How to successfully combine dropshipping and affiliate marketing.

As the internet plays such a vital part in the way that most people shop, online retailers have lots of advantages over their traditional counterparts.

One of these advantages is the ability to shop for products that are not in stock. With dropshipping, you don’t need to purchase the item until an order is placed, meaning you can pass the savings directly onto your customers.

This is what makes dropshipping such a popular choice for affiliate marketers, who already have a large audience to sell to. As well as benefiting from the increased exposure that dropshipping can provide, you can also boost the number of products you sell by adding your affiliate links to your product pages.

Below, we’ll look at both dropshipping and affiliate marketing in more detail and provide some useful information about each.

What is Dropshipping?

Before we delve too much into affiliate marketing, it’s important to get a good understanding of dropshipping and why so many people are opting for it. You can think of dropshipping as a similar concept to being a reseller for an online retailer.

You buy products that are in stock and then place an order for them. For example, if a site you’re interested in is selling all of their back-to-school products on a certain day, you could set up a drop-ship order with them to acquire the products you need.

Then, if they haven’t sold all of their back-to-school products by the end of the day, you can place a second order and the same product is sent to you.

What is Affiliate Marketing?

To the outsider, affiliate marketing may sound a bit odd. It’s when someone gets paid by another person to recommend another product or service. You usually see this at the end of an affiliate marketing video on YouTube – someone is selling an item online and you see the advertisement and a link that takes you to the retailer to buy that product. It’s what happens when someone clicks on that link and buys the item.

But as much as people may know about affiliate marketing, very few people actually do it.

Who Uses Affiliate Marketing? In 2020, the most recent year that data is available, about 80 million Americans shopped online from an affiliate network. That’s about 25 percent of all online shoppers.

Why Dropshipping and Affiliate Marketing Work Together

Dropshipping involves buying and selling items from someone else and then taking a small percentage of that person’s purchase. Dropshipping is incredibly popular because it allows you to fulfill your orders and offer a wide variety of products without needing to maintain a large inventory or running your own website.

If you work with a warehouse in China where they store the goods, dropshipping is perfect for you – the steps to doing it are few and the effort is low. Dropshipping also provides a lot of flexibility: it’s entirely possible to find someone to do your order fulfillment from the other side of the world for a price that’s less than you would pay to ship your products yourself.

Affiliate marketers can enter into dropshipping deals with drop-shippers who already have an established customer base. Dropshippers who purchase products in bulk are able to provide very competitive prices. The affiliate can benefit from the convenience of just purchasing the product when an order is placed.

This gives the affiliate a very powerful incentive to take part in the deal, as there is a considerable amount of money to be made. There are a few extra advantages to take into account when combining dropshipping and affiliate marketing. For example, if you create and sell an affiliate product, you are able to accept payments from the affiliate straight away. This means you can get customers’ orders to drop without having to wait around for them.

How to Successfully Combine Dropshipping and Affiliate Marketing

To improve the effectiveness of dropshipping and affiliate marketing, it’s important to understand how they work in tandem and what benefits they can bring to your store.  With affiliate marketing, you sell a product that is made available through a marketplace, such as Amazon, Shopify, or eBay. This product is sent to your customers once they buy it from the marketplace, in return for a commission.

In the simplest terms, affiliate marketing has become a low-cost way to market your own brand. While the percentage that you receive from each sale varies between marketplaces, most stores require at least 4% to 10% from every sale. For example, the Amazon affiliate program allows you to earn between 7% and 19% depending on the product you choose to promote.


Dropshipping is becoming increasingly popular for affiliate marketers, and will only grow in popularity in the future. It’s the perfect way to work from home or from the comfort of your own sofa and can help you to boost profits while ensuring that you aren’t left with unsold stock.

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