WooCommerce Affiliate Marketing – An Introduction

Last updated - May 10, 2018

Affiliate Marketing has become a common practice thanks to the widespread reach of the internet and its many awesome tools. WooCommerce enables affiliate marketing in two ways. First, it helps store owners to put up external or affiliate products using its core features. Read how to add affiliate products on WooCommerce here. In addition, it aids store owners to set up their own affiliate programs using some efficient third-party plugins.

In this article, we will explore the basic features of affiliate marketing and certain capabilities of WooCommerce affiliate marketing plugins.

What is affiliate marketing?

It is a marketing initiative where an affiliate gives recommendations to its audience on products sold by an online merchant. The affiliate can be a blog, online store or a website, and the merchant can be an online store like Amazon. The merchant rewards the affiliate when customers buy products through the affiliate link. The affiliate is usually compensated through revenue sharing partnerships or pay per direct sales. There are affiliate programs that also reward affiliates for every action on the merchant site such as clicks or signups.

Affiliate marketing channel

Affiliate marketing involves the coordinated involvement of three core partners in the process. These are the advertiser, the affiliate, and the customer.

The advertiser – It can be a company or a merchant selling any kind of products like apparels, accessories, gadgets or services. The only criteria are that the advertiser should be willing to compensate the affiliates for their marketing efforts.

The affiliate – The affiliate fundamentally promotes the advertiser’s product in return for a monetary reward. Generally, the advertiser provides the affiliate with a link to their products. The affiliate website features this link which contains information to track the success rate of the initiative.

The customer – The center of attraction in the affiliate marketing channel is the customer. End of the day it is the action of the customer that determines the efficiency of each initiative. The customer actively takes part in the process by registering to websites, clicking on landing pages, and purchasing recommended products.

Actions of the customer can be used to determine referral commission
Actions of the customer can be used to determine referral commission

Behind-the-scene cookies of affiliate marketing

An essential component of affiliate marketing is a web cookie. A cookie is nothing but a piece of data stored during a user’s web browsing session. The stored data will have information about browsing preferences, form filling data, items in the shopping cart, etc. In affiliate marketing, the cookie will have information regarding the advertiser, affiliate, the terms of compensation, etc. This, in turn, helps to efficiently track the entire process.

WooCommerce affiliate marketing plugins

There are several WooCommerce affiliate marketing plugins that support you in setting up an efficient affiliate marketing program for your online store. We will discuss in detail some of the capabilities of these extensions below:

Automating sales commissions for affiliates – You can set commissions based on a fixed rate, a percentage value of sales amount, or a custom formula. A commonly-observed practice is to offer commissions to affiliates based on the purchase amount.

Set product based rates or exclude products – If you want to set a specific commission rate for each product, you can do so using extensions. Similarly, there are options to disable particular products from generating an affiliate commission.

Tracking affiliate coupons – When combined with WooCommerce discount coupons, affiliate marketing becomes all the more simplified. There are WooCommerce extensions that specifically help in tracking coupons provided to affiliates.

Referral time limit – You can set a value to determine the time period with which a customer visit to your store using an affiliate link will create a referral.

Rejecting commissions in case of refunds – If a purchase enabled through an affiliate link ends up in a refund, you may not want to reward the affiliate. In such cases, if you are yet to pay the commission, the plugin lets you choose to reject the refund.

WooCommerce affiliate marketing plugins examples

If you are looking to set up an excellent affiliate marketing program in your store, you can check the following plugins to help you with it:

  • Affiliates Pro – A highly popular plugin to help you start your own affiliate program.Features of this plugin include completely automated affiliate registration, unlimited affiliate management and seamless integration with any eCommerce platform. In addition, Affiliates Pro provides a steady framework for developers to enable customized solutions
  • AffiliateWP – Simplicity, and dependability are the most important facets of this plugin. You may be able to reach out better to your customers, gain more traffic and consequentially increase your sales. In addition, the easy setup and seamless integration with WordPress add to its popularity.
  • Tapfiliate WooCommerce – This one helps you set a customized commission structure. It allows you to set variable commissions based on individual products or sale percentage. You can also generate recurring commissions in a timely manner using this plugin.
  • YITH WooCommerce Affiliates – It helps you determine the commission for your affiliate when a user directed from the affiliate site makes a purchase. The plugin lets you credit commissions correctly even if the purchase happened later after the customer’s first visit.