AliExpress, a marketplace that sells products online to international buyers, is located in China. AliExpress makes use of affiliate programs to increase sales, just like any other large retail business.
This review will provide all the information you need about the AliExpress associate program. This review will also compare the affiliate program to Amazon Associates.
AliExpress connects Chinese companies with international buyers. AliExpress lists wholesalers and manufacturers. They handle shipping when you order any product. AliExpress does not sell directly to consumers, unlike Amazon.
AliExpress has low prices as its main advantage. They offer great deals because you buy directly from manufacturers and wholesalers.
As you might expect, however, because the products are made in China, and often cheaply, the quality is often questionable.
You can’t expect much if you purchase a camera for $15. AliExpress also offers quality products, but at a higher price.
Shipping time is the main drawback for most AliExpress shoppers. they offer free shipping Shipping for all orders. However, it may take several weeks or months for your order to arrive if you choose to have your products shipped from China.
AliExpress shipped my base cap to me in nine weeks. However, that is not unusual. Usually, shipping takes no more than three to four weeks. If you find a seller with a warehouse in the States, shipping of course can be pretty fast.
AliExpress sellers offer the option of shipping your product via DHL or other international couriers. If you are willing to pay extra, you can have your product shipped within a week.
Nevertheless, Aliexpress is a powerhouse with over 60,000.000 organic visitors per month!
The AliExpress Affiliate Program
The AliExpress affiliate program is not as popular as Amazon Associates. Actually, not that many people know that AliExpress even has an affiliate program.
AliExpress is a dropshipping platform that has gained popularity among bloggers and entrepreneurs.
Start an e-commerce, import products from AliExpress to your store using Oberlo, and every time you place an order, you buy cheaply in China. Then you sell your items with a markup to your customers.
Oberlo is a dropshipping platform that can be combined with affiliate marketing. More on this later.
AliExpress Portals hosts the AliExpress Affiliate Program. However, CJ Affiliates is also available.
You can join the AliExpress affiliate landing site to get access to the self-hosted affiliate program.
AliExpress doesn’t provide much information on their program, and what little they do give is often contradictory.
In their FAQs, they state that they use the session-based track, but on other pages, they claim that they have a 3-day referral window (and it seems as of I write this article the latter is correct).
It is easy to sign up to join the AliExpress affiliate program. After completing a brief registration form, you will be approved. The approval process is quick and only takes a few business days.
After your application has been approved, you can access AliExpress Portals.
AliExpress Portals allows you to create your affiliate links. Deep linking is possible with the program. You can link to any AliExpress product you want. AliExpress offers pages that can be linked to, and search results can be linked to.
Instead of linking to an iPhone 13 Case, you would link instead to a search result that includes all iPhone 13 Cases on AliExpress, so people can browse and pick the one that interests them most.
AliExpress offers a plugin called AliPlugin that makes it easier to create affiliate links. If you choose to dropship, the plugin allows you to import products from AliExpress into your store. The plugin is not free and costs $69 for a one-time payment. Oberlo is free for Shopify customers.
AliExpress Portals allows you to create deep links and also allows you to create tracking IDs for all of your links.
This is especially useful if you promote AliExpress products through multiple channels. You can compare performance with tracking IDs. For example, you might see that people click more on links on your website than on Facebook or other social media sites.
Tracking IDs are a great way to optimize your campaigns. It is important to concentrate on what is working, and not what is not.
You can also provide dynamic ads and banners to affiliates. Based on your visitor’s AliExpress browsing habits, dynamic ads will show AliExpress products.
AliExpress Affiliate Program Commission
AliExpress affiliate program commission ranges from 3% to 9%.
Hot products are not eligible for 0%, which is unfortunate since they sell well. The Costco affiliate program and Amazon Associates allow affiliates to promote hot products.
The table below shows the commission rates.
The commission cap for this program is $50. You will not receive more than $50 if someone purchases products worth thousands of dollars through your affiliate link.
People buy multiple things on large marketplaces such as AliExpress. Affiliates don’t often get the credit they deserve for their marketing efforts.
The program has one big drawback: affiliates cannot withdraw their commissions via international bank transfers. Pay Pal is not supported. There is an additional $15 processing fee for each withdrawal.
Affiliates cannot withdraw if they have earned at least $16 due to the withdrawal processing fee.
Each order is charged a commission to your AliExpress Portals Account. If a customer does not request a refund, an order is considered complete after 60 days.
You can withdraw your commission once it has been credited to your account. AliExpress only allows you to withdraw money on or before the 20th of each month.
Hypothetically, you could therefore wait up to 70 days for your commission if the purchase was made after the 21st.
You can also join the CJ Affiliates affiliate program, as I have mentioned previously.
CJ Affiliates AliExpress offers the same 3-day referral period but the commission is different.
All categories are eligible for a 4% commission. Download an Excel spreadsheet from CJ Affiliates that lists all categories where the commission applies. The program on CJ Affiliates does not permit the promotion of hot products, just as the AliExpress Portals are self-hosted.
The self-hosted AliExpress affiliate program has a higher commission than CJ Affiliates. There are some categories that earn 4% on CJ Affiliates and only 3% via AliExpress Portals. If you’re only interested in promoting a particular category, the program on CJ affiliates may be better.
