Whether you’ve invented the elixir of life to enable man to live forever, or devised a groundbreaking method, product or service, don’t think it will fly off the shelves on it’s first day. The relative ease and flexibility of running an online business can make you think it’s as simple as ABC when it’s far from it.
It takes time to convince consumers who are used to being short changed and duped. However, it’s true when they say all things are difficult before they’re easy and that companies and businesses need to step up their marketing and advertising efforts if they’re to make a sustainable profit.
Fortunately for us the platform has been laid already with the rising popularity of affiliate marketing and e-commerce. Affiliate marketing and e-commerce are two online business models that can be used to boost market presence with great success. Let’s take a closer look at affiliate marketing vs e-commerce.
Affiliate Marketing & E-commerce: What’s The Difference
This is one of the oldest business marketing models and has been around for decades, well at least ever since the advent of world commerce. Affiliate marketing is a business method primarily used by small and medium sized businesses to create a market footprint when they’re still starting out. Basically you have a pool of marketers who sell a product or service and in return they’re paid a commission by the company that employs them. This model has evolved over the years with MLM (multi-level marketing) being one of its many popular variants. From this it must be clear that online business (e-commerce) uses methods such as affiliate marketing to sell their products and services. This is not where the rubber hits the road though as there are business opportunities for both.
Take for instance affiliate marketing. It might seems as if you’re promoting someone else’s interests, but trust me, it’s not as bad as it sounds. In fact, there are thousands of affiliate stores online that make money without even having to produce what they sell. All they do is refer you to the supplier on checkout and the manufacturer handles the shipping etc. At the end of the day you make money -albeit a small percentage commission- without lifting a single box. In most instances, the consumer doesn’t even know what’s going on behind the scenes.
From a business point of view this model is preferred to the E-commerce route for a number of reasons. One, it’s cheap to set-up. Two, you don’t have the added hassle of dealing with disgruntled customers, some of whom might actually sue you. Three, you can do this part-time whilst working a regular day job.
E-commerce: The Big Bad Wolf?
Most of us shy away from starting an online store but it can be lucrative. Processing orders, shipping goods, paying suppliers, it all seems like a lot of work. Be that as it may, the profit margins are significantly higher than those of affiliate stores. Remove an online store from the equation and an affiliate store cannot exist. To further sweeten the deal, the more successful affiliate stores you have working under your wing, the more successful you become.
However, an e-commerce store requires more effort. You’ll need a shipping system, customer service personnel, capital, business connections and a host of other inputs to get it running smoothly. Despite that, it still remains a more profitable route.
The world of business is a competitive arena; certainly the last place I want to be without a back-up plan. Nonetheless, if you’re cut out for it, then it’s worth giving a try. The possibilities are endless.