If you’re an eCommerce marketer or store owner reading this, you’ve probably heard of affiliate marketing and probably know that it’s a key marketing strategy that many brands use for customer acquisition.
For anyone who's reading this is unsure of affiliate marketing is, I describe as something kind of like influencer marketing within the world of eCommerce. There are differences between the two, but they both have similar customer advocacy strategies, and both processes and strategies rely on incentives for both the promoter and the brand.
As a classic example, affiliate marketers can promote your promote through a dedicated link or coupon code, receive a percentage of the sale and earn a recurring commission, whether it’s by purchase, monthly or yearly payouts. Typically, many eCommerce affiliates can earn, say, 15-20% of purchases based on the value of the product purchase.
It’s often hard to decipher and know how much affiliate marketing plays a role in a brand’s overall growth initiatives and strategy.
However, from years of experience in this space (and just the world of marketing and digital), I can say that affiliate marketing is one of the best forms of marketing for a brand. Here are a few reasons why:
Okay, so clearly, we know the benefits. Now, it’s time to see what amazing brands are doing when it comes to affiliate marketing.
Regardless of your experience and where you currently sit within your affiliate marketing journey in terms of adoption, there are plenty of takeaways and learnings from these example references I’m sharing.
Whilst I know you’re eager to tuck into them, I always get more value when going through examples when there’s a bit of a checklist of attributes and characteristics in order to know what to look for. Here are items to keep an eye out for (and assess against your current benchmarks):
If you use the above as a guide, you’ll get a lot more value from exploring these examples.
Okay everyone, without further ado, let’s jump into these epic affiliate marketing programs by some awesome eCommerce brands.
Coco and Eve is an Australian beauty brand inspired by the lush richness of natural resources in Bali. Using tropical fruits as their base ingredients, they’ve developed natural formulations that have gone on to win awards in the industry. They are best known for their hair and tanning products, and they’re definitely worth telling others about.
It’s a good thing they have a great affiliate program in place, being such a popular choice for many. Let’s take a look at how they communicate their offering and USP of their products to attract promoters.
Kogan.com is basically an online marketplace that hosts retail and service brands in Australia. They are one of the pioneers in the industry and continue to be known for their competitive prices and private label products. I’m a very happy Kogan customer.
They certainly have a lot to offer, including a great affiliate marketing structure for those wanting to share the Kogan love:
Lilysilk is a fashion brand that does its best to impose zero-waste practices in its entire product cycle. They only use mulberry silk that is organically grown, and all their products are made to last. From bedding to clothing, they only offer the best.
Let’s see their page layout and incentive structure. They’ve done a great job overall - kudos to the Lilysilk team.
Nectar’s mission is to create and keep creating the world’s most comfortable mattress, designed to give users the best possible sleep every night. They offer a forever warranty as a testament to their quality. And it seems to have excelled in this area, given that multiple organisations have given it awards over the years.
They are definitely worth recommending to others, so it’s great that they have a fantastic program in place for influencers and advocates to generate income:
Salty Crush has been in the fashion industry for over six years now, and they are most known for their breezy, feminine, boho pieces, which are made by season, with limited stock. This means unique clothing for customers, mostly at prices less than $100 apiece.
This is their affiliate landing page:
Simba just started as a thread business (check out their story page - so cool) that supplies thread to mattress brands around the world. Then, around 20 years ago, they figured they’d make their own mattress business with this foundation. After consulting with experts and meticulously crafting the optimal mattress, they launched an affiliate marketing scheme to get the word out:
Cowboy is a bicycle company that was founded in 2018, most known for its electric bike that was designed for navigating urban environments. They currently have three bikes, all meticulously designed and can be connected to their app.
Here’s how they promote their affiliate marketing efforts:
Sand and Sky is a skincare brand that takes pride in its Australian roots. Using botanical ingredients that are native to the country, the brand has gone on to become a worldwide sensation, best known for its masks and cleansers.
This is definitely one to pay attention to when it comes to structuring an eCommerce affiliate marketing strategy, especially when it comes to what an affiliate earns, the information they include and explanation, as well as their landing page.
Artistro is an art brand that was founded in 2016 by a family of artists and art enthusiasts. Their goal is to create a vibrant community of artists that are truly flourishing in their respective crafts through the promotion of their paint products.
