Affiliate marketing is a type of performance-based marketing in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought by the affiliate's own marketing efforts. The industry has four core players: the merchant (also known as 'retailer' or 'brand'), the network (that contains offers for the affiliate to choose from and also takes care of the payments), the publisher (also known as 'the affiliate'), and the customer. The market has grown in complexity, resulting in the emergence of a secondary tier of players, including affiliate management agencies, super-affiliates and specialized third party vendors.
Affiliate marketing overlaps with other Internet marketing methods to some degree, because affiliates often use regular advertising methods. Those methods include organic search engine optimization (SEO), paid search engine marketing (PPC – Pay Per Click), e-mail marketing, content marketing and in some sense display advertising. On the other hand, affiliates sometimes use less orthodox techniques, such as publishing reviews of products or services offered by a partner.
Affiliate marketing is commonly confused with referral marketing, as both forms of marketing use third parties to drive sales to the retailer. However, both are distinct forms of marketing and the main difference between them is that affiliate marketing relies purely on financial motivations to drive sales while referral marketing relies on trust and personal relationships to drive sales.
Affiliate marketing is frequently overlooked by advertisers. While search engines, e-mail, and website syndication capture much of the attention of online retailers, affiliate marketing carries a much lower profile. Still, affiliates continue to play a significant role in e-retailers' marketing strategies.
An affiliate network acts as an intermediary between publishers (affiliates) and merchant affiliate programs. It allows website publishers to more easily find and participate in affiliate programs which are suitable for their website (and thus generate income from those programs), and allows websites offering affiliate programs (typically online merchants) to reach a larger audience by promoting their affiliate programs to all of the publishers participating in the affiliate network.
Traditional affiliate networks enable merchants to offer publishers a share of any revenue that is generated by the merchant from visitors to the publisher's site, or a fee for each visitor on the publisher's site that completes a specific action (making a purchase, registering for a newsletter, etc.). The majority of merchant programs have a revenue share model, as opposed to a fee-per-action model.
For merchants, affiliate network services and benefits may include tracking technology, reporting tools, payment processing, and access to a large base of publishers. For affiliates, services and benefits can include simplifying the process of registering for one or more merchant affiliate programs, reporting tools, access to product API's and payment aggregation.
Affiliates are generally able to join affiliate networks for free, whereas there is generally a fee for merchants to participate. Traditional affiliate networks might charge an initial setup fee and/or a recurring membership fee. It is also common for affiliate networks to charge merchants a percentage of the commissions paid to affiliates, this is known as an 'over-ride' and is payable on top of the affiliates commission.
Amazon.com, Inc. often referred to as simply Amazon, is an American electronic commerce and cloud computing company with headquarters in
Amazon.com, Inc., doing business as Amazon (/'æm?z?n/), is an American electronic commerce and cloud computing company based in Seattle, Washington that was founded by Jeff Bezos on July 5, 1994. The tech giant is the largest Internet-based retailer in the world by total sales and market capitalization. Amazon.com started as an online bookstore and later diversified to sell DVDs, Blu-rays, CDs, video downloads/streaming, MP3 downloads/streaming, audiobook downloads/streaming, software, video games, electronics, apparel, furniture, food, toys, and jewelry. The company also produces consumer electronics—notably, Kindle e-readers, Fire tablets, Fire TV, and Echo—and is the world's largest provider of cloud infrastructure services (IaaS and PaaS). Amazon also sells certain low-end products like USB cables under its in-house brand AmazonBasics.
Amazon has separate retail websites for the United States, the United Kingdom and Ireland, France, Canada, Germany, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Australia, Brazil, Japan, China, India, and Mexico. Amazon also offers international shipping to certain other countries for some of its products. In 2016, Dutch, Polish, and Turkish language versions of the German Amazon website were also launched.
In 2015, Amazon surpassed Walmart as the most valuable retailer in the United States by market capitalization. Amazon is the fourth most valuable public company in the world, the largest Internet company by revenue in the world, and the eighth largest employer in the United States. In 2017, Amazon announced their plans to acquire Whole Foods Market for $13.4 billion by the end of the year, which would vastly increase Amazon's presence as a physical retailer. The acquisition was interpreted by some as a direct attempt to challenge Walmart as a physical store.
The company was founded as a result of what Amazon founder Jeff Bezos called his "regret minimization framework," which described his efforts to fend off any regrets for not participating sooner in the Internet business boom during that time. In 1994, Bezos left his employment as vice-president of D. E. Shaw & Co., a Wall Street firm, and moved to Seattle, Washington. He began to work on a business plan for what would eventually become Amazon.com.
On July 5, 1994, Bezos incorporated the company as Cadabra, Inc. Bezos changed the name to Amazon.com, Inc. a few months later, after a lawyer misheard its original name as "cadaver". In September 1994, Bezos purchased the URL Relentless.com and briefly considered naming his online store Relentless, but friends told him the name sounded a bit sinister. The domain is still owned by Bezos and still redirects to the retailer. The company went online as Amazon.com in 1995.
Bezos selected the name Amazon by looking through the dictionary; he settled on "Amazon" because it was a place that was "exotic and different", just as he had envisioned for his Internet enterprise. The Amazon River, he noted, was the biggest river in the world, and he planned to make his store the biggest in the world. Bezos placed a premium on his head start in building a brand and told a reporter, "There's nothing about our model that can't be copied over time. But you know, McDonald's got copied. And it still built a huge, multibillion-dollar company. A lot of it comes down to the brand name. Brand names are more important online than they are in the physical world." Additionally, a name beginning with "A" was preferential due to the probability it would occur at the top of any list that was alphabetized.
