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Affiliate Marketing


Affiliate Marketing provides advanced distribution features, simplifying the setup of an affiliate program and driving order growth through distribution and referrals. It serves as a cornerstone for operating and expanding your store.

With Affiliate Marketing, you can set diverse transaction fee rules and oversee distributors, orders, invoices, and bonuses through the admin dashboard. Distributors within your store earn commission fees when they share products and generate sales. These distributors can be your existing customers or influencers located overseas.

By harnessing the capabilities of Affiliate Marketing, you can create a sustainable distribution program, identify brand ambassadors, and elevate your sales performance.


In This Article



How to Use Affiliate Marketing App

To use the Affiliate Marketing System, follow these steps:

  1. You need to search and install the Affiliate Marketing plugin from SHOPLINE’s App Store.
  2. Set up basic information and distribution recruitment links.
  • To begin using the Affiliate Marketing app, it's essential to configure basic commission fee and customer discount settings. Distributors who participate in the affiliate program will benefit from both basic commission fees and special discounts. You have the flexibility to adjust your commission fee and discount rules as required. 
  • Go to Coupons & Reward > Basic commission and Customer discounts to configure your settings.
  • In the Growth section, specifically under the Affiliate guide page and Registration & Login form, you can customize the recruitment landing page settings for distributors and the affiliate registration form. This customization enables you to define the information that distributors are required to provide when registering for your affiliate program.
  • Before sharing the recruitment page link, you can review the Commission calculation, Commission lock-up period, Discount code tracking settings in the Commission calculation module and the Billing threshold, Billing date setting, and Payment method settings in the Bills and payment methods module.
  • Once you have verified the accuracy of your distribution program information, you can begin sharing the recruitment landing page link to invite distributors to join your program.
  1. Distributors can apply to join the program by registering through the provided link.
  • You can review and approve or reject distributor applications in the Management > Affiliate management section. Once the review process is completed, the system will notify distributors of the review result. Rejected distributors can reapply.
  • Configure the review method in the Settings > Review and Approval settings section.
  1. Product sharing via distributors:

After distributors have been approved, they can begin sharing products from your store. The system will automatically generate referral links and discount codes for distributors, empowering them to promote your store and its products. Additionally, you can set special commission fees for specific products or distributors. 

  1. Earning sales:

When customers place orders using a distributor’s referral link or discount code, the Affiliate Marketing System records these orders. You can select how to calculate commission fees for these orders, but different calculation methods may impact the time required for processing transaction fees for referral orders. You can review and approve/reject these orders in the Management > Orders section of the system.

  1. Commission fee payments:

You can set a billing date within Affiliate Marketing. On this designated date, the system automatically computes your bill. It incorporates orders that have surpassed the commission fee lock-up period and received your approval.

  • You can view billing information on the Bills page.
Note: You are responsible for paying the distributors directly. After making the payment, you can mark it as paid for specific bills/distributors within Affiliate Marketing. The system will then send automatic notifications to the distributors to inform them of the payment. Additionally, the payment status will be updated to Paid in both the Bill management section and the Affiliate’s personal center.



Best Practices for Effective Affiliate Marketing

Choosing Key Opinion Leaders: A Three-Dimensional Approach

To ensure precision in targeting, having a clear objective is crucial when assessing referral exposure metrics or evaluating the ROI of influencer campaigns. Too many metrics can complicate the selection of Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs), making the process inefficient. Let's delve into the accurate selection of KOLs.

