9 Companies Rocking the Affiliate Marketing World
Online marketers and just about everyone who plays in the space has a reputation for being a leader and an innovator. After all, back in the day, anyone who had anything to do with online marketing had to move mountains, jump through hoops and put forth Herculean effort to convince their decidedly offline bosses that anything .com was even worth talking about.
Much like those early online marketers, affiliate marketers are great innovators, inventors, over-achievers and, well, all around heroes when it comes to developing newer and better ways to sell products online.
Let's take a look at a few innovative companies in the affiliate space who have developed new and unique methods which have improved the online retail shopping experience.
Coupon startup Honey (http://joinhoney.com/) has developed new coupon code toolbar that allows the retailer to dynamically change their offer based on where the consumer came from. And, as a Chrome extension, acts as a shopping aid to the consumer at the same moment they are considering a purchase. For example, Forever 21 can offer 20% in the next 10 minutes to consumers coming from H&M. This can help merchants "buy" market share from their competitors based on the consumer profile.
Software brand Wymsee (http://www.wymsee.com/) has created an application which can be used by costume, hair, makeup, and props departments on movie and TV show sets. These departments use the app to inventory items used in scenes, make sure there is continuity, keep track of wardrobe, etc. Now, they are taking that information and creating a real-time second screen shopping experience for consumers/viewers.
For example, as someone is watching a TV program, they will be able to pull out their phone or tablet and see that a character is wearing a specific top, which would have an affiliate link directly to that top on the brand or retailer's website.
Wymsee has this data for almost every piece of clothing worn by every character on many major TV shows. They are still testing the exact interface, but it's almost like Shazam for clothes instead of music.
Keep.com (https://keep.com/) is a Pinterest-like fashion site and app that allows the consumer to buy direct form the app. They recently launched an affiliate program which offers a universal cart with minimal integration for merchants. They also offer an editorial blog for their retailers.
Digidip is a network of bloggers and content creators which operates much like any other sub-affiliate network such as SkimLinks or VigLink, etc. The main difference with Digidip is that they do not accept any code or loyalty affiliates. Digidip prefers to recruit content sites. They are signing with Elle Magazine and Vogue to to help those sites optimize their links for the first time. Digidip can also parse out traffic relative to the location of the client.
Spring Shopping is a new mobile app which merchants can use to target mobile consumers. It is a universal cart much like Sporing.com. Merchants can set up shop to access the network and users follow brands much in the same way people follow other people (or brands) on Twitter and Facebook.
Wear It Her Way (http://www.wearitherway.com/) is an interesting one. It's sole purpose to help men buy things by accessing a network of women who review a man's shopping cart and comment on his selections. Men browse clothes and create lists from online retailers and add them to your lists to be reviewed. Then the men can submit their lists of items to female friends on Facebook friends (or a selected demographic) and get their thoughts on what clothes to buy. Men then review the recommendations and buy the clothes on their lists that are most popular with girls in your demographic. Perfect for the fashion challenged man. And the merchant who knows the man has money but can't seem to open his wallet!
Netotiate (http://www.negotiate.com) offers added website functionality. When a customer has stopped moving their mouse or are moving their mouse towards closing the website, Netotiate re-engages with the shopper and lets the shopper set their own price for an item.
A button appears below the "Buy" button on the product page and that button is customizable by the retailer such as "Try Your Luck" or "VIP Special" or "Make Your Offer." Then a window pops up where the customer can put in the price they are willing to pay for that product. If it's too low, the shopper has one more chance and a red/green bar will indicate how likely it is the customer's bid will be accepted. The proposal is then either accepted or the website counters the offer.
Pradux (http://www.pradux.com/) uses the virality of social media to increase the chances of purchase. Users log in with Facebook and share their top products with friends - or even embed them directly into a blog post - and start getting rewards. When a person engages with a product that's been shared, the poster will get a Reaction Point which can be used to unlock exclusive experiences with merchant brands and retailers.
When someone purchases a product that's been shared, Pradux will then split the commission of the sale, 50/50. With an incentive in place for consumers to earn cash rewards by promoting a brand, the chances that item will see a larger grouping of potential buyers is greatly increased.
FlipGive (http://www.flipgive.com) is a charity platform which allows the public to raise funds for charities while merchants can also see a return. Essentially with every purchase made, up to 50% of proceeds will go to charity of choice. A representative from FlipGive says, "Based on the learnings with the Raise the Game program for Under Armour, which drove UA AOV's 40% higher than norm and delivered 80% new customers, we know the opportunity is ripe for all parties: fundraisers, brands and the sport associations, technology and media players that we'll be using as distribution partners."
Success in the affiliate channel calls for continuous innovation. The above are but a few examples of the many companies who have radically changed things for better in the space. Are you one? Do you want to become one? Take a page out of the above companys' playbooks and put it to use in your own world of innovation. Who knows? Maybe you'll make a list like this someday.
If you're a merchant, you'll want to dig deep into what these companies have to offer. And not just specifically what they offer but also how the gist of their innovation can be put to work for you in your affiliate channel.
This guest article was written by Greg Shepard, CEO AffiliateTraction.