After reading a report about the future of the Internet that projected annual Web commerce growth at 2,300%, Bezos created a list of 20 products that could be marketed online. He narrowed the list to what he felt were the five most promising products, which included: compact discs, computer hardware, computer software, videos, and books. Bezos finally decided that his new business would sell books online, due to the large worldwide demand for literature, the low price points for books, along with the huge number of titles available in print. Amazon was founded in the garage of Bezos' home in Bellevue, Washington.
The company began as an online bookstore, which was an idea spurred off with a discussion with John Ingram of Ingram Book (now called Ingram Content Group), along with Keyur Patel who still holds a stake in Amazon. Amazon was able to access books at wholesale from Ingram. In the first two months of business, Amazon sold to all 50 states and over 45 countries. Within two months, Amazon's sales were up to $20,000/week. While the largest brick and mortar bookstores and mail order catalogs might offer 200,000 titles, an online bookstore could "carry" several times more, since it would have a practically unlimited virtual (not actual) warehouse: those of the actual product makers/suppliers.
Amazon was incorporated in 1994 in Washington State. In July 1995, the company began service and sold its first book on Amazon.com: Douglas Hofstadter's Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought. In October 1995, the company announced itself to the public. In 1996, it was reincorporated in Delaware. Amazon issued its initial public offering of stock on May 15, 1997, trading under the NASDAQ stock exchange symbol AMZN, at a price of US$18.00 per share ($1.50 after three stock splits in the late 1990s).
Barnes & Noble sued Amazon on May 12, 1997, alleging that Amazon's claim to be "the world's largest bookstore" was false because it "...isn't a bookstore at all. It's a book broker." The suit was later settled out of court and Amazon continued to make the same claim. Walmart sued Amazon on October 16, 1998, alleging that Amazon had stolen Walmart's trade secrets by hiring former Walmart executives. Although this suit was also settled out of court, it caused Amazon to implement internal restrictions and the reassignment of the former Walmart executives.
Since June 19, 2000, Amazon's logotype has featured a curved arrow leading from A to Z, representing that the company carries every product from A to Z, with the arrow shaped like a smile.
Amazon's initial business plan was unusual; it did not expect to make a profit for four to five years. This "slow" growth caused stockholders to complain that the company was not reaching profitability fast enough to justify their investment or even survive in the long-term. When the dot-com bubble burst at the start of the 21st century and destroyed many e-companies in the process, Amazon survived and grew on past the tech crash to become a huge player in online sales. The company finally turned its first profit in the fourth quarter of 2001: $5 million (i.e., 1¢ per share), on revenues of more than $1 billion. This profit margin, though extremely modest, proved to skeptics that Bezos' unconventional business model could succeed. In 1999, Time magazine named Bezos the Person of the Year when it recognized the company's success in popularizing online shopping.
In 2011, Amazon had 30,000 full-time employees in the USA, and by the end of 2016, it had 180,000 employees. The company employs 306,800 people worldwide in full and part-time jobs.
On October 11, 2016, Amazon announced plans to build convenience stores and develop curbside pickup locations for food. In December 2016, the Amazon Go store was opened to Amazon employees in Seattle. The store uses a variety of sensors and automatically charges a shopper's Amazon account as they walk out of the store, eliminating the need for checkout lines. The store is planned to open for the general public in early 2017.[needs update]
In June 2017, Amazon announced that it would acquire Whole Foods, a high-end supermarket chain with over 400 stores, for $13.4 billion. The acquisition was seen by media experts as a move to strengthen its physical holdings and challenge Walmart's supremacy as a brick and mortar retailer. This sentiment was heightened by the fact that the announcement coincided with Walmart's purchase of men's apparel company Bonobos. On August 23, 2017, Whole Foods shareholders, as well as the Federal Trade Commission, approved the deal.
In 2020, Amazon will build a new downtown Seattle campus with space for Mary's Place, a local charity.
Welcome! Chances are, you’ve landed here because you aren’t quite sure how this whole Affiliate Marketing thing works.
Maybe you’ve discovered CJ Affiliate by Conversant (formerly Commission Junction) while searching the web for online marketing solutions, or maybe you’ve heard of Affiliate Marketing but still don’t know: what is Affiliate Marketing?
Thankfully, some good folks at CJ want to help you master the art of Affiliate Marketing and how to make more money online.
CJ Affiliate (formerly Commission Junction) is an online advertising company owned by Alliance Data operating in the affiliate marketing industry, which operates worldwide. The corporate headquarters is in Santa Barbara, California, and there are offices in Atlanta, GA, Chicago, IL, New York, NY San Francisco, CA Westlake Village, CA and Westborough, MA in the USA, and in the UK, Germany, France, Spain, Sweden and South Africa.
ClickBank is a privately held Internet retailer of both physical and digital products. ClickBank was founded in 1998. The company has more than six-million clients worldwide which secured it in becoming the 87th largest Internet retailer in North America. ClickBank is a subsidiary of Keynetics Inc., one of Idaho’s largest privately held technology companies. The company has headquarters in Boise, Idaho, and offices in Broomfield, Colorado.
ClickBank was founded in San Diego, California in 1998 by Tim and Eileen Barber. In 2011, the site had attracted over 1,500,000 affiliate marketers, approximately 100,000 of whom were designated as 'active' at any given time.
As of 2014, ClickBank has more than six-million clients and distributes in 190 countries and has carved out a niche in being an easy-to-use platform for entrepreneurs and businesses, enabling powerful online and mobile commerce across a wide variety of lifestyle categories. In August 2014, ClickBank handled approximately 30,000 transactions daily.
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