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.
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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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.