:
- How will I track customers?
- How will I pay affiliates?
Further, on behalf of affiliates, we need to answer:
- Who will guarantee that I get paid for every consumer I drive towards the merchant?
- How can I keep track and report my progress?
How does an online affiliate network function?
Let’s say you are a part of the policy bazaar affiliate program in India.
Policy bazaar here is the merchant, and you are an affiliate marketer.
Policy bazaar will not directly perform every action required for a successful affiliate program. Things like tracking, payment processing, refund processing and reporting will be handled entirely by the affiliate network.
An affiliate network is therefore crucial to both the merchant and affiliate marketer. The merchant will require the info about tracking among other things, and the affiliate marketer will need prompt commission payment without any issues, and reports about his or her performance. These duties are performed by the affiliate network.
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What have we learnt so far?
There has to be someone who is checking up on affiliates and keeping track of transactions, along with paying affiliates and providing reports to merchants. Both merchants and affiliates benefit from an affiliate marketing network, especially in terms of tracking, reports, and payment procedures. Affiliate networks like Admitad India even provide their publishers with analytical tools, which will, in turn, help them understand trends and further improve their business.
Some of the best affiliate marketing networks in India include commission, Cuelinks, Komli, Admitad India, and Clickbank, among others.