Start making money from your own online business.
Sounds easy. With low barriers to entry, you can start anytime, anywhere. You have a lot of resources and options, but there are so many paths. Which one is right for you?
Affiliate marketing and e-commerce are currently the two most popular business models for entrepreneurs to aspire to make money. Of course, there are differences, strengths, and weaknesses between these two methods. It’s shocking.
Well, today, I’m here to guide you through each element of these two business models and find the one that suits you best: affiliate marketing and e-commerce.
What do affiliate marketing and e-commerce have in common?
The two business models are not precisely the same, but there are some basic similarities.
Starting an online business has never been easier. Generally speaking, the barriers to entry into these two online business models are much lower than in traditional physical stores. The cost of launching these business models is much lower. In addition, it requires far less to be online than in a physical store. Pick up your computer!
Growing online customer base
The number of people shopping online is huge-and with this pandemic; and this number will only increase. By 2020, 49% say they are shopping online more than before Covid19. There is no doubt that the Internet has taken over almost every aspect of shopping. After all, who can deny the convenience of delivering packages directly to the door with one click?
This is where affiliate marketing and e-commerce come into play. More and more people are offering more and more opportunities to make money. Especially now, during the coronavirus, everyone is at home and staring at the screen. This is the perfect time to start an online business.
Data analysis and extensive optimization
The true success of these two business models requires one big thing: continuous tracking and improvement. Collecting and tracking data on consumer behavior is very important. But this is not all. The data is just the beginning. To create a profitable online business, you need to experiment and see which method works best for your marketing strategy. There are always many variables to experiment with to optimize performance.
Of course, this is our role. Our tools track, report, and even optimize. Tracking tools are essential if you want to engage in any online business.
Someday, money and energy.
Affiliate marketing and e-commerce are easier to get into than your standard physical business, but they still contain elbow grease. But don’t scare you! Something of value requires some effort.
However! ! This is where the difference between affiliate marketing and e-commerce begins. There is a big difference in how much time and money it takes to succeed. I will give you a tip: e-commerce is generally considered harder, while affiliate marketing is more effortless.
Now we are starting to diverge.
When considering these two business models separately, there are a few things to keep in mind to determine which one is best for you.
- How much money do you have?
- Is this a side job, or is it your new full-time job?
- Do you envision a particular product or business model?
- Do you have the energy to work with great care, or do you prefer more accessible work?
Why open an online e-commerce store?
It’s undeniable that online shopping is growing exponentially. Still, as you can imagine, many internet business opportunities are expanding at an alarming rate. So what makes e-commerce your business model?
The e-commerce business is growing significantly.
More and more customers are looking to e-commerce. Over the past year, e-commerce has provided record traffic statistics. People are already spending more time in front of the screen before the pandemic occurs, and e-commerce is growing at an alarming rate. In addition, the e-commerce industry is constantly developing more convenient solutions for business owners—an alternative to transportation, building cheaper and simpler websites, and more online marketing options.
(Almost) unlimited control
You are wholly and entirely responsible for your e-commerce store. You can control nothing, such as websites, products, advertising, customer service, etc.
If you have an accurate vision for your business and have the resources, an e-commerce store may be the way to go. With this business model, you can tailor everything to your liking and be creative when you need it.
This point has something to do with the former. But when I think about affiliate marketing and e-commerce, I emphasize this point. E-commerce gives you more flexibility in pricing, packaging, and selling your products and services.
Your marketing, pricing, packaging, and other possibilities are endless. Business owners can set pricing, promotions, bundles, and experiments to their liking. Still, it’s all up to you as a business owner, making sure pricing is beneficial.
The economy is excellent, but nothing easy.
As you may know, e-commerce can be exciting and profitable, but there is still some work to be done.
The responsibility lies with you.
Do you want to control? Great, but every coin has two sides.
Your e-commerce business rests heavily on your shoulders; you have to carry out all aspects of your business. These are the basic steps for developing an e-commerce business.
- Start with a lot of research and find a helpful niche market. You need to find a product that has a buyer audience that you can target online. E-commerce is an evolving industry. Investigate your competitors to find products/services that are not saturated.
- Deal with legal bureaucracy. Depending on the country, you need to choose a legal structure and obtain the required permits and licenses. Also, consider the sales tax you have to pay.
- Then select your e-commerce platform and set up your website. Consider factors such as cost, design, availability, and future development. This is a crucial business plan decision. After all, the website of your choice will be the virtual storefront.
- Get inventory. This is where the practical aspects of e-commerce come in handy. Whether you manufacture or order the product, make sure you have enough space to store the product and the final packaging.
- Start advertising your business and bring traffic and demand for your products. Initially, there isn’t too much organic traffic to access your website. You have many online marketing options, so you have to keep track of the most effective methods. For affiliate marketing and e-commerce, keep in mind that this fifth step is the first step for affiliate marketing beginners.
These are the core steps to creating an e-commerce business. If this is your solo exhibition, you must do your best to do it well. But this is just what you need to roll the ball. E-commerce also has a lot of daily tasks.
E-commerce is a tough job 24 hours a day, seven days a week
Unfortunately, your business doesn’t run on its own. Moreover, even if e-commerce is digital, it requires “physical” manipulation. It would help if you managed a lot of logistics work every day. Running an e-commerce business can be very time-consuming. Don’t expect to balance this among many other projects easily. Three leading causes of tedious work:
Customer Service-As you know, people can be very distressing. You are angry with a particular employee or are always on the receiving side. This all involves running your own business. But customer support’s job isn’t just about getting angry calls from customers. Customer service includes various day-to-day operations such as replying to emails, resolving complaints, answering phone calls, and handling returns and refunds.
