I appreciate this would be a big project for most companies but there are also some big potential benefits :
- Take SEO benefit from the affiliate links which should boost the merchant sites organic rankings.
- Lower costs – cutting out the middleman but still offering affiliates competitive rates.
- Faster to communicate special offers, new products etc to affiliates – again cutting out the middle man.
- In a better position to capture feedback from affiliates on usability and conversion issues of websites.
- More control when it comes to managing fraud etc.
- Potential for new income from managing affiliate schemes for other retailers.
- Can offer affiliates option to take your products as payment instead of cash.
Very few companies have run a successful in house programme (ebay, amazon have!) and many probably start out in-house and then end up going to a network to chase some volume. Here are some of the downsides :
- Take SEO benefit from the affiliate links – Some affiliates will hate this.
- Sucks up management time.
- If you switch from network to in-house, will lose some affiliates that can’t be bothered with yet another login.
- Might still need help from agencies e.g. in specific country markets or with affiliate recruitment.
- Your in-house staff need to be really clued up to prevent fraud etc and also they should be well networked to help with recruitment.
Any other thoughts ?, please let me know by adding a comment.