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Bonanza Launches Affiliate Program to Drive Traffic

Bonanza is launching an affiliate program on Tuesday to drive traffic to its online marketplace. CEO Bill Harding said the affiliate commissions average 70% higher than eBay and Amazon. However, unlike other marketplace affiliate programs, this one is funded directly by the seller.

Sellers on Bonanza determine whether they wish to participate in the affiliate program. If they opt in, they pay between 9 – 15% of the selling price to Bonanza, which then passes along 80 – 90% of that fee to affiliates (which is the equivalent of 8 – 15% of the transaction price).

From a booth management standpoint, it is just one more advertising channel through which they can acquire traffic, Harding said. “When sellers are opted in to the affiliate program, they’d pay the same fee for an affiliate transaction as they would for a Google Shopping or a Nextag transaction (i.e., whatever they have set as their advertising fee rate).”

He said Bonanza helps publishers build their direct traffic to their site – “no one else does this.” Over the long term, he believes the affiliate program could grow to rival Google Shopping in terms of buyer traffic delivered to Bonanza sellers.

Harding explained the qualifications to becoming a Bonanza affiliate:

  • They’ve got to be based in the U.S.
  • They’ve got to have a website or a blog that Bonanza can verify is on the up-and-up per Google (i.e., not marked as malware, not flagged for spam, not shady looking).
  • They’ve got to be able to post a link or widget to their site.

Harding explained how Bonanza planned to ensure affiliates would not engage in bad practices – for example, send spam. “Affiliates will be required to register which websites of theirs they will be sending traffic from. If the original buyer click does not come from a registered site, it doesn’t count toward their affiliate revenues. This strategy will allow us to vet the sites that are involved in the affiliate program and minimize the bad actors.”

Bonanza is managing the affiliate program in house. “All of the third parties we could find wanted a 20-30% cut of the affiliate revenue,” Harding said. “We want to pay out the maximum possible amount to our publishers so we can get the greatest financial differentiation between our program and Amazon’s. Paying 30% to a third-party does not fit with that goal.”

The program officially launches on August 19th, see information about the Bonanza affiliate program here.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.