How to Make Money with the Program as a Dropshipper
As I mentioned earlier, if you have a Shopify store and dropship products from AliExpress using the Oberlo app, you can get a commission for the products that you buy for your customers.
Oberlo will recognize your affiliate link when you place orders. Dropshipping can help you increase your profit.
Learn more at the Oberlo help center.
How to Make Money with the AliExpress Affiliate Program
I mentioned at the very beginning of this review that AliExpress focuses on international online buyers. The strange fact is that even though AliExpress is a Chinese company, the Chinese cannot shop at AliExpress.
AliExpress receives more than 500 million visitors each month from around the globe. Russia is the country where AliExpress is most popular.
20 percent of all visitors come from Russia, compared with 5% from the USA. This means that AliExpress is visited by approximately 25 million Americans.
Although this is a small number when compared to the amount of Americans who shop on Amazon, I’m trying to show that AliExpress products can be promoted to an American audience.
Understanding the right products to promote is key to your success. This applies to all markets, but AliExpress is a great example.
Ask yourself this question: “Why would someone buy from AliExpress instead of Amazon?” The answer is obvious. But the second reason is the uniqueness of the products.
After reading the second reason, you may have laughed. China is famous for copying western brands and products. I don’t object to that. However, as an AliExpress shopper, I know that AliExpress has many products that are not available at Amazon and other retailers.
In your marketing efforts, you should focus on only one of these items (preferably both).
You could, for example, review products and link to Amazon and AliExpress. It is a smart idea to choose products with significant price differences if you want to increase the number of people who click on your AliExpress affiliate link.
You cannot make a lot of money by selling the cheapest AliExpress products. A $2 iPhone case would make you almost nothing if you were to earn a commission. It would be necessary to search for products that are more expensive but still cheaper than Amazon or other retailers.
If you do decide to compare prices with other retailers, make sure that you are an affiliate for them as well. You would also be a good candidate for Amazon Associates in this instance.
AliExpress Affiliate Program vs. Amazon Associates
The commission for both programs is very similar. AliExpress commission ranges from 3% to 9% and Amazon from 1% to 10%. For some categories, you will have a better commission with AliExpress and for some with Amazon.
AliExpress’s referral period is where it has an advantage. AliExpress offers a 3-day referral period, while Amazon Associates only has 24-hours.
AliExpress ships to almost all countries in the world (175 countries), so you can promote AliExpress products even in smaller countries. Amazon ships to approximately 100 countries, which is still quite a bit more than AliExpress.
Amazon is more trusted than Chinese AliExpress. AliExpress is well-known in America, but AliExpress has not been popular in the USA. AliExpress is most popular in Russia and in some European countries like France.
Should You Join the AliExpress Affiliate Program?
AliExpress can be used not only for dropshipping but also for affiliate marketing.
There are some drawbacks to the program, such as the $50 commission cap or the inability of affiliates to withdraw funds through PayPal.
AliExpress products are cheaper than Amazon products, which is a major benefit. You could therefore have a higher conversion rate.
If you have a website that receives most of its traffic from the USA I would suggest promoting AliExpress products but focusing more on Amazon Associates. While some products might convert better than Amazon, I believe Amazon Associates has a better overall earning potential.
If you are a Russian-speaking website, you might consider the AliExpress affiliate program. AliExpress is very popular in Russia.
Getting started with a niche website
- Develop a niche-related website. To start your first website click here to learn more about it.
- Write lead-generating content. Make sure you write content that will generate leads. There are some questions people want to get clarified. They could search for healthy dog teeth or what harness suits best my cat. You can make a list or write a review and tell people why they should buy product A instead of Product B. If you feel uncomfortable writing yourself you can hire a writer on Fiverr or Hirewriters.
- Optimize traffic to convert by using targeted and low competition keywords. My favorite tool to find keywords is Keysearch and SemRush. Take it to a free ride for 7 days by clicking here.
- Create an email list. You can build your email list by offering a free e-Book, for example, so you attract people to sign up. An email list makes it easy to engage your customers and make them coming back to your site. AI recommend using Mailerlite. They are free to use up to 1,000 subscribers.
- Put your affiliate links near the top. When you position your affiliate links near the top, it will be easier for you to convert. Make the links clearly visible.
- Make video. I would also recommend launching a YouTube channel as it will give you the extra exposure you need to take full advantage of the audience. On the platform, you can create videos reviewing the products and drop links below that will guide your audience to Nike’s official website. Fitness niche sites are also an excellent platform for Nike shoes and other products, but their content must be relayed with what you are marketing. Otherwise, you will lose authority and trust during the marketing process. There is a lot of free video-making tools out there like Blender, Lightworks, and Shotcut to name just a few.
- Always Monitor Your Conversions Rates. You can split test your landing pages or put the affiliate links in different ways on your page and see which one converts better.
- Use a clean template, so your visitors won’t get distracted. You get free themes over at wordpress.org
- Take advantage of social media. Social media allows people to interact. Grow your social media engagement by posting regularly on your Facebook Instagram page or Twitter account. The traffic from social accounts helps also to rank in google.
- TAKE ACTION!