Single Product eCommerce Websites and Affiliate Marketing

I am sure you have seen more than one of these over the years and, quite possibly, contemplated starting a one-product ecommerce website of your own, or… already have one. From digital products to gadgets of all sorts, and from single service offers to simply one type of product sold on one given website, single product websites abound all around the web.

Just as other online businesses, they, too, get intrigued by the concept of independent sales-force driving traffic and business to their website(s), and they frequently look in the direction of affiliate marketing (I get contacted by at least one such prospect every week).

Very often, adding an affiliate program does enrich a single product ecommerce site’s promotion tapping into the skills and expertise of affiliate marketers. Here is just one example:

MetLife Defender, a data monitoring service, is, essentially, a single product/service website:

MetLife Defender

They run a pay-per-lead affiliate program (truth be known, managed by yours truly) whereby for every free trial referred by an affiliate they pay affiliates a $38 commission:

MetLife Defender Affiliate Program

As is evident from the EPC column, at the time of this post affiliates earn an average of $110.54 per every batch of 100 clicks referred to MetLife Defender. Though launched fairly recently, it is a program that works beautifully for many different types of affiliates.

However, there are at least two scenarios when a single product/service website is not ready for an affiliate program. These re-occur frequently enough (causing me to decline most of the prospects mentioned above) for me to highlight them in this post.

Scenario #1: Shopping Cartless Websites

Very frequently single product/service websites would run without a shopping cart of their own. Here is just one example:


It is an excellent product with stellar Amazon reviews. However, since there is no way for the end user to complete their purchase without leaving the website, there will be no way for you to track affiliate-referred orders. Be it Amazon that you sell you your product on (as in the above example) or eBay, or any other platform whose shopping cart you do not control, there will be no way for you to start an affiliate program for such a scenario. You must have full control of your shopping cart and order confirmation page (on which your affiliate program’s tracking pixel will go) to be able to set up an affiliate program.

Scenario #2: Limited Potential Offers

For this one, I am not going to show you any screenshots/examples of websites. There is no need for it to get my point across. Neither is it my purpose to point fingers or make assumptions here.

By “limited potential” offers I am implying those that are characterized by one of the following stumbling blocks:

i) a limited demand

ii) no proven track record of successful online sales.

In the former case: you’ll lose out when being compared to competitive affiliate programs with products that are more demanded than yours, while in the latter: you may come across as an advertiser who is looking for some “Guinea pigs” on whom to test the viability of their offer.

If none of the above scenarios describe your situation, do look into marketing your product or service through affiliates. If the above two cases do describe you, however, make sure you fix them first.

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