In this post, I'll take a look at the Best Buy affiliate program. Best Buy is an electronics retailer with over 1,000 U.S. & Canadian store locations as of 2016 (Source).
It generated nearly 40 billion in revenue in 2017 (Source).
While Amazon is the dominant player in eCommerce, if you're running a tech site with decent traffic, you might be wondering if it's worth joining the Best Buy affiliate program.
In my experience, some of these retailers (I'm thinking the home and garden retailer Wayfair, for example) will often compete with Amazon on 'depth' of product category.
While they may lose a head to head match-up on price, ease of use and shipping speed, they can often feature a greater range of unique products.
It's reasonable to expect that consumers would purchase from Best Buy if they stocked products that Amazon doesn't have. That's a compelling reason to to explore Best Buy's product offerings if you're looking to monetize your site.
NicheFacts Video Overview
In this Best Buy affiliate program review, I'll walk you through my thoughts on promoting this electronics retailer.
Transcription (please excuse any typos):
Hey guys, Ryan from NicheFacts here and today I’m going to take a quick look at the Best Buy affiliate program. So if you’re in the make money online space – and you have a website maybe in the technology niche – you are probably aware of the Amazon Associates Program, which is obviously the most popular physical products, affiliate retailer you can partner with.
But there are some other options out there if you want to promote products from a different affiliate network or a different affiliate program so Best Buy, according to Wikipedia, generated 40 billion in revenue in 2017.
So you know rumors are of their demise are overstated. At this point, but I guess the bad news that I’ll share with you about the program is that the affiliate commissions are really bad, so they are part of the rocket in link share network, and you can see this is the program right here.
I’m logged in to my account and as you can see, this is June 2018. I have actually better breakdown on my site legacy so for laptops tablets, desktops video game hardware.
All of this stuff here is zero percent commission rate, so outside of that you’re getting 1 %. So probably the most important thing I can impart to you in this video is that, if you’re looking to promote them, you really want to make sure that you’re staying outside of these hardware offers, as well as as point of sale activation card, because it’s all zero Percent commission, so the best that you’re really gon na do is being outside of these categories and you’re going to be at 1 %. You can do Geek Squad services, you can promote that it it’s 1 %, and then they do mobile phone service plan activation. Five dollar bounty, but those exclude plans with iPhone hardware.
So that’s pretty bad news. If you’re looking to promote, we may be wondering how does this actually compare with Amazon? So I did. I pulled out some of the the relevant categories of Amazon Associates Program so for video games in video game console.
That’s one percent televisions, digital video games, it’s two percent PC PC components, DVD and blu-ray is two percent, so obviously Amazon is overall a better a better option than Best Buy’s, and that’s really because a lot of these products are very low margin, and I just imagine that Best Buy is really struggling to keep up with Amazon.
So they they just they probably don’t – have a lot of room to maneuver, in terms of margins, to start paying up publishers for referring traffic to them, but in terms of how they try to compete Best Buy, does they offer free shipping on orders over $ 35 there’s in-store pickup, which Amazon really isn’t able to compete with?
At this point, although I know they do have some some physical locations, I am in New York City and I’ve been to their location around 59th Street the Time Warner Center. They do same-day delivery if your location qualifies so like when you go to buy on Best, Buy, there’s an option and you’d be able to see like you know, is there a store nearby that I can get delivered from so in that way you know you can Actually get very fast delivery through them and they do a price match guarantee. So that’s kind of an overview of the commission structure. It is kind of hard to imagine how you would monetize you.
You really just have to keep outside of this core right here and then, of course, things are subject to change, so maybe you’re, something like like drones, like I see that they are big on. They have a lot of drones on here. Something like this would seem to sit outside of the zero-percent category, so I imagine that would be at 1 % this any of any of these drones would be something you can get 1 % on, but then again you can just go with Amazon and it would Convert you know probably ten times as well, and you probably get a higher percentage.
