Online shopping is becoming more prevalent, for several reasons. It’s easy, it’s convenient, it’s generally affordable, and you can find almost anything you want from various retail stores online. The best online retail stores include everything from crafts and do-it-yourself home projects to fashions, electronics, and beauty products.
If you’re interested in helping connect online shoppers to the companies that can provide what they’re looking for, read through this list of the top 10 online retail affiliate programs. Online retail shopping is just the beginning, because now you can buy anything online, including groceries! As you read, think about different ways you could promote these products on your websites. I’ll share some ideas of my own at the end of this article.
Table of Contents
Online Retail Affiliate Programs
- Best Buy
- Hobby Lobby
- The Home Depot
- URL: Amazon Affiliate Program
- Commission: up to 10%
- Cookie: Unknown
In 2019, Amazon.com was the second-largest online retail store in America, falling in right behind Walmart. In early 2020, more than 38% of ecommerce sales belonged to Amazon.com. As an online retailer, this company offers a great selection with around 45 categories of goods to browse through and more than a million products available to promote.
The affiliate program is called the Amazon Associates program. This program allows affiliate marketers to place native ads on their website pages. They can also link directly to the products they want to promote.
The commission rate is variable across categories. Digital music and videos bring in a commission rate of 5%. Home, garden, furniture, Kindle and fire tablets have an 8% commission rate. Luxury beauty products have a 10% commission rate. Many other products, including fashion, shoes, jewelry, Echo and Fire TV devices have a commission rate of 7%.
Why You Should Promote Amazon: The huge selection is a key selling point. Amazon.com also provides a membership option called Amazon Prime that comes with perks such as free shipping. Affiliate marketers are able to link to the products they want to promote.
- URL: Wayfair Affiliate Program
- Cookie: 7 days
Wayfair is a retail store dedicated to home goods, with more than 10 million products across several categories. Customers can use the tabs in the navigation bar to shop for everything from furniture and outdoor products to throw pillows and storage products. Wayfair also offers free two-day shipping and frequent shopping deals.
The affiliate program is administered through Commission Junction. Around 2 million products are featured in the affiliate data feed. One nice thing about this affiliate program is that once you sign up, you can also promote and earn commissions from Wayfair’s sister companies, which include AllModern, Joss & Main, and Birch Lane.
Why You Should Promote Wayfair: Wayfair has free two-day shipping, a nice commission rate for affiliate marketers, frequent shopping deals, and a great selection of home goods.
- URL: Walmart Affiliate Program
- Commission: 1%
- Cookie: 3 days
Walmart is one of the most well-known retailers with local stores scattered across the country as well as a significant online retail store. Customers can shop online for groceries and pick them up in person. They can also shop online for products that can be shipped to their home.
The commission structure currently lists all online sales as generating a 1% commission. New affiliate marketers are given access to marketing tutorials, creative ads, and real-time reporting, and there are extra perks for expert marketers.
Why You Should Promote Walmart: Walmart is one of the best-known online retailers with a lot of goods to choose from and a few different ways to shop online. However, the commission rate is relatively small and the cookie length is short.
- URL: BestBuy Affiliate Program
- Commission: 0.5% on selected products
- Cookie: Unknown
BestBuy is an electronics retailer with both brick and mortar locations and an online retail store. Customers can use the search bar to find items they want, or they can browse through categories ranging from appliances and television sets to video games and music.
One nice thing about Best Buy is it offers one-hour curbside pickup for many orders placed online. Customers can also get free next-day delivery on many items if their order totals more than $35.
Affiliate marketers have access to pre-made banners, or they can use Best Buy’s developer tools to create customized ads for their websites. Some items, like laptops, don’t generate a commission at all, while products like fitness equipment, geek squad services, baby gear, and travel products generate a commission of 0.5%.
Why You Should Promote BestBuy: BestBuy has a nice selection of electronics, which could keep customers browsing and adding to their shopping carts.
- URL: eBay Affiliate Program
- Commission: 1%-6% depending on product category
- Cookie: Unknown
eBay is an online auction site that ranked third as an online retailer in the United States in early 2020 and carries more than 1.4 billion products. Around 80% of the items are new, and 90% have a ‘buy it now’ option.
The affiliate program is also called the eBay Partner Network. The commission structure varies from country to country and between categories, too. For example, coins and paper money bring in a commission rate of 1% in the United States, but 2% in France. Items from the dolls and bears category generate a commission rate of 3% in the UK but 4% in the United States.
Why You Should Promote eBay: eBay is a worldwide market with an enormous selection of products.
- URL: Macys Affiliate Program
- Commission: Unlisted
- Cookie: 10 days
Macys is an online retail department store with local brick and mortar stores across the United States. Product categories range from women’s clothing and handbags to baby gear, shoes, and bedding. This store even carries some furniture items, such as headboards, sofas, and outdoor lounging chairs.
