Affiliate Marketing vs. E-Commerce
Suppose you want to be an entrepreneur but can’t decide which business model to use: affiliate marketing or e-commerce. You don’t have the inclination to wade through the intricacies of both. You wonder: in a nutshell, which is better?
If you prefer an automated business, choose affiliate marketing. If you don’t mind running a business that needs your constant input and you have your investment capital, inventory, payment gateway, shipping/logistics/customer service solutions, and online platform ready, pick e-commerce.
This article discusses each business model’s pros and cons to help you decide which path to take for your endeavor. We also suggest solutions to some dilemmas but reserve detailed problem-solving for a future post.
What Is Affiliate Marketing?
This is a transaction whereby companies pay you to sell their products on their behalf. They give you a tracking link. When someone buys their product or service from your tracking link, you get a commission.
How to Profit From Affiliate Marketing
What Is E-commerce?
This refers to commercial transactions electronically conducted online. It’s the go-to business model for those with products or services they’ve created or developed. E-commerce is appropriate for sellers, resellers, service providers, and creators of educational courses. There are many avenues for e-commerce. An online store is just one of them.
Which Is Better?
Choose e-Commerce if:
Choose affiliate marketing if:
Your choice between the two modalities depends on your:
- Skill level
- Exposure to commerce
It’s easier to simply match the business model to your field. But why not try both? A practical way to do so is to create a website, then incorporate affiliate marketing later. Or start with affiliate marketing, then educate people in your niche or sell products. For example, begin with a health and wellness blog, then later sell related products from an online store attached to it.
Consider these factors when choosing between affiliate marketing and e-commerce:
the product/service you’re selling, budget, lifestyle, time/effort/energy reserves, marketing strategies, current and future costs, ability to hire staff, willingness to train or upgrade your education, and your priorities as a business owner.
Both are sustainable and successful business models. You can always obtain guidance from others, but ultimately, the choice is up to you.
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