When it comes to the key players in online shopping, no one seems to do it better than Amazon. Or so, that’s what we thought. A growing household name, Aliexpress isn’t only popular in its country of origin, but also around the world. With sales reported to be more than double to Amazon, this giant company has got online marketers checking out the Aliexpress affiliate program. Does it offer more benefits than becoming an Amazon associate? Let’s find out.
Marketplace Key Features
Established in 2010, AliExpress is an online retail platform used primarily by Chinese small companies to sell product to the global market. Here is what attract buyers to this platform in general.E
- As an international shopping site, AliExpress offers more language support as compared to Amazon. The last I check, it has 16 while the US competitor has only 10. It also accepts a variety of payment options which makes shopping more convenient.
- Since most manufacturers are based in China, a lot of items are fresh from the factory which makes the selling prices extremely low and competitive to other shopping portals.
- Just like Amazon, AliExpress offers a huge catalog of products with the popular ones being clothing, accessories and electronics. So any type of niche marketer can leverage from these choices for their product reviews.
- In terms of payment security, transactions are integrated with an Escrow service which will only release funds to the sellers when buyers confirm a satisfactory delivery.
- Lastly, the most important factor that attracts affiliate marketers is the higher commission rates for all product categories – 8% vs 4% you get from Amazon, and the longer cookie duration – 30 days vs 24 hours on Amazon.
These features alone could potentially translate into higher conversions over a longer period of time. However, Aliexpress is still a fairly new shopping platform compared to Amazon and it is definitely far from perfect in many ways.
1/ If you browsed through their listings, it’s not uncommon to find brand-less items for every imaginable product. Chances are, they could be counterfeits which isn’t a rare phenomenon in China as we all know. Are you the type of person who would recommend such products to your readers? I am guessing not.
The other challenge that may arise with promoting the usage of ‘brand-less’ item is that it yields very little trust factor. Say your product review entitles “Best Gold Watch for….” and the affiliate link points to a cheap gold-looking wristwatch that looks like any other copycat product on the street. Do you think people will actually buy that? I know I wouldn’t.
So with low prices products, unless the positive reviews is enormous, will have a problem in conveying product quality to the consumers due to their limitations.
2/ Speaking of reviews, I found that most of them are briefly written and shoppers don’t seem interested in leaving elaborated feedback/own images to help future buyers understand more about the features of a particular product. Even if they do, they may not be written in English. Ironically, the diversity of the audience is also a disadvantage because you get all sorts of comments in different languages that are not easily comprehensible.
3/ Now if your blog is published in English, you are likely targeting readers from the US, UK and Canada. But do you know that the US audience only make up about 5% of the platform’s total online traffic?
This is likely due to a few reasons; poor product quality as mentioned earlier and also the long shipping time. If someone chooses free shipping to the US, it could take up to 30 days for the product to arrive from China via normal courier services. I am pretty sure Amazon Prime can do better than that.
So, Is AliExpress Worth Promoting
Just like Amazon Associate, the program is free to join so there’s really no harm applying for it and do a split test (with your Amazon link) to see which one converts better. Your sales figure will eventually show, which is more worthwhile as it correlates to the behavior of your niche, such as preference for quality and originality.
If this is your first time doing affiliate marketing, you might also come across a software call AliPartnership that has a unique plugin that can bulk import AliExpress products easily into a WordPress site. If you don’t know how to set up an affiliate store, they can help with that too.
While this may seem like an easy way to get an online business up and running, I need to warn you in advance that stuffing only products on a website will have its consequences in terms of organic (natural) traffic. Firstly, product images are not regarded as good quality content.
As far as search engines are concerned, they don’t serve any value to the audience unless that content is accompanied with helpful (text-based) information. In other words, a long descriptive article on a blog is better than a page filled with product links pointing away from the site.
Secondly, as a result of being a ‘thin site’, Google will not reward your blog with good rankings either. To state is bluntly, product pages alone don’t worth anything. Hence, before you go and purchase something that promises an automated passive income stream, do your due diligence and see what you are actually getting.
I do hope that this comparison has given you a better idea between the two giant eCommerce platform and you are now more educated in choosing the right company to be affiliated with. For more tips and training on how to run a successful affiliate business, do check out my recommended online platform here.
Have you seen any blogs that monetize from the AliExpress Affiliate Program? What do you personally think about this shopping platform? Please leave your comments below and I’d gladly respond.