Today, we’re going to talk about a company that may offer your blog additional content ideas and potentially more income streams. The Staples affiliate program has been around for a while but we don’t see a lot of bloggers using it. The majority are still associated with Amazon which is, of course, the store’s biggest competitor.
So why should you consider partnering with a smaller player? What does Staples have that Amazon doesn’t? Let’s get to know a bit about the store before we decide, ok?
What Is Staples
Staples Inc. is a retail company that supplies stationeries, electronics, and furniture, amongst others, to businesses and school setups. It operates more than 1000 physical stores and also sells a wide range of products online.
Hence, those who are likely to be affiliated with this brand are bloggers who talk about workspace settings, tools for teaching, and supplies for creative work. In other words, if you’re a work-from-home mom, a teacher, a student, or even a designer, this store could be right up your alley for product choices.
The Staples affiliate program is available at the CJ Affiliate network and you can sign up for free. It takes about 5 days for them to review the application and once approved, you’ll be able to access the product links and add them to your website content.
The program currently displays a network earning of 5/5 which basically means it’s a good performing advertiser, one that converts well and has sufficient funds to pay affiliates. Of course, that should always be the quality we’re looking for, but back to the main discussion, how is this company better than Amazon?
Staples Vs Amazon – The Good
(1) Back in April 2020, when Amazon suddenly restructured their commission rate, we saw a huge cut in some shopping categories. For example, Home and Furniture dropped from 8% to 3% and Business Supplies went from 6% to 3% as well. That’s a 50% (and more) reduction in profit sales!
If you’re promoting products from any of these categories, I think it’s time to search for a different store. Staples pay affiliates 4% for Furniture and 5% for Office Supplies, not superbly high but at least they are more than what Amazon is currently offering.
Here are some additional items, within the 4%-5% range, if you’re interested to check out.
- 4% – Copy & Print, Home Automation, Shredders & Office Machines.
- 5% – Office Supplies, Cleaning & Facilities Maintenance, Coffee, Water and Snacks, Packing & Shipping, Party Supplies, Bags & Travel Accessories.
(2) Staples actually has some good quality products that are useful for the consumers, from post-it notes to ergonomic chairs. Judging from the positive ratings and the number of reviews, I think they are just as good as the ones you’d find on Amazon.
(3) I don’t know about you, but the Staples website feels nicer to browse through, whether it’s on desktop or mobile. The interface is less cluttered and easier to navigate as compared to Amazon where everything tends to squeeze into one page. It’s probably one of the reasons why some customers prefer to shop elsewhere too.
(4) The online store also comes with a dedicated section called Shoppable Spaces where you can find product inspiration and ideas for designing a new workspace. It’s a lot like touring an online showroom at your convenience and I think it is a good resource for people who’re looking to set up such spaces in their office or at home for the first time.
(4) The fact that the company has physical stores built in most major cities can prove to be a vantage point. Firstly, you can check out the products yourself to help write better reviews, and secondly, the company now offers in-store and curbside pickup on the same day as the order.
No one really likes to wait several days to restock supplies or get a new chair so the latter option may appeal to online customers. Bet you can’t do this with Amazon.
(5) Besides the main affiliate program, the company also offers commission for their in-house service called Print and Marketing which helps people with printing business cards, banners, booklets, and such.
Each time you refer a customer to any of these services, you’ll make 3% in sales commission. So that’s an additional commission to gain if you’re into helping people find printing resources for their businesses, events, or personal projects.
Likewise, this affiliate program is also available through the CJ Affiliate network.
Staples Vs Amazon – The Not So Good
Even though we found 5 winning ways Staples can outshine Amazon, there are still drawbacks that could go against your favor. Keep these in mind when you’re running promotional content for your blog.
(1) Staples shares the same referral period as Amazon. If customers don’t purchase within 24 hours, the click-through will be discounted. So think twice when you’re promoting something too expensive; people may need a longer time frame to decide on such purchases.
(2) You get 0% for PC, Laptops, Tablets, and eReaders – yes ZERO. Hence, you’re better off affiliating with Amazon (they’ve got Kindles) as the commissions for these items range between 2-4% after the recent adjustment.
(3) Since the product selection on Amazon far outweighs Staples, you may earn more when customers bulk purchase other items unrelated to your recommendation. This means, when baby products (totally unrelated) are added into the shopping cart and checked out within 24 hours, you get commissioned too.