The average order value is $120. Affiliates can promote more than 14,000 different products, and there are weekly sales and promotions. The affiliate program is administered through Rakuten.
Why You Should Promote Macys: Macys has a high average order value and a nice selection of products to promote. Macys also offers free shipping for customers who place orders using their Macys credit card.
7. Hobby Lobby
- URL: Hobby Lobby Affiliate Program
- Commission: 4%
- Cookie: Unknown
Hobby Lobby is a craft retail store chain with both local stores and an online retail store. This company offers several categories of goods, including picture frames, holiday items, seasonal products, arts, crafts, hobbies, fabric, home décor, and more.
Hobby Lobby offers regular coupons and sales on specific items. The affiliate program is administered through FlexOffers.
Why You Should Promote Hobby Lobby: Items from Hobby Lobby could fit well with some niche market sites. The sales and coupons could attract and convert shoppers.
8. Home Depot
- URL: Home Depot Affiliate Program
- Commission: 2%
- Cookie: 1 day
Home Depot is a retail store that focuses on DIY projects. This is another chain with both local stores and an online presence. This company offers 500,000 items to choose from online that can be shipped for free directly to customers or to local stores.
Customers can browse through departments ranging from home décor and floor coverings to electrical needs, plumbing supplies, and paint. The Home Depot website also includes a project calculator and information on installation services.
The affiliate program is run through Impact.
Why You Should Promote Home Depot: Home Depot has a short cookie life, but it also offers a daily data feed featuring new promotional materials every day.
- URL: REI Affiliate Program
- Commission: 5%
- Cookie: 30 days
REI Coop is a retail store focused on outdoor equipment and gear. This company has been in business since 1938, and it now has a strong online retail store as well as several eco-friendly causes it’s involved in. For example, in 2018, REI spent around half a million dollars re-wilding areas in and around five major cities in the United States.
REI customers get free shipping on orders totaling more than $50 and on all orders that are shipped to a local REI store for customer pick-up. There’s also a 100% satisfaction guarantee, and the average order value is $120. The affiliate program is run through Avantlink.
Why you Should Promote REI: REI has an excellent reputation, a great selection of outdoor products, and eco-friendly business practices.
- URL: Target Affiliate Program
- Commission: up to 8%
- Cookie: 7 days
Target is a retail department store similar to Walmart, with a significant online store and more than a million listed products that shoppers can choose from.
The commission structure is complicated. Not only is it tiered, but different product categories have varying commission rates attached to them. For example, the base rate for apparel is 5% for affiliate marketers who sell ten or less items, but 8% for affiliates selling more than 10,000 items. At the same time, the base rate for baby gear is 3%, but it goes up to 5% at the top tier. Health and beauty products provide a consistent 1% commission rate.
Affiliates can live anywhere in the world, but they must have a family-friendly website built for customers in the United States. The affiliate program is administered through Impact Radius.
Why You Should Promote Target: The tiered commission structure could be motivating, and there are a lot of items to choose from that could bump up customers’ shopping cart totals.
- URL: Etsy Affiliate Program
- Commission: Unlisted
- Cookie: 30 days
Etsy is a worldwide online marketplace for unique, one-of-a-kind items. Some shops sell original fine art, and others carry vintage items or customized cosplay outfits.
Affiliate marketers can promote the products and shops they like best on their websites. Etsy provides support in English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish languages, so marketing isn’t limited to the United States. Affiliates are also provided with banner ads for various themes and product categories, a newsletter, and curated pages to gain inspiration from.
Why You Should Promote Etsy: Etsy offers one-of-a-kind items in a global marketplace.
Affiliate Website Ideas
Now that you’ve read through this list of the top 10 online retail affiliate programs, do you know how you’re going to apply them to your affiliate websites? Let me share some ideas here to help get you started.
One idea is a real estate website. Besides providing informative content, a website like this one could promote home furnishing companies like Wayfair, which is listed above. Personal loans, DIY stores like Home Depot, landscaping services, appliances, and furniture could all be featured on a website like this one.
Another idea is a website focusing on vintage items. Retail companies like Etsy and eBay would be a good fit here, as well as auto parts stores, retro fashions, rare books, fine art, and collectible toys.
One final idea is a website geared toward gamers. This type of website could link to a variety of electronic items from stores such as Best Buy, Walmart, Target, and Amazon.com. Gaming chairs, consoles, computers, and high-quality graphics cards or sound cards could be promoted here, as well.
Boost Your Affiliate Earnings
These 10 affiliate programs are just the beginning of what's possible. There are hundreds of ways to earn affiliate commissions with your website, including product reviews, top 10 lists, how-to guides, and more.
But what about traffic and conversions? How do you make sure your affiliate links get clicked?
I used the affiliate training here to turn my brand new website into a six-figure income generator in less than two years. Build a business, not just a pocket-money side project!