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Chapter 24. Home-Brewed Store-Building > Do It Yourself Affiliate System and St...

Do It Yourself Affiliate System and Stores

Earlier in the book we covered the concept of affiliate stores. An affiliate store or site is a Web site that recommends a product and a store as the place to purchase that product. When a user clicks on an affiliate link, he is taken to the store where he can purchase the products. You then track that purchase and, if it can be accounted to one of your affiliate sites, you pay them a percentage (or a fee) for the sale. The percentage or bounty can be whatever you feel like offering, although you and the affiliate agree contractually before hand what that is. Typically, the fees paid are in the between 5 to 15 percent of the overall sale. Some sites pay a one-time fee (for example, $50 for each new customer) while others pay a high percentage for first-time purchases and then a lower percentage for each subsequent sale. There are dozens of approaches to use—it's really up to you and your affiliates.

The hard part of an affiliate system is tracking it, making it easy to sign up for, and cutting the checks for affiliates. That is why affiliates have mostly been the domain of larger-scale stores that can afford the infrastructure to manage them, or those that can afford higher-priced services such as BeFree and Linkshare that can help sign up and manage affiliate programs. Fortunately for small- to medium-sized stores, a new service for creating your own affiliate program called Commission Junction is both affordable and easy to use.


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