This is probably one thing we always love about Amazon, don’t we? 🙂
So, How Do You Get Started?
Like all fundamentals of blogging, it all starts with a niche. Staples product strength lies in the office workspace, school supplies, bags, and interestingly, cleaning supplies as well. We’ll see why that’s the case in a short while.
What can your expertise and experience bring to the table with these products? In fact, with the current global situation where everyone is moving towards remote working and schools are closed indefinitely due to COVID-19, many people are transforming their home into offices and classrooms.
For that to happen, consumers will most likely need chairs, tables, and props to function properly, and oh, let’s not forget the disinfectants too, to keep our workspace surface clean. Staples has all of that – good quality products, free delivery and same day pick up – features that your readers will surely like.
Example 1 – Many people who work from home are likely to spend long hours sitting in front of the computer. Lumbar pain is one of the health consequences they’re going to face (speaking from experience here). The solution – write reviews, how to’s, and working tips that can be linked to standing desks or ergonomic chairs.
Here are your targeted keyword choices I discovered using my favorite keyword tool;
- How to sit to avoid back pain
- Working from home ergonomics tips
- Best ergonomic chair under 200
- Where to buy home office chair
- Is an ergonomic chair worth it?
Example 2 – Many teachers are conducting classes online and they need tools for that like whiteboards, colored pens, and maybe a wall planner. The solution – write reviews about these products and how they can make teaching more effective.
Here are some targeted keywords to leverage from if you have a teacher’s blog.
- Expo starter set kit review
- Why you should use a whiteboard for teaching
- Best ways to organize online classes
- How to make online learning interesting
- Art supplies for beginners
I hope with these two examples, you get the idea of how to find a niche and what kind of keywords to use for your reviews. If you have a keyword in mind, just input into Jaaxy to learn more.
Will You Go With Staples or Not?
In affiliate marketing, we’re always in search of the best offers that can elevate our blog content, guide our readers and step up our income. I think at times like these when there are so many unprecedented changes taking place in our lives, it’s good to get out of our comfort lines and explore other possibilities and opportunities.
It’s not about what’s good or bad, but what really works for you so let us know in the comment below what you think about the Staples affiliate program. Meanwhile, if you’re looking for ways to take your blogging to the next level, check out what my recommended training platform has to offer.
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Amazon may be the most popular marketplace for affiliates but this article goes to show there are other alternatives to be considered when it comes to product selection and better commission rates. Shame it doesn’t have as much variety as Amazon but it looks like they do carry some really good quality products. These are something worth sharing with the audience.
During these months we have been at home, my husband and I have used the online service from Staples and we were happy to see how well they work. We have gotten our orders very quickly and everything was well packed. I think they provide great customer service.
Interesting to learn about their affiliate program here. A timely niche to get into considering everyone is working from home right now.
This is very resourceful. There is some good information here for affiliate marketers in the school and office supply niche.
Stephen Tan says
Staples’s higher commission rate is certainly a better choice. There are many products here that can benefit work-from-home space, especially during this pandemic. The way I see it, having physical stores actually allows them to render quick and free delivery service to customers; a plus point over Amazon which only prioritizes such services for Prime Members.
I am an Amazon associate and you are right, the commissions after the April cut are ridiculously low. I’m looking for other affiliate programs and Staples looks good in certain aspects, but the fact you get 0% commission on laptops, tablets, etc. is a big drawback.
And the limited choice is another one. I wonder if there is any affiliate program with so many goods in all categories like Amazon. I’ve heard of Shareasale but never got into it. To answer your final question, I’m not sure if I give Staples a try.
Hi Lenka, your response is totally valid. The alternative to Amazon would be Walmart or Target, but the latter two are just like Staples, they have physical stores, and the last I checked, the commissions are really low.
If you’re looking to be category-specific, then you may have more choices. For example, Thrive Market focuses on healthy food supplies while the Etsy marketplace offers creative products for personal and home space. I guess a lot depends on your product choices and what your niche audience is interested in buying from.
Good to see there are other alternatives besides using the Amazon Associate Program.
I know this company and often buy my supplies from them. Great to know they have an affiliate program. Looking at the products, I can already think of some products related to my niche – productive working. I’ll give it a try. Thanks for sharing the opportunity!