Getting ahead in the constantly evolving world of online retail is no small feat. Beyond a great foundation and an attractive site design, you’ve got to find ways of getting customers to your site in the first place. Whether you’re running lean and generating interest yourself or you already have a marketing team, deploying affiliate marketing efforts can offer a measurable boost in your sales and customer base.
By taking a look at well-established online retailer Wine.com we see some great examples of how performance marketing can yield great results when used effectively. Their recipe for success can be broken down into three main points that help publishers maximize the effectiveness of their efforts.
1. Give Publishers Something Good To Work With
The point of using affiliate marketing is to attract new customers who wouldn’t have found your site otherwise. The quality and quantity of these customers depends on the tools you offer your affiliates. The more options and high-quality ads you offer your publishers, the more effective they will be at getting shoppers to your site to make a purchase.
One way that Wine.com was able to create new opportunities for their publishers was by offering additional products besides wine. Since certain states prohibit the shipment of alcohol from online sales, the site was able to expand their reach by offering alternatives such as fine chocolates, wine accessories and gift baskets which can be shipped to all 50 states. By doing this, they not only maximized their national exposure, but also made it possible to attract customers who may have never considered shopping a wine retailer for their purchase.
2. Be Prepared To Embrace New Trends
An ever-growing number of mobile and tablet users are making online purchases from their devices, and naturally this trend is expected to continue. The Coda Research Consultancy projects that by 2015 sales from mobile devices will reach $24 billion annually.
Given this rising surge in m-commerce, it is vital to work with publishers to ensure that redirecting customers to your site be as seamless as possible, as users gain comfort and familiarity with making purchases from mobile devices. Research shows that many users will flee to competitor sites after having an unsatisfactory mobile experience, and that most users will not recommend companies whose mobile sites are found lacking. These results underscore the importance in staying ahead of the mobile trend.
Wine.com has done well to make itself attractive to mobile shoppers and showed a significant percentage of their revenue in 2011 coming from Apple iPads. This number is expected to grow exponentially as devices proliferate and users become increasingly comfortable with m-commerce in the years to come.
3. Deploy An Effective Promotional Strategy
Developing an effective promotional strategy leads to better deals for consumers, increased incentives for publishers and ultimately, more new customers for your site.
During last year’s holiday season, Wine.com partnered with Cartera Commerce to offer a program to join mileage-based rewards with customer promotions. Through their efforts, the site was able to increase the average volume of orders and deepen customer loyalty.
Wine.com continues to enjoy great success with their offer of one-cent shipping for first time shoppers on the site. Once again, we see an attractive promotion for publishers, a great deal for customers and an effective way to drive sales.
Through their use of affiliate marketing Wine.com continues to attract new clientele and foster loyalty among existing customers. By successfully working with their publishers the site has enjoyed double-digit growth year after year. Let’s raise a glass to their success. Cheers!