What is Affiliate Program?
|Affiliate Program, also
known as Associate Program, is a type of online marketing,
in which Affiliate sites (post affiliate ads) and EC merchants
(provide affiliate program) tie-up together and maximize
their profit. When a user purchases goods or registers
services through affiliate ads on Affiliate sites, EC
merchants pay commissions to the affiliates. Therefore,
Affiliate Program is often refered as action-based marketing".
There are many benefits for EC merchants adopting Affiliate
Program. They only have to pay commissions when items or services
are sold, which leads to low risk and low cost web-marketing.
They can also create vast scale sales network online with
their Affiliate sites.
For Affiliate sites, there are many benefits too. They can
earn ad revenue with lower risk and easier way comparing to
other online business. There are no target, no time limit
in Affiliate Program (certain cases yes), so they can freely
participate in the Affiliate market. Also there are chances
that they can earn huge amount of income by affiliate program.
There are two style of Affiliate Program. One is, Affiliate
Sites participate directly to EC sites' affiliate program.
Good example is Amazon.com. Another way is, Affiliate Sites
and EC sites participate in Affiliate Service Provider (A.S.P.)
such as LinkShare and Commission Junction. When using A.S.P.,
the relationship among Affiliate Sites, EC marchants, and
A.S.P. becomes as following.
Current Japanese Affiliate Market
The origin of Affiliate Program is said that in autumn of
1996, when Amazon.com started Associate Program in the U.S.(system
of affiliate program exsited since long time ago). In Japan.
the first A.S.P. called "ValueCommerce" started
its service in 1999 and which was the real start of Japanese
affiliate market (there were several EC sites that adopting
affiliate-style web marketing before ValueCommerce)B
The boom of Japanese affiliate program started at the end
of year 2003. Business magasines and TV programs started using
the term "Affiliate Program", and they also started
to introducing people who earn good living money from Affiliate
Program. In the middle of 2005, there are more than 500,000
websites participating in affiliate program, and more than
50,000 EC merchants are adopting affiliate programs.
Pople (not company) who participate in affiliate program
are called "Affiliaters" in Japan. People who earn
more than 300,000yen(US$3,000)/month from affiliate program
are called "Super-Affiliaters". Top international
EC merchants, such as Dell, Apple, IBM, Sony, Yahoo!, CitiBank,
etc are adopting Japanese affiliate program.
In Japan there are more than 20 of A.S.P., but only seven
or eight are playing major role in Japanese Affiliate market
(introducing them on Japanese A.S.P. List). Most of top EC
merchants are using the A.S.P. "LinkShare (Japan)",
which is the only A.S.P. related to the U.S. affiliate market.
Japanese Affiliate events have been increasing its number
and size. In July 2003, the first "Affiliate Conference"
was held in Tokyo, in which about 50 people participated.
In April 2005, [LinkShare]
held its first Affiliate Trade Fair, which attracted more
than 300 affiliate site managers, and more than 30 EC merchants.
The size of Affiliate Events in Japan are smaller than US
ones, but the frequency and size are growing rapidly.
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