This is how their affiliate marketing works for influencers, and their set-up:
True is a protein supplements brand that uses natural ingredients in its formulations. They are most known for the fact that their products are clean yet still taste amazing enough to enjoy on a daily. They started with whey protein isolates and have since branched out to other products that target gut health, sleep, and immunity.
This is the “True” Affiliate marketing campaign:
Vitable is a vitamin supplements brand that sells its product through personalised plans and packs. They understand that everyone has different nutrition needs, and so they made sure that their company is able to address these accordingly. They’ve been recognised by publications like Vogue, Pop Sugar, and Marie Claire, and they continually gain credibility through the push of their affiliate marketing:
Angles90 is a fitness brand that is based in Italy. Founded in 2018, they still consider themselves a start-up, but they have a clientele of over 60,000 athletes from over 80 nations. They just started by creating grips for proper workouts and have since gone on to sell ergonomic training products.
They take pride in the community they’ve built, which only grows bigger with their more affiliate relationships:
Porter Road is, by all intents and purposes, a meat brand/butcher shop that places value on properly sourced, high-quality meat. They have been featured on Business Insider, Bon Appetit, and The Wall Street Journal, and what started as a local effort has since become a nationwide sensation.
This is how they promote their affiliate incentives:
Perfect Practice is a golf products brand that believes the tools used by a golfer can make or break their performance. So, they designed a wide range of items that are meant to help even the most novice of players excel in their craft. They are best known for their putting mats, which help players practice anytime and anywhere, and they have a well-positioned affiliate strategy to boost sales from other avid golf fans:
The Iconic is a well-known online fashion retailer in Australia and New Zealand, hosting thousands of both designer and local brands in their space. And they’re not just limited to clothing, as they also sell beauty products, toys, and fragrances.
Here’s how they prop up their affiliate incentive program:
Kissed Earth believe in the power of organic and natural food, so the brand uses high-quality, real ingredients in its products to promote better health. They are best known for their powdered boosters and supplements.
They also aim to grow their brand through their affiliate strategy and structure organically:
Tenzo is a matcha wellness brand that gives caffeine lovers a more balanced and sustainable energy source without the usual crash. It is of ceremonial high quality, and it’s much more vibrant and packed than your ordinary matcha brand.
In an effort to promote their matcha community, they also call their program “Team Tenzo.” Let’s take a look at their landing page setup.
Pretty Little Thing is a fast-growing fashion store that aims to make the latest trends accessible to all. They are best known for their designer-inspired clothing, which is promoted by influencers on social media, and its rather competitive prices.
Of course, they have a competitive and attractive affiliate incentive structure in place, too:
Lofree is a keyboard brand designed to make the typing experience more beautiful and enjoyable. They are most known for their keyboards that are designed like typewriters, but they also have other collections that are meant to cater to different tastes and lifestyles.
Here’s their affiliate setup:
The Name Stamp, as one would take away from the name, creates customisable stamps that are especially targeted towards children. The primary function of the stamps is to serve as a way to label items at a price of $29.99.
Now, though their products are designed for children, they run an affiliate system for parents to encourage referrals and sharing to get parents referring more parents.
Madison Reed is a hair colour company set apart by its use of healthier, better ingredients. This ensures that the colour lasts longer while being less damaging to the mane, and their formulation has gone on to win awards in the industry. They have also released lines of hair care products and treatments to ensure optimal performance and maintenance of their hair colours.
They have an affiliate system for everyone who loves their products:
Everlane has become a staple in the fashion industry, known for its sustainable pieces and practices. They work with ethical factories that also produce clothing for designer brands, with each classic item designed to last.
Their affiliate page also leans into neutral and minimal looks:
LTK is known as a curator community, wherein content influencers can post their items with shopping links and buttons. Think Instagram, except entirely for shopping. It is a digital marketing platform, and it works great because interested customers can actually see the products in use.
Here’s how audiences can earn from the program (which is also a nice affiliate marketing example that is kept simple):
Shein is a famous fast-growing unisex fashion company known for its trendy yet affordable pieces. They have thousands of options on their website, with awesome prices and deals.
A lot of social media influencers have hopped on their affiliate marketing program, and for a good reason. Here’s their setup.
Quite the household name in Australia, the Good Guys have been in business for 70 years now. They are most known and recognised for being an electronics retailer, as they sell products from televisions to game consoles to hair dryers. They have been awarded multiple times through the years simply for setting a standard in the industry and being, well, good guys (couldn’t help myself).
