While most households around the world know and recognize Amazon as the world's leader in online shopping, it may surprise you to know that AliExpress has almost double the amount of sales than that of Amazon. In recent years this has caused affiliate partners to start taking a more noticed interest in AliExpress to learn more about their affiliate program.
AliExpress started back in 2010, so it's a fairly new company on the market and sprouted up from it's home base in China but it has grown to have a huge catalog of products including electronics, clothing, home goods, accessories, and so much more. It also is supported in 16 different languages making it fluent to most countries around the world.
Throughout this article we will go through the AliExpress affiliate program specifics and the differences between it and the Amazon affiliate program to help you make your decision of which program you should choose.
Affiliate Program Overview
If you haven't used affiliate programs and you're getting started, this article will be a helpful guide into what affiliate programs entail. Affiliate programs are one of the fastest growing ways to have your own side-business that has zero costs (As in none!) to run and you can do it in your free time.
All you need is a website which you can get for free and the ability to write about whatever you're passionate about. When you write about topics, lets take for example painting your house, you'll simply use an affiliate program that relates to interior decorating and tag certain company's products on your article.
If a customer clicks on those products and ends up making an online purchase, you get a commission from that sale. Lets dig into AliExpress and see if it's a good affiliate program for you to pick.
What Type Of Products Are Featured?
AliExpress is a large eCommerce platform that operates for a global market and it offers a very broad range of products. Since AliExpress is a China based company, they are only allowing suppliers that are based in mainland China (and Russia now) to sell products on their website. That means all products available on AliExpress are made in China.
Here is a list of the high-level categories of products being sold on AliExpress:
- Phones and Accessories
- Home and Garden
- Tools and Home Improvement
- Women's Clothing
- Men's Clothing
- Baby and Kids
- Beauty and Hair
- Sports and Outdoors
- Computers and Office
- Toys and Hobbies
- Jewelry and Watches
- Shoes and Bags
- Home appliances
- Accessories and Intimate Wear
The products offered on AliExpress are local to mainland China and although the majority of US consumer products also come from China, the ones offered on AliExpress are not always name-brand goods.
This works both in your favor and not. The good side is that most products are coming directly from the manufacturer directly to you which means they will be much more affordable. The bad side is that you will not have any company looking out for you making sure that the product is durable and high-quality.
It's always suggested to review the products and talk to the supplier before you make any purchases (especially expensive or high-quantity products).
How To Get Signed Up?
Before you can earn commission, you'll need to first get signed up which doing a basic Google search will leave you scratching your head in terms of understanding which one you should sign up for. On the AliExpress website, there is no link to click to sign up for their affiliate program.
Many of the results that show up on Google are 3rd party affiliate programs/portals which also work “with” AliExpress to provide affiliate services. A very popular one is CJ Affiliate which you “can” sign up for using the CJ affiliate network, but I don't suggest using those for this one.
To sign up directly with AliExpress, go to: https://portals.aliexpress.com. Here is the actual AliExpress affiliate program which has the highest rates for commission. Don't get fooled into joining the other ones, because you'll be advertising the same products, but getting a lower commission.
What Is The Commission Rate?
Through the AliExpress affiliate program, when you advertise for any of their products on your website they give you a nice kick-back of cash when anyone makes purchases.
Here are the specifications on how it works:
- You must use your affiliate URLs/Links from the affiliate tool that AliExpress uses. If you just use the basic “aliexpress.com” URL, you will not get commission on any sale completed.
- From the time a customer clicks on your affiliate link, they have 72 hours/3 days to complete any sales. After the 3 days is up, you no longer get credit for any sales unless they click your affiliate links again.
- Commission is based on each product category ranging between 3-9% on average. Here is the current commission rates per category:
If we compare this to Amazon who has a 1-10% commission structure with the electronics/appliances/games/books being in the 1-4% range (which are the highest priced items) and the apparel/furniture/fashion/beauty products being between 5-10%, you will see a similar commission structure, but AliExpress has a slightly higher commission rate per category of about 1% higher each one.
While Amazon is the biggest competitor, there are other companies that definitely have a good foot in the eCommerce market including the following:
- Walmart: Between 1-4% commission rate on sales depending on category.
- eBay: Between 50-70% profit share on sales depending on total sales achieved per month.
- Target: Average of 5% commission rate that fluctuates with each product category
While it's definitely important to diversify your affiliate portfolio, you also want to slim it down to just 2-3 affiliate programs that you utilize on your site. With companies as big as Amazon and AliExpress, you may not even need to select other affiliate programs at all.
Before you can start earning money with the AliExpress affiliate program, you'll need to have a website with your own unique charm and focus. If you need to know how to create your own website, you can check out our guide on How To Build A Simple Website And Make Money From It.
If you cant yet decide on a theme for your website, I'll give you a couple current trend ideas to get you pointed in the right direction. One of the biggest growing trends is home automation, so if you're looking for an exciting and fun new area to get involved with this is it!
Starting a home automation website won't cost you much as a Google Home and Amazon Alexa unit will cost you less than $50 to get and the amount of articles you can create and publish is endless. How to set them up, what are the best home commands, what are the compatible products, and much more. You can link all of the products you discuss to the articles you publish.
Another great website theme is around sports. Sports is the largest consumer industry in the USA and around the world. The amount of teams available to write about and the large mass of products on the market make it an excellent choice for those looking at having every evolving content and products to keep you busy.
Can You Make Money With The AliExpress Affiliate Program?
There are plenty of methods of making money using great eCommerce companies like AliExpress, but the key is creating an exciting and engaging niche, consistently posting content, and using your affiliate program tools appropriately.
In any given article you will have lots of great text and photos, but learning when and where to add your affiliate links that redirect customers to AliExpress' affiliate program is key. In any given article, you should target having over 1000 words, about 3-5 photos, and you should link out to your affiliate partner only when you're discussing a specific product.
There are many different ways to add affiliate links to your website using the AliExpress affiliate program, so i'll go through my favorite two below.
Deep Link URLs:
Using the deep linking tool in the AliExpress affiliate program is one of the easiest ways to get an affiliate link for your site. Simply search for the product you want to use on AliExpress and copy the website URL.
Then go to the “Deep Link URLs” tab in the AliExpress affiliate portal and paste the page's URL in the box. You can also add a tracking tag for easier reporting later.
Then click “Get Tracking Link” to get your HTML code/URL that includes your affiliate partner ID. Use these on your website so you get credit for any sale.
If you're using WordPress for your website, they also have plugins that you can use which make this process extremely simple. There's a broad range of different plugins, but the best seems to be DropshipMe and Aliexpress Affiliate.
These link the products directly with your affiliate account and make it as easy as one click to add the link to your blog posts. These plugins are a huge time-saver!
Beyond these two, there are also promotions, products, dynamic ads(banners) and much more that you can use within the AliExpress affiliate program tabs that you can explore.
Pros/Cons of Working With AliExpress
The AliExpress affiliate program has a lot of pro's and con's so it's important for you to understand a few things before you make your decision. This overview should help you determine if you want to use their affiliate program or not:
- Largest eCommerce store online in the world
- Huge selection of products available to choose from no matter what niche you're in.
- Great competitor to Amazon as it has products direct from the manufacturers so pricing is lower.
- Good affiliate commission ranging from 3-9%
- Reviews have been seen to be incorrect and false
- Product quality isn't on par with industry standards unlike that of Amazon
- High competition for eCommerce advertisement industry
What has your experience been if you've worked with the AliExpress affiliate program before? Let me know in the comments below.