While the Amazon Associates program is the most popular option for physical goods affiliates, Walmart is another resource if you're trying to make money online.
I won't lie to you- in terms of revenue and pure conversion power, nothing beats Amazon and their affiliate program.
I've been using Walmart, Jet, and Wayfair as Amazon Associates alternatives. Wayfair is really the only other physical products retailer that generates any appreciable amount of income for me.
Below is a screen-grab of Walmart's performance in the last 30 days- you can see I generated 449 clicks and 6 orders: a 1% conversion rate. Not great!
The Commission Structure
That said, let's take a look at the commission structure:
- 4% of sale (default)
- 1% of sale for WM Electronics, Video Games, Movies, Music, Books, Photo
As you can see, the default baseline commission is 4%. You're only entitled to 1% for the Electronics, Video Games, Movies, Music, Books, Photo categories.
They do run specials occasionally- as of this writing in June of 2018, there are a pair of specials:
- Walmart Checks- 18%
- Walmart Contacts- 4%
According to the Walmart affiliate Program Details inside of LinkShare:
"Your shoppers will find everything they need to set their table, including a wide selection of tableware, drinkware, and patio dining sets, when they shop at Walmart.com. Plus, they'll find grills to cook up the perfect meals for all their outdoor shindigs and patio umbrellas to keep their space shaded when things really start to heat up. Whatever your shoppers need for their outdoor spaces, they'll find outdoor entertaining must-haves perfect for Summer at Walmart.com!"
Walmart VS Amazon Commissions
Below, I've assembled Amazon's commission structure, current as of June 2018. You can always get updated information on the commission structure here.
As you can see below, the majority of the Amazon Associate's product categories are above Walmart's default 4% rate.
Keep in mind that though there are areas where Walmart does offer a better commission rate, earning potential will be offset by Amazon's higher conversion rate.
To put it succintly- Amazon is a conversion monster and Walmart isn't in the same universe. With my own sites, Amazon is converting, on average, at 10%, while Walmart is converting at 1%.
|Product Category||Commission Rate|
|Amazon Gift Cards, Wine||0%|
|Video Games & Video Game Consoles||1%|
|Televisions, Digital Video Games||2%|
|PC, PC Components, DVD & Blu-Ray||2.5%|
|Amazon Fresh, Toys||3%|
|Amazon Fire Tablet Devices, Dash Buttons, Amazon Kindle Devices||4%|
|Physical Books, Health & Personal Care, Sports, Kitchen, Automotive, Baby Products||4.5%|
|Digital Music, Grocery, Physical Music, Handmade, Digital Videos||5%|
|Headphones, Beauty, Musical Instruments, Business & Industrial Supplies||6%|
|Apparel, Amazon Element Smart TV (with Fire TV), Amazon Fire TV Devices, Jewelry, Luggage, Shoes, Handbags & Accessories, Watches, Amazon Echo Devices||7%|
|Furniture, Home, Home Improvement, Lawn & Garden, Pets Products, Pantry||8%|
|Amazon Fashion Women, Men & Kids Private Label, Luxury Beauty, Amazon Coins||10%|
|All Other Categories||4%|
Getting Started With Niche SitesUse the strategies on this page in conjunction with my niche site process. Here it is in a nutshell:
- AuthorityHacker's Authority Site System (my review): a complete, step-by-step system to start growing your own highly profitable affiliate & authority niche site.
- A cloud-based on-page optimization tool: Surfer SEO makes your on-page SEO easier, faster, and more effective than ever using data-driven, real-time signals to rank in search engines.
- A reliable and fast hosting solution like SiteGround (my review)
- A brandable domain name from GoDaddy (my guide)
- A premium theme- I use GeneratePress but there are some cool niche themes on ThemeForest
- SEO Friendly Article Writing ($8-$12 / 1,000 words) from HireWriters (read: my HireWriters review)
- Powerful Backlinks from Authority.Builders (read: my Authority.Builders review)
- An automated social media drip campaign from MissingLettr
- An auto-responder to build your email list– ConvertKit is what I'm using (read: my ConvertKit review)
- Finally- you can always refer to my free step-by-step niche selection guide and all of my free niche reports for inspiration
Walmart's Keyword Rankings
Below, I used Ahrefs to analyze what keywords Walmart ranks for as of June 2018.
