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What is a merchant?

A merchant or advertiser is a provider of products or services who provides advertising material within the framework of affiliate marketing, which is then integrated by publishers in their websites and advertising platforms. If the publisher is successful, the merchant pays him a previously agreed commission.

  • Seeking publishers as partners and paying them commissions
  • Has a choice of several performance-based billing models
  • Provides the products, services and advertising media in affiliate marketing

What does a merchant do?

The merchant advertises his services and products on the advertising spaces of his affiliates or publishers websites, thereby exploiting his reach on the Internet. For example, as soon as a visitor is redirected to the merchants site after clicking on the link, the latter pays a previously defined commission to the publisher. The resulting symbiotic cooperation between the advertiser and the publisher (affiliate) is called affiliate marketing. The merchant is the party that brings a product or service to the market. The publisher needs neither a product nor a stock etc. He can be a wholesaler or retailer, a fashion manufacturer like H & M, a web hosting provider like Bluehost or a software developer, to name a few examples. Regardless of whether they make the products themselves or buy them from their suppliers, the retailers own the products and services. They take care of transactions and the associated logistics (payments, packaging, shipping, etc.) as well as customer service. In affiliate marketing, they are the “employer” or the party willing to share their profits with the publisher who helps them sell more. They decide what type of action they reward and how much. They do this, for example, through a so-called affiliate program. The latter serves as the basis for the business agreement between the merchant and his affiliate / publisher. It supports important elements like tracking, reporting, payments and much more

The relationship between merchant and publisher

Once a merchant decides to approach affiliates to market their products or services, they must begin planning and setting up their affiliate program. While this involves costs, the good news is that the costs are easy to control and often lower than any other marketing campaign. In order to set up an affiliate marketing program, a merchant must take care of several important aspects and make appropriate decisions. One of these is the choice of platform, as merchants basically have two options: They can build their affiliate program on an internal platform with paid tracking / management software or join an affiliate network – and pay for access to the networks technology and resources. Today, more and more merchants seem to use both tracking software and affiliate networks. A second important point is creative inventory. Whether they manage their program internally or through an affiliate network, merchants must provide their affiliates with banners, text links, video footage, product data and other useful marketing materials. Some find it helpful to create different landing pages or tools. This incurs additional costs, but saves the merchant or their affiliate manager a lot of time and effort. Marketing products and services through affiliates is not easy. It means signing up affiliate agreements and putting together the rules and guidelines of the program. An even more important part will be recruiting publishers and monitoring their performance. Small merchants often try to manage everything themselves. Others pass the responsibility on to one of their internal staff. There are also advertisers who prefer to outsource the work to an experienced affiliate marketing manager. The merchant should pay special attention to the specifics of his products and services as well as his budget and resources. Once these aspects have been taken care of, the merchant and his affiliate manager must create the program structure and terms and conditions. Basically, this is a set of rules and processes that govern the relationship between the merchant and his affiliate

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