  • Channel content:
    Assessing the tone and quality of a Key Opinion Leader's (KOL) regular posts allows us to understand their content style. If a majority of their content consists of sponsored collaborations, they may be excluded. Users tend to disfavor an abundance of ads, and KOLs with excessive advertisements often lose the trust of their followers. Individuals who consistently produce engaging content are more likely to attract dedicated followers.
    It's crucial to prioritize KOLs within vertical categories initially and ensure their content aligns well with your products.
    For example, consider Ellie Thumann, an American lifestyle influencer ranking in the top 1% on YouTube with a fan base of over 2 million. Specializing in lifestyle videos, she is an ideal fit for brands seeking collaboration. Hollister, a sub-brand of the upscale casual American fashion brand A&F, recently launched a new line of jeans and seeks influencers for promotional videos. Ellie's video content aligns seamlessly with Hollister's needs, allowing her to incorporate advertisements into her daily vlogs effortlessly. The strong alignment between the influencer's everyday content and the product resulted in the promotional video gaining over 480,000 views, with nearly 30,000 likes and comments. The engagement rate exceeded 4%, demonstrating a significant impact with minimal effort.
  • KOL profile and follower profile:
    • Area of Expertise: Content shared by Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) varies based on their specific area of expertise. In industries like cosmetics, categories such as reviews, sharing, recommendations, fashion, and lifestyle are common.
    • Location of Followers: Brands targeting specific regions, like North America, should ensure that KOLs' followers are concentrated in that area for precise targeting and effective campaign outcomes.
    • Age Group of Followers: Brands should consider whether the age distribution of KOL's followers aligns with their target audience. For instance, if the target customers are aged 18-24, the age distribution of the KOL's followers should be considered.
    • Consistency of KOL Tags with Brand Values: It's essential to identify the core tags associated with KOLs. For example, endorsements from KOLs like Gu Ailing, known for her sporting achievements and alignment with values such as confidence, positivity, and fashion, can bring higher premiums and stable returns for brands. Collaborating with such KOLs establishes a stronger competitive advantage.
  • Evaluating KOL data authenticity:
    • Follower comments: Artificially inflated comments often lack originality and are repetitive. To verify authenticity, randomly select some commenters and check if their accounts are genuine followers.
    • Engagement rate: Using YouTube as an example, the engagement rate can be calculated by dividing the sum of likes, comments, shares, downloads, and profile views by the reach, and then multiplying by 100%. A higher engagement rate (5 or above) is considered excellent, while 1 to 3 is normal. This rate provides a rough estimate of the average view count. Typically, 15%-25% of viewers express interest in the promoted content and visit the product page. Among these visitors, approximately 1.5%-2.5% will make a purchase. A higher engagement rate from KOLs indicates stronger follower loyalty and a greater likelihood of driving sales. Comparing the video’s view count with the number of likes, comments, and shares is also useful to gauge its validity.

Five Collaboration Formats with KOLs

  • Collaboration based on transaction fees: This form of collaboration generally comprises three models—pure collaboration fee, pure revenue sharing, and collaboration fee + revenue sharing.
    • The Pure Collaboration Fee Model: This model, widely accepted by most KOLs, operates on a 50%+50% payment structure. Initially, 50% of the collaboration fee is disbursed upfront, with the remaining 50% paid upon the influencer’s content publication.
    • The Pure Revenue Sharing Model: Suited for new or budget-constrained brands, this model compensates influencers based on actual sales volume. In exchange for their promotional efforts, influencers receive payments tied directly to tangible sales results.
    • Collaboration Fee + Revenue Sharing: This hybrid approach incentivizes influencers to promote with heightened enthusiasm, as they receive both a collaboration fee and a share of the revenue generated. This model addresses concerns about collaboration fees while motivating influencers to drive sales. When selecting KOLs, it's essential to consider factors beyond content quality, such as follower demographics, sales-driving experience, and selling capabilities, through effective communication.
  • Product exchange: Swapping products for content:
    This is the most common form of collaboration, where brands send products to KOLs who integrate them into their typical content style. KOLs creatively capture photos or videos, share their experiences, and highlight the products’ selling points. For instance, Daniel Wellington, a watch brand, engaged a diverse group of KOLs on Instagram and provided them with free watches. They were encouraged to upload pictures featuring the DW watch, along with the brand hashtag, or short videos. This strategy significantly enhanced the brand’s exposure.
    DW also extends product discounts to the KOLs’ followers, encouraging them to purchase DW products. This approach encompasses product swapping and monetary investment. Product swapping is generally more suitable for KOLs with smaller followers who are open to swap collaborations. Conversely, monetary investment results in higher-quality content and better cooperation from KOLs, especially since many influential KOLs refrain from swap collaborations.
  • Gifting special editions to KOLs:
    Some top-tier KOLs refrain from participating in product swap collaborations. In such instances, brands can opt to design standout products and gift them to the KOLs. For example, an Australian hoverboard brand gifted a special edition product to Justin Bieber. He showcased the hoverboard during his appearance on The Ellen Show, leading to soaring sales and immediate sold-out status. This also triggered an unprecedented surge in orders for cross-border e-commerce sellers in China offering hoverboards, surpassing the brand’s anticipated performance benchmarks.
  • Collaborating with KOLs for content sharing:
    This collaboration is commonly observed on Instagram, where brands create video ads or run giveaways and partner with multiple KOLs to share and endorse their brands. By leveraging the reach of these accounts, they generate engagement and spread awareness about the content.
  • Brand nurturing of KOLs:
    Some brands recognize that certain specialized products require in-depth knowledge that many KOLs may lack, limiting their ability to convincingly promote and drive sales. Consequently, while brands aspire for direct conversions, they find that the high costs associated with KOL collaborations don’t always guarantee results. This has prompted many brands to consider nurturing their pool of KOLs.
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