It's insightful to see what product terms rank the highest and are most popular with its consumers.
You can use these keywords to help brainstorm products to promote using their affiliate program.
What Can You Promote?
Examining the keyword table and the website itself, it's apparent that they basically have everything that Amazon does.
You can check out a full list of their different product categories on this page, but generally their products sit within these buckets:
- Electronics & Office
- Movies, Music & Books
- Home, Furniture & Appliances
- Home Improvement & Patio
- Clothing, Shoes & Accessories
- Baby & Toddler
- Toys & Video Games
- Food, Household & Pets
- Pharmacy, Health & Beauty
- Sports, Fitness & Outdoors
- Auto, Tires & Industrial
- Photo & Personalized Shop
- Sewing, Crafts & Party Supplies
Read More Of My Niche Reports
Why Should You Promote Walmart?
While it's not readily apparent that you should promote it, there are a couple of reasons that could make sense:
- One reason to promote it is if you can find products on their site that Amazon doesn't stock.
- Another reason to promote them is if you fall into a niche where Walmart provides a better commission rate.
- You can experiment promoting their promotional offers (Rakuten shows the deals if you click into the Walmart advertiser area)
How To Sign Up
Join the Rakuten Marketing affiliate network, or you can fill out this form on Walmart's site.
Shop Walmart.com for Every Day Low Prices. Free Shipping on Orders $35+ or Pickup In-Store and get a Pickup Discount. Open a Walmart Credit Card to Save Even More!
How To Create The Links
I use the LinkGenerator Bookmarklet tool.
The way it works, once you're logged in to Rakuten, you navigate to the Walmart page you want to link to (a product search path, for example), and then you click the Bookmarklet to generate the deep link.
You can watch it in action here:
There's also a Walmart WordPress plugin you can use- but it looks like it hasn't been updated in a long time, at the time of this writing.
How To Promote
As I've discussed in my reviews of other physical goods affiliate programs, you can 'do SEO' by producing longform product reviews and adding the Walmart affiliate link to anchor text, buttons and even images of the products you're promoting.
One of my preferred strategies is building a comparison table with Amazon Associates products and then adding an option to "View Walmart Prices".
You can see an example below (though in this case, the example demonstrates the NewEgg affiliate program):
If you're at a loss for how to start an affiliate marketing content site- check out my guide. Generating the affiliate links is the easy part- producing content that ranks for profitable organic keywords can be the hard part.
Another option is to email market Walmart affiliate deals to your audience. As we saw at the outset, Walmart frequently runs special promotions- in this case for their credit card and for contact lenses.
Promoting Walmart on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest can work.
It's important to note that Walmart prohibits (terms of service) publishers to "publish, link to, sell, otherwise distribute, or place a Qualifying Link on any social networking sites, including, but not limited to, Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, etc."
So you'll need to link to your website from Facebook and then get your audience to click through to Walmart from your site and not from a social media site itself.
You'll need an audience to reliably generate revenue this way. I don't earn money online by leveraging social traffic- they're much less inclined to make a purchase when compared to organic traffic users who have specifically searched out your site and its affiliate content.
You can investigate some Walmart affiliate alternatives- I've written about the Target affiliate program.
If you're trying to make money online, writing up product reviews is a great way to acquire passive SEO traffic and monetize with affiliate links.
It's wise to experiment with different physical product affiliate programs and networks to test what converts best.
That said, Amazon is so dominant at this point that they really blow the competition away. I'd say, experiment with Walmart's performance in your niche- try using it as a supplemental affiliate program. Definitely not as a replacement for Amazon itself!