You may find running your brick and mortar business difficult in the wake of the pandemic. Data reveals that 67% of consumers have changed the way they shop due to COVID-19, and this figure is expected to grow. So, what can you do to ensure that your in-store business still succeeds?
Creating an affiliate program can drive sales for your brick and mortar business, both through online spending and offline purchases. It may also boost your brand awareness and open your business up to a wider audience. You can even get started on a limited budget.
In this post, we'll discuss what affiliate marketing is and how it works. Then we'll outline four ways it can boost your brick and mortar business. Let’s jump right in!
What Affiliate Marketing Is and How It Works
Affiliate marketing is an advertising model in which a company pays individuals to promote purchases in return for a commission. The company can be either an online store or a brick and mortar operation (or both).
Under this model, you have a “seller” (merchant or brand) that creates a product or service, and “affiliates” (publishers or advertisers) who promote the seller's goods using affiliate links or codes. Finally, the “customers” are the people who click on the affiliates' links and make purchases.
As a merchant, you may choose to host your own affiliate program to promote your products. Alternatively, there are affiliate networks that can help you connect with marketers. They offer established databases you can use to reach out to influencers who can further your business.
It's important to note that affiliate programs don't just help merchants spread the word about their brands. They also benefit the affiliates, who are able to earn a somewhat passive income from their promotional efforts. In fact, there are individuals and companies that gain earnings solely from affiliate commerce.
4 Ways Affiliate Marketing Can Boost Your Brick and Mortar Business
Now that we've covered the ins and outs of affiliate marketing, let's check out four ways it can boost your brick and mortar business' performance.
1. Easily Increase Brand Awareness
By using a brick and mortar affiliate marketing program, you can reach a global audience and acquire new customers beyond your local area. In fact, research from BloggingX notes that 83% of affiliate marketers use this form of advertising to increase brand awareness.
Of course, it's important to choose the right affiliates to promote your products. Selecting someone who shares a similar target audience will help ensure that you are reaching high-converting customers. It may also result in organic word-of-mouth marketing and further referrals to your business.
If you're not sure how to get started, using a partner recruitment platform such as Grovia can be extremely helpful. It can connect you to a system of relevant affiliates:
Leveraging affiliate marketing to support a strong social media presence can also be a cost-effective way to increase brand recognition. It can enable you to boost your credibility via direct customer communication. Ideally, this will also lead to more sales.
Even if you attract new visitors who aren't actively buying, you can still gain an audience likely to engage with your brand. They may even choose to share your business within their networks.
2. Drive In-Store Sales
The recent “phygital retail” trend is seeing brick and mortar stores combining their physical and digital sales strategies. A cohesive customer experience, both online and offline, is becoming increasingly important.
Affiliates can be used to bridge this gap and drive in-store promotions. You could use a business growth platform such as Gleam to advertise sales with instant rewards:
You may also want to offer in-store coupons that drive physical foot traffic. For example, you might reward users for engaging with your brand on social media. You could require a user to follow your Twitter account and share it at least once. Then you could send them a code for an in-store coupon.
3. Maximize Your Investment
Brick and mortar affiliate marketing is entirely performance-based, and therefore requires minimal start-up and maintenance costs. Affiliates do the marketing work for you, and you only pay when you get real results.
This strategy can be useful for businesses on a smaller budget, as it offers plenty of flexibility. The average affiliate commission falls anywhere between 5–30%, so you can decide on a unique rate that will bolster your business.
Telecommunications company Vodafone recently benefited from a successful affiliate channel. It was aimed at driving Samsung orders, and the company was able to make an impressive return on investment (ROI):
This campaign used a mix of promotional methods including vouchers, cash back offers, and strategically-placed editorial content. As a result, the number of orders driven over the quarter was 92% above target, with the total cost per action (CPA) falling under target at 33%.
Affiliate marketing is in many ways similar to referral marketing. This can also be a cost-effective method for smaller companies with limited budgets. You can incentivize current customers to promote your brand and transform them into loyal affiliates.
4. Gather Useful Customer Data
Using the data you collect from your affiliate marketing efforts can also benefit your business. You can keep track of which promotions are successful to determine what works for your unique customers.
You can also use email addresses to build a list of potential sales leads. This can help you create a solid base where you can promote in-store events and products.
If you want to make the most of your data, a dependable affiliate management tool will likely come in handy. Our Easy Affiliate plugin allows you to track your affiliates' success and analyze their performance:
By using our real-time reports, you can keep track of affiliate statistics. Easy Affiliate also offers detailed click-tracking. This will allow you to see where certain clicks have come from, including email-specific links. By leveraging this data, you can make future decisions to improve your affiliate strategy and increase your sales.
As ecommerce becomes increasingly popular, attracting business to your physical location may become more challenging. Fortunately, creating an affiliate marketing program can help you bridge the online-offline gap.
Let's recap four ways affiliate marketing can improve your brick and mortar business:
- Increase brand awareness: When you select the right affiliates, you can expand your audience with ease.
- Drive in-store sales: You can connect to an online audience to encourage more foot traffic at your physical location.
- Maximize your investment: Since affiliate marketing is performance-based, you only pay for marketing when it leads to direct sales.
- Gather useful customer data: Using a tool such as Easy Affiliate, you can carefully track clicks and sales to improve your marketing strategies.
Do you have any questions about creating an affiliate program for your in-store business? Let us know in the comments section below!