Marketing-Advertising for your business can be time-consuming and expensive. As I said, many experiments need to be checked and adjusted daily. But don’t forget about organic traffic. Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the most effective ways to increase the natural number of visitors to your website. SEO itself is a lot of research and content creation, and it doesn’t happen overnight.
Transport-This is one of the biggest challenges in managing an online store. In addition to ordering, storing, and packing inventory, you need to ship it. Most importantly, the “shipping” phase is a forgotten black hole for customers and business owners. Even if you can track your product online, you don’t know how it was processed and arrived. Customer, this stage is never under your control.
Dropshipping is an alternative to traditional transportation in the e-commerce industry. This is when the manufacturer delivers the goods directly from the warehouse. With direct sales, all you have to do is market, promote and promote your product on your website. I have never actually seen these products with my own eyes. This is where direct sales can be a double-edged sword. This is part of the customer experience and cannot be controlled or monitored. Shipping times, conditions, and product packaging are essential aspects of customer satisfaction. E-commerce primarily benefits from repeaters. If you lose a customer due to a shipping problem, your entire business model can fail.
There are many hats in e-commerce. You may not be completely confident in all the work that e-commerce brings; another option is hiring a professional or being trained in these areas. Of course, this comes with a high price tag.
Difficult to expand
More orders and customers do not necessarily mean immediate success. One of the biggest obstacles to e-commerce is scalability. Expanding your business to serve more orders and customers is a whole new job in itself.
You need to get and process more inventory, find alternative packaging and shipping solutions, and handle more customer support. You also need to make sure that you have the technical ability to support ever-increasing traffic.
In most cases, you will need to find an external solution or hire some employees. If that is not done effectively, this may significantly reduce your profits.
There are many possibilities for e-commerce, but you must invest a lot of time and resources. This business model is usually best suited for those who already have some experience. If this business model scares you a little, don’t give up hope and keep reading!
Looking for a more leisurely route? Go to affiliate marketing
Affiliate marketing has many more benefits. The risks are much smaller, and the benefits are much more significant.
Easy to get started
Whether you’re a beginner, a limited time, or a lazy person, you’ll always be happy to hear an “easy start.”
One of the best parts of the affiliate marketing business is how easy it is to dive into the industry.
First, we only need three components.
- Offers You Want to Promote-You can easily find offers in affiliate programs (details on finding advantageous offers here)
- Campaign Audience-To promote your product, you need to get traffic from ad exchange platforms such as Outbrain, PropellerAds, Taboola (read this article to find the best traffic source for 2021).
- Ad trackers like Voluum can easily optimize and scale your campaign.
I will explain in detail later.
As I said, all you need to start an affiliate marketing business is your computer and internet access. You can work in any home, coffee shop, or anywhere on the paradise island you want. Your campaign can make money for you while you sleep.
Unlike e-commerce, no aspect of affiliate marketing can be done on your laptop or desktop.
Promotion of multiple products
Whether you are new to the world of alliances or want to change, this business model allows you to explore your options. Choosing from various products, offers, and industries is one of the most exciting parts of affiliate marketing.
Partners are free to try and test different products to advertise without investing much time or money. You never know how your interests and markets will change; affiliate marketing offers the flexibility to switch at any time.
In e-commerce, you cannot simply change the personal information on your website.
You can make money fast.
Well, that’s great. Well, no lie, this is one of the best parts of this business model: that, and the least risk.
First, the initial cost is meager, especially when compared to e-commerce. Plus, you don’t have to wait for a license, prepare inventory or delivery, or run an e-commerce website so that you can get started faster. Without the massive logistics (customer support, packaging, delivery) that Aaand, an e-commerce business, brings, you have more time to optimize your activities. In addition, e-commerce can only make money by making purchases. In contrast, affiliate marketing can only make money by clicking, registering, forms, and so on.
More importantly, if you invest enough time and energy, you can make a lot of money. It isn’t easy to average the income of all members, but if you do everything, you can expect a monthly figure of $ 1,000- $ 10,000. The possibilities are endless.
All of this makes affiliate marketing a desirable option. Aspiring entrepreneurs discuss alliance marketing and e-commerce and should follow this path if they want to make money as soon as possible.
Affiliate Marketing Challenge
Well, even if you know that nothing is perfect, there are obstacles to affiliate marketing.
Find the right combination.
Discovering profitability through the best combination of offers, creativity, copywriting, and goals can be a daunting process. The most helpful information needs to satisfy the best audience. Before you start making money, you may need to invest a lot of money to find the right way and audience. Here are the benefits of trackers. Trackers can track all campaigns, generate accurate reports, and even optimize performance.
Like every new adventure, there are some preparations in advance. Junior affiliate marketers need to learn some skills. Creating graphics and landing pages, understanding the technical aspects, and creating copywriting are essential skills. Don’t be discouraged. Forums, webinars, groups, courses, and more are everywhere on the Internet to help you. Be courageous and don’t ask stupid questions.
Stick to it
The key here is patience. Creating profitable activities can take a lot of time and effort. As mentioned earlier, you need to collect the data and use it in action. You can use the data collected from your campaigns to create reports, analyze strategies, and make improvements. As far as you are concerned, this may be a data nightmare, but this is where trackers can save your time and effort.
Which model is suitable for you?
Hopefully, at this point, you should have understood the main differences between affiliate marketing and e-commerce.
It takes some money, time, and experience to get deep into e-commerce. Also, keep in mind that it will take some time before your e-commerce business begins to make a profit.
If you are new to the online business arena, affiliate marketing is a safer option; the risk is much less. You can make more money faster. But, of course, affiliate marketing isn’t just for beginners.
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