PHARMACY AFFILIATE PROGRAMS
Affiliate Programs : Golden Opportunity
or Waste of Time?
by Steven O. Ng
Now that the idea of doing business over the internet
has been firmly established, many potential internet businessmen
are searching for the best way to do business. Usually
the choice comes down to whether you want to set up your
own business and online store, or sign up for an affiliate
First of all, let's define what we mean by an affiliate
program. An affiliate program is basically an internet
business set up by someone else. They could be selling
physical goods, education, information or any other products
that can be sold online. By signing up as their affiliate,
you are helping them promote their business or store.
In return, they will pay you a commission for each sale
you bring them. The amount of commission varies between
different affiliate programs. Examples of affiliate programs
include Amazon.com and Wordtracker, which you can visit
So how does an affiliate program differ from starting
your own online store? Let's start by looking at the potential
earnings. (After all, the main reason everyone wants to
start an internet business is for the money). When you
sign up for an affiliate program, you will be paid a commission
for each sale you refer to the online store. This commission
can range from 5% to 15% for physical products, and possibly
up to 50% or more for virtual products such as subscriptions
On the other hand, if you start your own store, your profit
can be much higher. For virtual products, your profit
can be 100% of your selling price. After all, once the
newsletter or ebook is created, you do not need to spend
any more effort. When someone buys your ebook, they just
download it from your website. If you are selling a physical
product, your profit depends on whether you are manufacturing
the product yourself, or buying from a wholesaler or dropshipping
company. Your profit in this case could easily be more
than 40% or 50%.
So, if you only consider the potential earnings, starting
your own business is more lucrative than joining an affiliate
However, money isn't everything (Or so they say). When
you are starting your own internet business, there are
a number of logistic issues you need to look at. Here
are a few things you would need to take care of:
Create your website
Design your product (if you are selling new products)
Create your product (if you are selling new physical products,
or any virtual products)
Set up an online store
Set up a merchant account or payment gateway
Set up a warehouse or storage space (if you are selling
Have procedures and staff ready to fulfill orders
Set up an affiliate program to get others to market the
products for you
Monitor for fraud
Monitor stock levels
As they say, "No pain, no gain". Having your
own store pays very well, but requires a substantial time
investment from you.
On the other hand, if you sign up for an affiliate program,
all you need to do is set up a website to promote the
program. All the ads, banners, marketing text etc will
be provided to you by the affiliate program. Your only
responsibilities would be to get people to visit your
website, and hopefully click on the affiliate links to
buy the products that you are promoting.
Whether you have your own business or are promoting an
affiliate program, the bottom line is the conversion rate,
or the percentage of visitors that actually buy something
from you. A number of factors influence this conversion
rate. Factors as quality of the product, quality of the
website, customer support are all important. However,
I personally believe that the most important factor is
When a potential customer arrives at your website, he
will need to trust your site enough for him to be willing
to buy from you. After all, on the internet you are just
a faceless salesman. He doesn't know who is actually running
the site and whether he will actually get the goods that
Having said that, one of the key methods of garnering
trust is by recommendation and referral. If a store is
being referred to or recommended by another website, the
potential customer will feel that the store is trustworthy.
After all, if the store is not trustworthy, why would
the other website recommend it?
This is where affiliate programs shine. When you refer
a potential customer to the store for which you are an
affiliate, the customer will feel more relieved, since
the store is being recommended by your site, a 3rd party.
The customer will be more likely to buy from the store,
benefiting both the store, and you as well.
There are both pros and cons to joining an affiliate program.
You might earn less with an affiliate program compared
to starting your own store, but I believe the benefits
of not having to be responsible for the logistics makes
affiliate programs are very viable "passive"
source of income.
For more information on affiliate programs, do visit http://www.onlinebiz-help.com
About The Author
Steven is the webmaster of http://www.onlinebiz-help.com
- Your Guide To Internet Business. His website contains
various resources on affiliate programs and internet marketing
advice to help you succeed in your internet business.