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Mixing Direct Sales & Affiliate Sales On One E-Com Site?

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SparksCW

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Has anyone ever created an e-commerce store but mixed directly fulfilled products with affiliate links to Amazon?

Let me set the scene in the way of a made up story:

Mr Drone has an ecommerce store about drones, however he's quite a small company and can only really get some of the less popular branded drones and the cheaper Chinese ones.

The store doesn't really do that well and only sells on average $5000 or so a month because it doesn't have all the products that consumers really want.

It's a growing market though and Mr Drone is an expert on drones, he knows it's a complicated and confusing market with lots of different brands and options and he has repeatedly seen customers get confused.

He knows he can help them and add value.

So, as he has another much better performing niche website to pay for all of his staff and warehouse, he reinvents his struggling drone ecommerce store into a website that has a learning centre which teaches everything about drones, flying them, choosing the right one etc.

It also has an explore section that is like a directory and lists every single drone out there, it allows users to filter down based on their requirements and compare products. Potential customers who don't know what they need or want can quickly and easily narrow down their search and make a buying decision. There isn't any other websites out there (yet) that make this easy.

Mr Drone has now got an excellent resource website that will help people make a buying decision but he can only currently sell the cheaper brands right? The site now has all the right content and products for SEM, SEO, Social etc. and having every single drone listed (well, not thrown up) will give him a good chance of growing SEO rankings compared to top name brands who only have a few of the main brands listed.

But he can't fulfil those top brands yet, so instead of having empty categories he adds all the top name brands as well as the drones he can sell competitively and instead of a "BUY NOW" button it says "BUY ON AMAZON" - the customer either buys from Mr Drone or ends up on Amazon and Mr Drone gets a small commission. (At no point is the customer tricked or is the off site link in anyway hidden, that's not the intent.)

When the site traffic grows and his reputation grows he can start shifting amazon products over to directly fulfilled products because he has a much bigger audience, a big email list and the top brands are willing to work with him.

Now Mr Drone has the best drone resource site where the customers can learn, filter and compare - and then buy all in one place, regardless of whether the product can be directly sold or not.

Alternatively Mr Drone can start another website on a different domain which contains "drone" in it that does all of the content, filtering, comparison etc. All items would either be affiliate links or links back to the ecommerce website. However now Mr Drone is going to rely on low affiliate commissions and has to start from scratch with SEO/domain ranking etc. etc. As it's a different brand it'll be harder to directly sell product via the ecommerce site, only real option would be advertising / content offers. It's not that "platform" that Mr Drone is dreaming of.

Thoughts?
 

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whiz

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I mean yeah, why not? That's pretty much the name of the game

Affiliate is cool but if I ever did an affiliate website, I would really be doing it to get that sweet email list so I could eventually put out my own products

The money is in the list

If I had 2000 people all interested in drone-related stuff, you can bet your a$$ I'm gonna make some accessories
 

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