Today’s case study brings together two plugins I love using: AffiliateWP and WooCommerce. AffiliateWP is a great solution because it integrates easily with almost any eCommerce plugin, and using AffiliateWP with WooCommerce is no exception.
The WooCommerce integration can be enabled with one click, and the AffiliateWP Add-ons (both free add-ons and those only available to certain license holders) fully support WooCommerce, even when they might not support integrations with other platforms. For example, some add-ons, like Affiliate Product Rates or Checkout Referrals, only work with Easy Digital Downloads and WooCommerce.
Affiliate networks are a great way to promote your store, as you only pay for converted sales, and fortunately they’re very easy to set up with AffiliateWP.
I spoke with Damian from Nanshy about how using AffiliateWP in their WooCommerce store affected sales, and why they chose AffiliateWP over other solutions. He chose AffiliateWP to integrate with their WooCommerce shop because of the tight integration with WooCommerce and the features it offers when used with a WordPress eCommerce plugin:
I compared all of the systems available [that integrate easily with WooCommerce]. All had some lack of features, but AffiliateWP ticked most of the boxes.
The decision has paid off, and AffiliateWP has made managing the partner program simple.
Since launching our affiliate program using AffiliateWP, managing our partners has never been easier.
Let’s take a closer look at why Nanshy uses AffiliateWP and how the program impacts their store.
Nanshy is a company devoted to providing makeup tools that provide top-tier quality without using animal products. Their makeup brushes are 100% vegan and PETA approved, and they use entirely nylon synthetic bristles rather than animal hair. As a result, their brushes are more durable, flexible, and easier to clean since they don’t require the harsh disinfectant treatments that organic brushes require.
- 10% commission all purchases made via affiliate referrals
- 25% discount on all products for affiliates
- typically 4 week payout for commissions (paid out after return period has passed)
I found the 25% discount on all purchases for affiliates interesting, and asked Damian about why they offer it. Sometimes affiliates sign up for the program, thinking they can use their own referral link and pocket the commission as a discount, which is usually disallowed for most programs to prevent everyone from solely using affiliate referrals as personal discounts.
However, Nanshy doesn’t use this discount to work around the “sign up to use commissions as a discount problem”. Instead, it’s an incentive to sign up and promote the brand for people that would already use their products.
Would-be customers sometimes ask for free products in exchange for writing a blog post or some other form of referral marketing, so asking them to join the affiliate program instead was a natural fit. Damian asserts that it ensures they’re serious about promoting the product and don’t just want free products in exchange for marketing that may or may not turn into leads:
To be honest, due to number of requests I get for free products I decided to send them to our affiliate program. If they truly want to promote the brand they will make that initial investment.
This provides a win-win solution, as these customers can get a steep discount on products while still earning commissions for promoting Nanshy. This also incentivizes them to ensure their promotion of Nanshy is high-quality and relevant, as commissions are dependent on converted, non-returned sales.
Nanshy already uses one of our tips on managing affiliates by visibly posting commission and payout terms, so we asked what else they do to manage the affiliate program.
One strategy they use it to review affiliate applications before approving affiliates, which is very easy to do with one setting in AffiliateWP:
This gives Damian a change to ensure that the affiliate is a good fit for the program, that the Nanshy brand will be represented appropriately, and that affiliate referrals will be quality leads.
I like to review websites and social profiles to make sure the affiliate is in the right niche and have access to potential customers.
They also use the free AffiliateWP MailChimp add-on to allow affiliates to subscribe to the newsletter so they can get updates about products or current promotions.
I love MailChimp myself, and I’d also recommend checking out this recent AffiliateWP tutorial that shows you how to create an Affiliate ID merge tag in MailChimp. This way, you can send affiliate newsletter with pre-made sharing link that include the affiliate’s ID, making it easy for them to promote your new products or sales.
While some affiliates are potential customers (such as those that request free products), many affiliates that have signed up are actually bloggers or vloggers for whom promoting Nanshy fits with their audience. Due to the success of these affiliates, Nanshy is looking to recruit more dedicated affiliate marketers in the future.
So far, these affiliates have proved important for driving new sales even though they’re not currently the main source of traffic:
Affiliates are important to our store. Although it’s not our main stream of sales, [affiliate referrals] make up 30% of our sales.
Assuming these are new sales that wouldn’t otherwise be captured, that’s a fantastic revenue bump for including a referral program with an easy-to-use plugin.
Getting started with AffiliateWP for a WooCommerce store is very simple, and pricing is very reasonable as well, as you can get an affiliate program set up for as little as $49. We’ve also got tips on running an affiliate program that show you which policies you should consider as you start your program.
You can easily start using AffiliateWP with WooCommerce for your own store’s referral network — and don’t forget to check out Nanshy as well for top quality, cruelty-free makeup tools.