So in terms of how I would look to – or the other thing I wanted to say is that in terms of the the cookie period, so how long are you actually giving Commission’s for from the traffic you sent it’s only one day, so that combines with a Very low Commission rate to be very a pretty weak offer, unfortunately, and that said, Amazon also they’re only doing one day, but you know Amazon is there’s such conversion, monsters that you know it’s not.
You know you can live with it because of Amazon. People are always constantly buying from them. So even though it’s just one day on Amazon as well, it’s like you know. People are constantly purchasing so you’re, always getting that at flow of sort of supplementary referral sales, maybe they’re not buying what you sent them to Amazon for, but they buy something else, so you’re always constantly getting paid on it, whereas for Best Buy, usually with a lot Of these, of these other non amazon associates affiliate programs, the cookie rate can be 7 days.
I’ve seen the code of 30 days for a lot of different affiliate programs, but this it’s only one day at 0 %. So it’s not great. So if you want to join up, you just join the racket in link share affiliate network, which I showed you before. This is where the best buy affiliate program sits.
That’s where you can get all the links, and you can read about you know their policies. So you have just a quick note before you ever promote anything, as you definitely obviously want to look at the commission structure to make sure that you’re not promoting things with zero percent commission rate. But then there are things like you know, social. You know there’s social things that you like you can’t. Sometimes you can’t promote on Facebook or Twitter. Is you just want to always stay at the date and what their policies are and then, in the unlikely event that you’re doing pay-per-click advertising for this Best Buy affiliate program?
You know you just you just want to make sure you followed by all their paid search policies, so in terms of how I would think about promoting it, it really breaks down into SEO and email. To my mind, you know you’re gon na want to rank for some of the products that they have in stock, which that’s pretty obvious, and here I produced a – I used a H reps to produce this list of you know the top 1000 best by keywords, excluding Their actual brand terms, so these are their organic rankings for everything top 1000 things like Best Buy, which you know is their biggest keyword. So this is useful to kind of break down and see like you know, what are the most popular product categories?
What are they ranking for?
So it’s it’s a way to kind of get an overview of everything, you’re the most popular most traffic pages. So you can see you know they ranked number 3 for Apple watch, which of course, is an excluded category. They rank for “iBUYPOWER”, which is actually how I purchased my computer through iBUYPOWER, Sprint, Apple Store, so I mean they have some really great rankings here. This is just interesting to kind of peruse and see what they you know what what they rank. For me, it’s it just as an SEO.
You know it’s interesting to see. They have very strong rankings, all these product product pages, and it gives you some. You know you can kind of brainstorm about what you think like this gaming share. That might be something you can’t promote good. As always, you want to make sure that may sit inside the video game. Hardware, I’m not sure if it does or not that’s something you want. You don’t want to check. So that’s sort of the SEO side of it.
It’s not that complicated. You know, you’re writing, product reviews and then you’re generating. You know the affiliate link and I actually use there’s a like a bookmarklet tool that will sit up here in Chrome on my laptop right now, so I don’t actually have it installed, but the way it works is like you would go like say you want to Promote this drone there’s a link, generator tool and you know just click it and you can do deep URL linking linking through the the bookmarklet tool and that’s how I really do all of the deep links to promote different affiliate programs and the other idea I had In terms of how you can promote it, if you, if you were really motivated to do so, would be to leverage their daily weekly and holiday sales and deals because obviously they’re not going to compete with Amazon on price.
That much is certain, so you’d want to find, like I link over here to the deal of the day. So if you go to Best Buy there’s a deal today: okay, that’s unexpected, so that link actually broke so, but it’s over here in the the menu navigation. So if you have an email list – and you were really determined to squeeze some money out of this program – I would you know, stay sign up for all of their newsletters and oftentimes like if you go into the the racket in affiliate network.
They’ll often publicize a lot of the the specialty is over here, but I would also just you know: stay on top of the deal of the day section on the website and you can see okay here is you know this printer here. So apparently it was discounted from two hundred $ 69 to 149.