This is their affiliate setup:
Adore Beauty is an Australian online beauty retailer best known for its wide range of products, from designer brands to local offerings. From Aesop to Maybeline to Dolce and Gabbana, they have something for everyone.
This is also how they market their affiliate incentives to get those promoters firing away:
Sonu Sleep is a mattress company that aims to provide the best rest anyone can have through their products. Their designs are based on the idea that mattresses are not supposed to be flat, and so they’ve developed an entire sleep system that can support any sleeping position. Their prices are of high value, so a percentage commission on any conversion is pretty attractive.
Ororo is a clothing brand that produces heated and thermal apparel for cold days of the year. They are best known for their jackets and outerwear, but they also have vests and sweatshirts at great prices.
Let’s peak at their layout:
YesStyle is an online beauty retailer, where that stock many items from skincare, makeup, and even fashion items that are popular and are in-season. They also stock some huge household brands in the beauty space.
This is what their affiliate page looks like
Belkin (one of my faves) is a famous accessories brand that is designed to complement electronics. Chargers, cords, speakers, headsets, screen protectors - you name it. They’re a trusted brand, and their products are known to be of high quality.
They also have a great affiliate program page (which also happens to be one of the best affiliate marketing examples I’m sharing in this guide):
Renpho has one mission: to make good healthy living technology accessible to all people. They just started out with their smart body fat scale, and have since gone on to make other great products including an eye massager and an AI smart bike.
Kossma Beauty is a skincare brand that is known for creating its own Kossma Beauty Method. They use natural ingredients and then infuse them into their formulations, with a suggestion for how to make these products work best in sequence.
They keep their page simple (which you can easily do if you’re just starting out).
Interflora is a flower company that has been operating in Australia for nearly 70 years now. They have over 700 flower shops that run local deliveries and services for them, and they take pride in the network and community they have built.
Here’s what their page looks like:
Surf Stitch is an online brand that sells anything and everything that comes into your mind when you think of the word “beach.” From bikinis to surfboards, to towels and sunblock - they have it all.
This is their affiliate page:
Under Armour is a famous lifestyle performance brand that has gone on to be a household name. From their shoes to their clothing, the quality and positioning of their products can be likened to that of Nike, Adidas, and other well-known athletic brands.
And so, as one can expect, they run a great affiliate program:
Grow Gorgeous is a haircare brand that celebrates and embraces the diversity of hair. Their products are designed to be luxurious and serve as a means of pampering and self-expression. The best part is that everything is vegan and cruelty-free, as well as clinically-proven.
Here’s a look at how they encourage new promoters to share Grow Gorgeous to their respective audiences:
Net-a-porter is an eCommerce site most known for its selection of designer brands and items. It has come to the point that the brand is synonymous with luxury, which is exactly what they’re going for. And though that may make them sound exclusive, they still run a great affiliate program for those that qualify:
Lit is an activewear brand that especially targets women. Although they primarily focus on yoga pieces, hoodies, and sports sweaters, they also offer other clothing items such as dresses and jeans.
This affiliate marketing example is nicely done:
Eufy is a technology company that builds smart home devices, such as robot vacuum cleaners and video doorbells. They are part of the same group of companies as Anker, and customers can expect the same level of quality from their brand.
Their affiliate landing page is well laid out:
Scarlet is a period care made by women, for women. They are most known for their period underwear, designed to be sustainable, long-lasting, and carbon neutral. They have different designs for different needs.
This is their affiliate structure page and information:
Wonderbly is a company that makes books for children of all ages, with products that cater directly to their needs in that life stage. From teaching them leets to giving them the confidence to read longer passages, Wonderbly books have been enjoyed by over 6 million children around the world.
Let’s look at their landing page:
Razer is a technological brand most recognised among gamers, with its ecosystem of products and software that especially cater towards that market. They are best known for their gaming laptops, but they also have gaming consoles and mobile accessories that are meant to make playtime easier.
They have a great affiliate setup too for streamers and gamer promoters:
Avon is a lifestyle brand most known for its products that cater to women. They are most known for their multi-level marketing approach, wherein women are free to sign up with the brand and become salespeople themselves. But now, with the advent of social media, there are more ways to partner with them:
Bonds has been in business for a hundred years already, and they just started as a small company doing women’s hosiery in Australia. Now, they are known to be a leader in clothing and undergarments, catering also to men and children.
