E-Commerce vs. Affiliate Marketing

Sharing is caring!

e commerce vs affiliate marketing

Affiliate Marketing And E – Commerce are two most of the popular trends in the marketing fiedl.  /Affiliate Marketing and E-commerce though both are different in its basic fundamental features, are very popular program among the affiliates.

Now when we discuss about e-commerce sites, the number one e-commerce site is Amazon.  Amazon is on top of the list, the following chart of top 10 us companies based on the percentage of e-commerce sale.


Now why Amazon is on top of the list, what is the main reason?  The main reason is they are the king of upsells.  You can check it on any of the Amazon’s product page.

When you land on any of the Amazon’s product page, it side by side giving you tons of recommendation in the form of upsells.



IIf you look at the picture, Amazon suggested “Frequently buy together” and “sponsored products related to this item”, buyer definitely check these products, and if he find any suitable product which matches with his original bought product, he buys another products also.  Thus, some more sales for Amazon.  Now by promoting this technique on each page of products, amazon increases its sells.

Introductions to E-Commerce

Now E-Commerce can be divided into two:

  1. Purchasing Physical Products Online

2. Sourcing Products to sell online.

How to build an E-commerce site?

Now you need to consider the following points if you want to build your own e-commerce site.

1.You need to find a prodct/s to sell.

2. You need to build a website to sell the products, with SSL certificates, payment processor, et.

3. Take the orders from the website.

4. ship the products to your customer.

You ship the products to your customers – keep inventory

You dropship the products to your customers – don’t keep inventory.

When was it intorduced?

Affiliate Marketing goes back to 1989.  William J. Tobin, the founder of pc flowers and gifts, has the distinction of holdling the title of being the first internet marketer.

It was 1989, when Tobin conceived thr idea of internet affiliate marketing, and launched on his programme on the prodigy network.

History of ecommerce dates back to the invention of the very old notion of “sell and buy”, electricity, cables, computers, modems, and the Internet.Ecommerce became possible in 1991 when the Internet was opened to commercial use

Definition of the terms

Affiliate marketing is a type of performance-based marketing in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought by the affiliate’s own marketing efforts. according to the Wikipedial

E-commerce is the activity of buying or selling of products on online services or over the Internet. Electronic commerce draws on technologies such as mobile commerce, electronic funds transfer, supply chain management, Internet marketing, online transaction processing, electronic data interchange (EDI), inventory management systems, and automated data collection systems

In short, a e commmerce is a shop which sets an online shop for selling their own products. and they earn money when people shop from this shop in the form of a revenue.

An affiliate marketing website can have products of different various brands and when  someone clicks the link, it straight goes to the brand’s own website.  After the puchase is completed, the affiliate gets the commission for sending the traffic to theri brand website.

Though the both looks same, but have diffrenet approch and work strategy.  You will find some examples of combinnng both the forms of marketing. e- commerce and affiliate marketing.

Difference between Affiliate Marketing and E-Commerce

Affiliate Marketing

No inventory

slim profit margin

less work

commission based

evergren marketing strategy



larger profit margin

more work

profit based

different marketing strategy.

Finding products to sell

It’s always best to find products to sell on online.  Google terms you want to sell, “Sell Products online” and you will find ton of websites that are selling the products.

Read More : Find a Product to sell 

you will get some tips on how to find a product to sell.

2. Search for manufacturing sources like Aliexpress.com.- manufacturers of products.  You can buy products from here, Buy in bulk, and sell these products on Ebay or any other e-commerce site.


Time and Money Factor in Marketing

time and money factor

Whichever form you choose, either e-commerce or affilliate marketing, make sure how much time and money is availble to you.  E-commerce site may need a much longer time span to create a website where as it is much easier to set up an affiliate website.

As an affiliate marketing site, you promote top brands through your website, Big brands give you a particular llink, through which you promote products.  An through this link the people is sent to the Brand’s own website, so ther is no hassle to you for customer service.  It is taken care by the brand’s own website.

Earn Commission for those products also, which you are not promoting

As an affilate you send traffic to a brand’s website, and one lands on the website, he may shop for many other things which you have suggested.  So you get the commission for all the products that was bought by the customer.

On the contrary, e-commerce is mostlly run on margin, you are free to set your own margin rules.  Affiliate marketing is tied to a certain percentage per product, so you can not change the percentage offered to you.

Profit Margin

Profit margin for affiliate marketing is quite low compare to e-commerce.  E-commerce earn a way more pofit than affiliate marketing, as affiliate marketing works on commission basis and e-commerce run by margine rate.

Do you need a website for two of these businesses?

Can you sell your products without website, yes you can sell your products without your own website.  But if you want to have a solid foundation for your business, then having a website is a must.

Also, having your own website creates your own brand and credibility in the market.  Would you think what is more impressive?  Promoting your products on Facebook page and social media platforms or promoting products on your own branded website.

Certainly, promoting products on your own website is a way more effective.  and still if you want to your promote on social media, definitely you can.

More Hardwork and consistency needed in e-commerce

If we compare both, affiliate marketing and e-commerce platform, affiliate marketing is comparitively easy, as you need to wwrite a great content and sharing your affiliate links.  but in e-commerce you need to market your products, and promote them.

Examples of some E-commerce sites









Hybrid Marketing can be an option

If you find any one marketing difficult, you can opt in for Hybrid marketing.  When I say Hybrid Marketing, I mean you can have both of these formulas work together on your website.  You can also set your e-commerce store along with affiliate maarketing structure.

You can always choose to promote products through e-commerce platform on your website at the same time promote these products through content marketing and adding links to your content and marketing it through paid and free marketing.


Hey Friens,

E-Commerce and Affiliate Marketing are two main platforms where you can earn money online in a legit way.  Affiliate Marketing is more about promoting third party products, where as E-Commerce is promoting your own products or other products buying through other sources and sellling it on your site.

Each ot it has its own pros and corns as we discussed above, which one is your favourite?  I personally promote products thorugh affiliate marketing and find much more easier.

It does take a lot of hardwork, but compare to E-commerce it is easier.  E-commerce needs a basic understanding of the marketing structure and how it works.

So to start with, I would like to suggest Affiliate Marketing and as you gain more knowledge and expereice, go to E-Commerce.  After working as an affiliate marketer, you gain a good knowledge of how to promote your products on your site, your audience and their buying habbits.  In short, you become aware of the buyer’s mentality.  Once you tapped the buyer’s mentality it is much more easier to promote products and marketing is more easier.

So, pl let me know your opinions, suggestions, questions and tipss on E-commerce and Affiliate Marketing.  And if you find this post useful pl share it with your friends.

2 thoughts on “E-Commerce vs. Affiliate Marketing”

  1. Very informative post, knew about e-commerce before and was never interested, I always worry about the warehousing, refunds etc.. but affiliate marketing is a whole new world. I just started learning it a few months ago and I am hooked, I hope it starts picking up so I can do it full time.

    • Hey Sahar,
      You can start your own E-commerce site by using woo commerce plugin to start up with. But if you are finding affiliate marketing best fit for you, then I am sure you will learn all the details in few months as Wealthy Affiliate is the great place to learn everything about online marketing.

      Affiliate marketing is continuously growing online industry and it certainly has a great future.


Leave a Comment