As I continue to cover the types of programs you can add to your affiliate site, I thought it would be a good time to discuss the best shoes affiliate programs.
If you’ve got a blog about fashion, if you’re just blogging about shoes (see Ugg Heaven), or if you’re running a site for athletes who need to buy a specific type of shoe, you’re going to want to sign up for one or more of the major online shoe affiliate programs. Here they are:
Zappos, which was purchased by Amazon in 2009, is a retailer known for its great customer service and its quirky company culture. They have a great selection with more than 1,200 brand names. They offer free shipping and free return shipping. For affilaites, they pay 5-12% commission, which is lower than typical in this niche. However, shoes buyers are fanatic about Zappos and the high conversion rate makes up for the lower commission. Check out Zappos on Commission Junction.
Endless, also owned and operated by Amazon, offers a terrific range of high-end women’s shoes and handbags as well as shoes for children and men. But unlike Amazon’s one-day cookie, Endless offers a 15-day cookie. That means you’ll get paid commission if someone goes to Endless and buys something as long as 15 days after going to Endless from your site. Their affiliate program, administered through the Amazon Associates Program, is easy to join and they pay up to 15 percent.
ShoeMall.com is one of the web’s largest footwear sites. They pay a generous 15 percent commission for every sale. And unlike some of the shoes retailers, they ship directly (drop shipping can slow delivery times). They’re also known for having great selection of sizes and widths (sizes 4 – 20, widths AAAAA – EEEEEE). You can join ShoeMall through Commission Junction.
Shoebuy.com is my final pick of shoe superstores. I don’t think you can go wrong with advertising shoes from this site. In addition to having a great selection, they’ve got terrific service and low prices. In addition, you’ll earn a whopping 17 percent commission on every sale. Check them out on Commission Junction.
A great strategy for testing these programs is to add one or more banners to your site to see which one performs better.
However, you’re going to get much better results if you don’t focus on banners and instead include links to your retailers at the bottom of your product reviews. Why? It’s just getting more and more obvious that people aren’t clicking on banners. But they are clicking at the end of reviews when you’ve given them the information they need to make a decision about what to buy.
You’ll also notice this list doesn’t include a lot of speciality shoe retailers. While I think that brands like Simple, Gravity Defyer, Adidas and Tom’s Shoes offer great products, I think there are challenges with these programs, the commission rates and the selection. First, the commissions paid by the brand programs are generally less than the commission you’ll make from the larger shoe retailers. In addition, you can usually find what the speciality retailer offers through one of the other retailers. And if you can make more commission from the same product, why not?
Regardless of the program you choose, shoes are a great niche and the continual change of brand and product names makes it easy to get great natural search traffic. Whatever program you choose, you’ll do well with it.
What’s been your experience with shoes affiliate programs? Please leave your feedback in the comments.