Browns is known as UK’s first luxury boutique that hosts multiple brands. While they are considered a classic company at this point, they continually source fresh material from new designers. They’ve even ventured into affiliate marketing:
River Island is a British high street brand best known for its clothing and fashion pieces, with a focus on sustainability.
This is their affiliate page:
Body Bio creates supplements that are backed by science, with a focus on cell health and regeneration. They have a variety of ranges, from energy to heart health to immunity, at good average prices.
Their affiliate page is one of the best I’ve seen:
Supply is a grooming brand that targets males, with a product range of razors, shaving cream, and skin care products. They are most known for their razors which start at $59 each, but their moisturisers and facial creams are also worth looking at (all the products have really great reviews).
This is how they promote their affiliate program:
UrCoolest is a haircare brand that is best known for its award-winning molecular hair treatment, containing almost a hundred vitamins and minerals for the best repair performance. Their bestsellers start at great prices with lots of amazing reviews, which is great for affiliates on-selling to their audience.
Everyone knows Walmart, as it is one of the most prominent retailers in the United States. They’re known for their quality yet affordable items and have since opened branches in 23 countries outside America.
You’d think they’re already popular enough (and they are), but they still rely on affiliates for brand awareness and revenue.
Lumes is an eyewear brand that is best known for its unique blue light technology. They only use top-of-the-line lenses and are committed to continually improving their filtering system.
They are ahead of the curve, and they incorporate an affiliate strategy to help get the word out:
Bebcare is a baby brand best known for its baby monitoring system. The brand has won multiple awards for its safety technology, and its products are used by millions of parents around the world.
They continue to grow through social media and affiliate marketing:
Turtle Beach is a gaming accessory company best known for its high-quality audio systems and innovative PC add-ons. Their bestselling headsets are decently priced compared to others in the industry.
Best Buy is a famous electronics retailer that houses a wide range of brands and products. They have branches across the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico and are considered a widely trusted brand.
Here’s a look at their affiliate page:
Sting is an Australian fitness brand famous for its boxing gear and apparel. From clothing to gloves to hand wraps, they have a full range of products ready to meet every need in this aspect. They also offer handmade, personalised items that are meticulously stitched by their craftsmen.
This is their affiliate structure and page:
Sharkbanz is a shark and ray deterrent that makes use of technology and science to achieve its goals - and all this comes in the form of a band. It has been featured in publications like Vogue, Forbes, and Triathlete, and it continually utilises an affiliate program to keep getting the word out.
Chemist Warehouse has hundreds of brick-and-mortar stores across Australia, but the company also has quickly become the number one online pharmacy in the country. They are widely known and trusted, which is why their affiliate program already has a good foundation.
This is what the page looks like:
Beauty Bay is an online beauty retailer in the UK, best known for the fact that it houses both mainstream and niche brands. Whether that’s in the line of make-up, haircare, or skincare, they’ve got it all.
Accordingly, their affiliate program caters to a wide market:
As one could presume, Alchemy Bikes sells bikes of different kinds, from mountain to road to e-bikes. They also have high-performing gear and accessories for the optimal ride experience using only titanium and carbon fibre. Their products may go for thousands of dollars, but they can be personalised to meet the needs of the customer.
A Life Plus is an Australian food company that delivers fresh meals to its customers. They focus on gluten-free, clean, and plant-based recipes, with the option for specific calorie meal plans.
Here’s how they promote their program:
Newchic is an online fashion retailer that works with independent designers and brands to provide a platform for inclusivity and uniqueness. They can be considered a fashion retailer, but they offer a large variety of items that is exclusive.
They partner with social media influencers to boost their brand and run a great program for affiliates (with an awesome incentive structure):
Ruffwear is a company that designs and sells high-performing dog gear meant for those who explore with their owners in the great outdoors. They have different gear for running, hiking, water sports, and snow sports, among other things.
This is their affiliate page:
Found by Flynn is a company that sells products and clothing for children from independent and small businesses in Australia. All of the items they have were personally chosen by the founders so that parents can be reassured of the quality.
They’ve done an awesome job with their page explaining the why and how:
Love Shake is a wellness brand that creates plant-based protein powders for those who are trying to lessen their consumption of animal products. They have chocolate and vanilla flavours at good prices.
They’re fairly early stage from what I can see, so they’ve incorporated an affiliate strategy to get early supporters.