Let me just quickly see if I can find it on Amazon see how it compares so there’s that’s not right there, that’s the same one! So there’s on Amazon right now, it’s 181! So there you go, you know there’s a little bit of a price arbitrage opportunity.
So that’s that’s one way I would think of doing it, but this is not really an SEO opportunity because you know you’re going to link it to the product review the printer. You can’t link, you know, this is a temporary thing, so you’d have to be promoting it by email or promoting it on social and I’d be careful about linking doing affiliate links like on Facebook or Twitter. You probably do want to link to your website, which would link to the deal a day, something like that. So you’d have to dive into the affiliate agreement.
I’m actually not totally sure what they do with with social Amazon has actually gotten more progressive recently about allowing you to promote affiliate links on verified social accounts like your own social accounts, but a lot of these other affiliate programs.
They are kind of a little bit in the dark ages with that they’re, not they’re, not willing to. Let you do that, and it’s really just like a Spanish year like if that was allowed, I mean a big internet would just be completely overrun with you know: affiliate spam, you know people pushing out tons and tons of like spun content through ScrapeBox, promoting affiliate links. So it would be there’s a very valid reason why they don’t usually enable social promotion of affiliate links. So that’s really the the overview here you know, like I said it’s hard to recommend promoting it. Considering how been — the commission structure is so and that’s that’s. Basically, that’s basically it that’s exact. This is what I wanted to cover and I do a lot of affiliate program reviews.
I’ve really been diving deep into them. So if you actually go to the homepage niche banks comm on the bottom of the page, here I’ve been doing ongoing reviews of Wayfair affiliate program, Walmart Lowe’s Target. I did a recent one on the best SEO affiliate programs for affiliate marketers, I’m doing a video on all of these soon I’m actually buying a better microphone, so the audio will be better in the future. Credit-Card affiliate program does another really interesting space to be so.
If you’re interested in you know make money online, the different affiliate programs and networks, you can join to monetize your website. You can come down to this section here and get kind of you know, update information on the different programs and networks that I’m reviewing and then really the primary thrust of the site is. I do these niche reports where you know.
I look at strange SEO opportunities, strange strange ways that you can get traffic online and monetize the content, for example, this one right here, rotten, sto toe. You know I examine the site that ranks for expired food searches, which is really strange for a site that ranks for emojis. So that’s really weird interesting niche opportunities. If you’re trying to you know build a site that gets traffic, you know.
So that’s it. That’s my review of the the best buy affiliate program and I hope you enjoyed it and just check out the site and sign up for the list because I email you know all sorts of interesting opportunities like this and I’m very receptive. So if you have anything, you want to ask me or say just shoot me: an email, okay until the next video.
Competing With Amazon
It's important to note that Best Buy does make an effort to compete with Amazon by offering:
- Free shipping on orders $35 and up.
- Fast store pickup that's ready in one hour.
- Same-day delivery (if your location qualifies).
- The Best Buy Price Match Guarantee.
And, besides products, you can promote their Geek Squad services as well as Mobile Phones with Service Plan Activations.
Though, granted, the affiliate commissions are relatively paltry.
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- Finally- you can always refer to my free step-by-step niche selection guide and all of my free niche reports for inspiration
Is It Worth Joining?
Now for the bad news...
Check out the commission structure below:
The Bad News: The Best Buy Commission Structure
Laptops, Tablets, Desktops, Video Game Hardware (including Virtual Reality Hardware), Point of Sale Activation (POSA) Cards and Apple-branded Watches
All Other Product Categories (excluding the 0.0% Categories above)
Geek Squad Services
Mobile Phones with Service Plan Activations (Excludes Plans with iPhone® Hardware)
As you can see, these commission rates are pretty meager.
How Does It Compare With Amazon?
As you can see below, while Amazon's commission structure for tech and electronics products is pretty low, it's still much better than Best Buy's.
Video Games & Video Game Consoles
Televisions, Digital Video Games
PC, PC Components, DVD & Blu-Ray
I know many publishers who have seen their 'tech product' commissions drastically reduced by Amazon.
