I hate to break the news to you, but if you’re looking for the Starbucks affiliate program, you aren’t going to find it anywhere. That’s because, in October 2017, the company officially closes its online stores worldwide. I know, pretty shocking for a big company like this to shut down its eCommerce presence, right?
Apparently, this move aims to simplify its sales channels and to revive foot traffic to its retail stores. In the past, they used to partner with Rakuten Linkshare, offering between 3% to 7% for sales referral. Needless to say, the program no longer exists so does that mean consumers can no longer buy Starbucks products online?
Not at all. Luckily there’s Amazon to the rescue.
Promoting Starbucks Through Amazon
Home to millions of brands, it’s not surprising that Starbucks has an official store right inside Amazon where people could shop online like how they used to. It has got all your favorite items like the coffee (ground, whole bean, and instant), K-Cups and Nespresso capsules. And it also features many customer reviews that can drive up your conversion.
Through the Amazon Associate Program, you can make 5% in affiliate commission promoting these items (look under the grocery section).
Often times, customers will buy more than one item so when they check out with other types of products from a different category, you’ll reap the commissions from those purchases as well. I couldn’t remember how it was like with the official store back then, but this ‘commission-bundle’ feature has an added advantage.
One offer you should look into when promoting Starbucks coffee is the coffee maker selections on Amazon. As there is a wide variety of K-cups and capsules, it actually makes sense to write reviews about gourmet coffee or coffee machines for those who want the convenience of brewing at home.
Items from the kitchen category pay 4.5% in sales referral, but you can expect the volume in commissions to be higher than grocery products because coffee machines generally sell in the range of hundreds of dollars.
Before applying for the program, make sure you’ve got a WordPress blog because Amazon will want to see that during the application process. Use this free tool to build one if you haven’t done so already. The next step is to beef up the blog with articles that are relevant to your offers as this will help to authenticate the legitimacy of your site.
I’ve compiled some long-tail keywords to help you with this so feel free to use this list for creating your first few contents.
- Starbucks holiday blend review
- which Starbucks coffee has the most caffeine
- what coffee pods are compatible with Nespresso machines
- Starbucks via instant coffee packets
- Starbucks iced coffee calories
- coffee gifts for coffee lovers
- Starbucks Christmas coffee mugs
- Starbucks coffee mugs collection
Other Places That Sell Starbucks
Besides Amazon, customers can also get Starbucks online at other places. Walmart and Target, for example, are available in most cities and people may opt to buy through these retailers from a price point perspective, reward program or for the convenience of delivery pick-up.
Another one is called Jet.com which is an online marketplace similar to Amazon, except that it’s much smaller in scale. Selections and prices aren’t that great compared to the others but some shoppers may still buy from them for other reasons.
All three outlets appear to have affiliate programs and the offers are;
- Walmart – 1% (3 days cookie), sign up via Impact affiliate network
- Target – I just found out that grocery sales are not included in its commission payout – oops!
- Jet – Looks like they have withdrawn their program from Rakuten Linkshare
Overall, I think Amazon is still the winner here. You certainly get more product offers and perks affiliating with them vs other eCommerce sites. Honestly, I haven’t seen many product reviews leading me to these sites.
It’s always Amazon and I believe it has a lot to do with the brand name and the marketing tools they provide. So I will suggest that you stick with this strategy moving forward as well.
Starbucks Merchandise Anyone?
For those with a huge appetite for the brand besides just drinking coffee, you may be interested in promoting some Starbucks inspired merchandise on your blog as well. This is a great segway to enter the gift niche and diversify your affiliate commissions during peak shopping season like Christmas, Father’s Day or Holloween.
You can find a lot of these ideas on Amazon itself by using creative keywords on the Amazon search bar. Here are some items I found and some interesting ones I bet you never thought people would buy.
The Common Stuff
- Water bottle
- Country specific mug
- Travel mug
- Limited edition cup
- Cap, T-shirts, Hoodies
- Gift cards
- iPhone cover
The Less Common/Fun Stuff
- Miniature ornaments
- Hanging ornaments
- Copycat recipe book
When it comes to gifting, you can certainly go beyond Amazon to search for more unique ideas. My first go-to site would be Etsy and it is known to offer a ton of personalized gift items under any chosen theme.
A quick search using the keyword ‘Starbucks’ yields more than 25K items on the marketplace. Crazy, uh?!
And here’s the interesting bit. Etsy has an affiliate program and offers two types of commissions. The standard publisher (anyone who blogs) gets between 4% to 5% per sale and the user-generated content (like images and videos) gets 2%.
You can apply for the program via the AWIN network but take note that a $5 registration fee is required. This sum will be reimbursed into your account when you receive your first commission.
Other sites similar to Etsy are Zazzle and Redbubble which are more design-oriented cum print-on-demand service. What it basically does is that customers will pick a design (Starbucks logo for example) and have it printed on an item they desire.
Each affiliate program pays 15% and 10% per sale respectively and they can be applied through the ShareASale network for free.
For coffee lovers/bloggers, the end of the Starbucks affiliate program isn’t all that bad after all. Going through the Amazon Associate route works just as good, if not better. And while you’re on Amazon, I highly encourage you to seek other coffee-related products to tie to your Starbucks coffee review and leverage all possible commissions.
If you’re a big fan of the brand, the gifting niche is something fun you can experiment with. Just don’t overfocus on these content because they are less high priced and availability tend to fluctuate with consumer trends.
I hope this article has helped paved some interesting ideas on how you can go about promoting Starbucks online. For more tips on running a successful affiliate business, do check out my recommended training platform here.