Cocotique is an online platform that delivers wellness and beauty products every month through a subscription that starts from $30 p/m. They have been featured in publications like Allure, The Huffington Post, and Buzzfeed and only continue to grow more popular for their offerings.
This is their page:
Society6 is an artist community that has a network of over 400,000 creatives from 170 countries. Their site sells products that are either pre-made or personalised by these artists, and they run an affiliate program to help with their publicity.
Similar to Society6, Red Bubble is a platform through which independent artists can sell their products. They have a network of over 700,000 artists, and they help promote their creations through their affiliate program:
Duty Box is a household cleaning brand that uses reusable containers and refills to help minimise waste. Their starter box contains hand soap, dish soap, air freshener, detergent, fabric softener, and all-purpose cleaner with their respective dispensers and refills.
This is their straightforward affiliate page:
There are a few affiliate marketing campaign types that exist, with some more popular with eCommerce businesses over others. In terms of what primary types exist, they include; involved affiliate marketing (when an influencer or partner has a close relationship with the business and has a dedicated affiliate partnership with a brand), related affiliate marketing (the promotion of products that are related to whatever the influencer produces), and finally ‘unattached’ affiliate marketing (which is related to those promoting your products that have no strong connection or direct relationship with your brand, apart from sharing an affiliate link). You will find these unattached ‘influencer’ marketers through an affiliate network, such as the likes of Clickbank or Rakuten. There are also other promotion strategy types for amplifying your affiliate campaigns to explore, including the likes of email marketing campaigns, coupon and deal sites, partner content marketing campaigns (e.g. product blog reviews), and others.
I’ve talked about a lot of affiliate marketing examples and their landing pages by eCommerce brands, as you can see, but there are some standouts that marketers and founders should focus on to learn best practices. Whether it be from the landing page design, copy, how they explain and illustrate the program, social proof, and ultimately the incentive that can help motivate affiliate marketers, there are some key lessons that can be learned from all of them. Having said that, there are five standouts you should pay attention to, which are Vitable, Sand and Sky, Salty Crush, Lilysilk, and Lofree. Definitely make sure to check these five out, as they’re pretty impressive.
There are a few ways to find affiliates, and it can be a different process when it comes to sourcing them depending on the channel you’re using for research. To find affiliate marketers and brands that promote similar products to yours, one of my favourite tools is Ahrefs. Ahrefs is actually a tool that many SEO marketers use, but it’s great for brand managers and general eCommerce marketers who want to find affiliates that promote similar products through their sites. What I get really excited about with Ahrefs is that you can even find the affiliates of those promoting your competitor’s brand. In many ways, it’s like a competitor spying strategy, where you can then contact your competitor’s affiliates and also ask them to check out your product. Then a great way to get them across the line is by offering them a better deal. This is a really solid strategy that I’ve used when working with clients and startups, and I can say it definitely can work and deliver an ROI over time. Another great method of finding appropriate affiliates is by signing up to multiple affiliate networks, such as Clickbank, Clickdealer, CJ Affiliate, Rakuten and ‘Share A Sale’. There are plenty of others worth researching and exploring for your eCommerce brand.
I’ve successfully used a few Shopify Apps for affiliate marketing management with brands that have some awesome features. My favourites that I recommend are Simple Affiliate, Referral Candy, Buzzbasador, Snowball, and UpPromote. They each have really robust features to help setup a program fairly quickly, help manage relationships, affiliate links for tracking performance per influencer/advocate, as well as analytics.
Affiliate marketers and advocates and are motivated by one primary thing, which is to make money (and revenue) from their audience. That’s the main goal of being an affiliate marketer - there’s no sugar-coating the reality. As we know, affiliate marketers promote multiple types of brands, products, and offerings to their audience - however, they usually favour promotions of certain products and brands based on a few factors, one of them being the incentives they receive if they refer new customers to your business. When it comes to incentives and what an incentive structure looks like, I really like the example of what the team has done at Tenzo (which I highlight above in the list). They have a few perks, including when influencers and affiliates sign up, they get a free trial kit, a dedicated discount code and link to promote to their audience, get monthly commissions, and even pay extra bonuses based on performance for top affiliates. This, to me, is a wonderful example for other eCommerce marketers and founders to learn from. Whilst most brands will offer a monthly commission incentive only, the extra perks provided by Tenzo, in this case, is a very good affiliate program structure worth being inspired by. Offering only a monthly commission structure is fine, but going the slight ‘extra mile’ can help sweeten the deal for motivated affiliates.