With so much emphasis on Amazon in the ecommerce sector, its easy to ignore building a business with platforms like the Rakuten affiliate network (formally Linkshare), CJ (formally Commission Junction) and ShareASale.
Rakuten, for instance, has been around since 1997 and is in the midst of their 20th anniversary celebration. Amazon, along with Adwords and Facebook can be powerful advertising options, but a site like Rakuten can help you build an affiliate base for extended reach for merchants and publishers. Similarly, if you are an affiliate, Rakuten has some generous payout models and the list below will give you an idea of the quality opportunities available on the site.
Rakuten, of course is a smaller player in ecommerce than, say, Amazon, but that’s a benefit for those who are looking for more personalized attention and might be more concerned about getting their business through a red-tape laden approval process.
The Rakuten affiliate network also makes it extremely easy to create links for a business website. Merchants will need to provide your own banners if so desired, but adding one-click links to them and each specific page or product is a breeze and it is easy for affiliates to access them.
Be aware that the company now has the Rakuten Marketplace where merchants can display their products and affiliates can access their own store. Fees for store rental at this writing are currently at $33 per month or $99 billed quarterly. Rakuten also has a relationship with Popshops and this automatic datafeed marketing method is also extremely popular.
If you are interested in exploring the Rakuten affiliate network and availing yourself of some of the opportunities there, here are just a few of the of the companies that are involved with them:
Gourmet Gift Baskets
Central Park Sightseeing
The North Face
Yves Saint Laurent Beauty
Saks Fifth Avenue
Medical Supply Depot
The Body Shop