But it's still a better deal to promote Amazon than Best Buy, at this point, considering that Best Buy is currently paying a generous 0% on "Laptops, Tablets, Desktops, Video Game Hardware (including Virtual Reality Hardware), Point of Sale Activation (POSA) Cards and Apple-branded Watches" while Amazon is pays out the following in the tech niche, as of 6/2018.
More Bad News: How Long Is Your Traffic Cookied?
According to their affiliate page, the "action referral period is one day".
That's pretty bad- I would have hoped that Best Buy would offer a longer referral period window to incentive Amazon affiliates to experiment with the Best Buy affiliate program, but apparently that's the best they're able to do.
How To Join
Their affiliate program sits inside the Rakuten Linkshare affiliate network.
If you're already a member, just search within LinkShare, or click here to sign up as a Publisher.
Read More Of My Niche Reports
How To Promote
Considering how uninspired this affiliate program is, it's hard to get excited promoting it.
The two primary ways you can promote Best Buy is SEO and Email. For SEO, you'll want to rank for products that they pay commissions for. (Duh!)
But I want to reemphasize, they're paying 0% on:
"Laptops, Tablets, Desktops, Video Game Hardware (including Virtual Reality Hardware), Point of Sale Activation (POSA) Cards and Apple-branded Watches."
That said, if you're interested, I have a couple suggestions.
But first, let's take a look at what keywords BestBuy.com actually ranks for.
This keyword research will help you understand the sort of products consumers are purchasing from Best Buy:
Leverage Their Daily, Weekly & Holiday Sales & Deals
If you join the Best Buy affiliate program, you'll get access to their sales and weekly offers.
The way it works, you'll get access to their weekly newsletter. Every Friday they send it out- though they ask that you wait until Sunday to publicize the offers.
For example, at the time of this writing, Best Buy is doing a Memorial Day's sale:
If you have an email list, it would be pretty easy to circulate some of these Best Buy discounts to your list.
Deal Of The Day Sales
They will beat Amazon on price, ocassionally.
Just check out their 'deal of the day'. When I checked their deal of the day recently, they were offering an Insignia television that was significantly cheaper than Amazon's price.
You'd have to be pretty fast to promote something like that- and it obviously lends itself to an email list promotion.
Black Friday & Cyber Monday Deals
Like all retailers, they do big promos on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. So if your website or social following relishes tech deals, it's another opportunity to monetize.
But, be careful, you don't want to promote something with a 0% commission!
Find Niche Products
If you examine the keyword data I posted in the table above, you can see what terms they rank for.
I would try cross referencing all the products they rank for with Amazon- they might have access to a particular brand that Amazon doesn't stock.
As I keep emphasizing, you won't have much success using the Best Buy affiliate program if you're going to promote products to consumers that Amazon already sells for less, most likely ships faster, and they already have an account with.
A niche 'product' they offer is their Geek Squad- though it only pays 1%. You could experiment promoting that- try SEO-ing local tech repair terms like "computer repair brooklyn", which is a 590/monthly search volume term, according to KeywordsEverywhere.
I've rarely seen any technology affiliate programs offer higher than 3% commission on anything. It's a tough space to be an affiliate in.
The only way I'd consider promoting Best Buy would be if I had an email list that was receptive to 'deal alerts'. So when a Roku smart TV goes on sale, I could ping my list and let them know.
I'd also try to find unique products on Best Buy that you could promote. That's easier said than done. I've had some success promoting Wayfair because they have lots of products that Amazon doesn't have.
The Amazon Associates affiliate program is by far the best eCommerce option for publishers. As a publisher, I've made an effort to branch out from it- but the success I've had depended on marketing more specialized eCommerce options like Wayfair.
If you compare Amazon and Wayfair, you'll see that Wayfair has a ton of unique products- that's the best point of differentiation, to my mind, you can have from Amazon if they're going to, generally, always beat you on price, speed of shipping and ease of use.