When I was doing research for a new article--the one you’re actually reading now--I came across an article on Entrepreneur.com, titled, How to Use Affiliate Marketing to Level Up Your Ecommerce Strategy, by Gala Grigoreva.
But actually, before I even read that article, I had a preconceived notion of what the article was about. It wasn’t until I later started reading through it did I understand what it was about.
But the great thing is, the pre-conceived notion that I had was something I sort of came up with. It’s not entirely new, but it may be new to you.
I’ll get to that later, but first, I want to do justice to the article, conveying the message that Grigoreva wrote.
It’s basically this: use affiliates--some of whom may be social media influencers--to expand your reach.
The good thing about affiliates is that they’re only paid per conversion.
Affiliate marketing, if you’re not sure what it is, is basically like a commission-based salesperson.
Commission-based salespeople aren’t paid for the hours they work, but only when they get a sale.
Affiliate marketers can be bloggers, writers, people with a large following, or even other companies. They agree to promote your product or service (and they follow some regulations, such as no SPAM), and when they bring you traffic that buys, they get a commission.
And if you offer a product with a monthly or annual renewal (such as SaaS, or Software as a Service), and you offer recurring commissions to your affiliates, then that’ll be a big incentive for some of them to join.
So, that’s how affiliates can help you grow your business.
But now, onto what I promised you...
Do you want to know how my pre-conceived error was actually an idea that might help you expand your product line?
It’s this: you be the affiliate for other companies in your industry.
Why sell only your products when you can sell the products of other companies in your category? (Especially if they’re complimentary.)
And yes, I mean, on your site.
Now, you might be thinking, “Well...but that’s not actually expanding my product line. It’s expanding my offerings, but not my brand’s number of products.”
And you know...you’re correct.
So, I present to you another idea: white labeling.
White labeling is where one company makes a product, and gives it to another company that puts their brand on it.
So, Company A makes something (a software, a t-shirt, a phone cover, etc.) and Company B buys that product at near-wholesale, puts their brand on it (or, maybe Company A puts B’s brand on it), and Company B sells the product as if it were their own.
So, that’s how you can expand your product line, without having to worry about growing your infrastructure or manufacturing capacity.
That said, there’s another term you should be familiar with: private labeling.
According to ecommerceceo.com, private labeling is when this is done exclusively for one company. That is, a manufacturer only makes products for Company B.
In white labeling, a manufacturer makes products not just for Company B, but also potentially for C, D, and so on.
Anyway, that’s how you grow your product line...without having to actually grow it!