Making Money Online: Affiliate Marketing vs E-Commerce

Start Making Money With Your Own Online Business …

Every active Internet user has come across this simple but tempting phrase at least once! It follows with a description of the low entry threshold, and the benefits of working anytime, anywhere.

Indeed, the modern world of the Internet gives users a lot of resources and opportunities. You need only to decide which one is right for you?

Affiliate marketing and e-commerce are currently the two most popular business models for making money among aspiring entrepreneurs. Naturally, each of them has its own advantages and disadvantages.

Today we will explore each of their elements to find the best one for you.

What do affiliate marketing and e-commerce have in common?

Despite all the differences, affiliate marketing and e-commerce have a few things in common.

  • Low entry threshold

Starting an online business has never been easier. Both online models have a lower barrier to entry than the traditional venture.

  • Start-up capital and initial costs are much less.

Running an Internet business is much cheaper than running a physical store. Sometimes you need just one computer!

Expanding your online customers’ database

With the onset of the pandemic, the number of people shopping online has increased significantly. In 2020, 49% of respondents said they made significantly more purchases online than before Covid19.

And how can you deny the convenience of delivering straight to your door with just one click?

It is the delivery of goods to the user that is included in affiliate marketing and e-commerce. Now, during the coronavirus, when everyone is sitting at home, buried in their laptop screens, the best time to start an online business!

Data analysis and optimization

To be successful in running such a business requires constant data analytics and data optimization. It is very important to collect and analyze information about consumer behavior.

You will also have to experiment a lot to find the best marketing strategy. There are always tons of variables that you can tweak and optimize performance.

Use PeerClick to analyze data, generate reports, and optimize your online business.

Time, money and effort costs

While affiliate marketing and e-commerce is much easier to get into than a regular business, there are some challenges you will face. But don’t let them scare you! Everything worthwhile is not given easy💜

At this stage we will come across the differences between affiliate marketing and e-commerce. For example, affiliate marketing requires much less time and money to be successful.

As you consider both options, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What’s your budget?
  • Is this a part-time job or a full-time job?
  • Planning a specific product or business model?
  • Do you have the energy to do scrupulous work, or do you need something with less effort?

Armed with the answers, it’s time to get down to the pros and cons.

Why is it worth starting an online ecommerce store?

The e-commerce industry is growing wildly

Last year brought record traffic statistics for e-commerce sites. Even before the pandemic, people spent a lot of time in front of their screens. What can we say now?

What’s more, the industry is constantly developing more convenient solutions for business owners: shipping alternatives, cheaper and easier website creation, and more online marketing opportunities.

Full control

You are fully responsible for your online store. If you have the necessary resources and a clear idea of ​​what a business should look like, an online store might be the best solution. Customize all the components as you wish and be creative.

Pricing flexibility

Marketing, pricing, packaging possibilities become limitless when working with e-commerce. As a business owner, you can set prices, hold promotions. In general, experiment as much as you like.

How to make your e-commerce business successful?

Control is great, but every coin has a downside. In e-commerce, the responsibility falls on you, which can be too hard.

How not to ruin the business and make all business processes work?

Here are the basic steps to get started:

Start with deep research and find a profitable niche.

You need to find a product which has an audience that you can target online. Ecommerce is a growing industry, research your competitors and find a product / service which the market is not oversaturated.

Understand the legal bureaucracy

It all depends on the regulation of your country. You will need to select a legal structure and obtain the necessary permits and licenses. Also consider the sales taxes you will have to pay.

Choose a platform for building sites

Consider factors such as cost, design, usability and future development. This decision is key in the business plan — after all, the website will become your virtual shop window.

Get Inventory

Whether you’re making products or ordering, make sure you have enough storage space. As well as materials for packaging.

Start promoting your business

Increase traffic and product demand. In the beginning, you won’t have a lot of traffic visiting your website. There are many ways to attract customers, it’s important to keep track of what works best.

These are the basic steps for starting an ecommerce business.

Ecommerce is a job which requires your participation 24/7

Unfortunately, the business will not work on its own. While e-commerce is digital, it still requires “physical” action. There are many daily logistics tasks to complete. It takes a long time to run an ecommerce business. It can hardly be combined with other projects.

Three main sources of tedious work:

Customer Service — Sometimes people can be a huge pain in the ass.

Customer service includes not only their support, but also a lot of routine work: answering emails, handling complaints, getting a phone, processing returns and refunds.

Marketing — Advertising your business takes time and money.

You need to experiment a lot every day and optimize the results of your work. Don’t forget about organic traffic as well. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is one of the most effective ways to increase the number of regular visitors to your site. SEO itself involves a lot of analytical work and content creation.

Delivery. One of the biggest challenges in managing an online store.

You will not only have to order, store and pack goods, but also send them. The “Delivery” stage is a black hole in the minds of not only the clients, but also the business owner. Even tracking the delivery of products on the Internet, you will never be able to find out how orders are processed and in what condition they will go to the customer.

… What about dropshipping?

Dropshipping is an alternative to traditional shipping in the e-commerce industry. Here the manufacturer sends you the goods directly from the warehouse. With dropshipping, all you have to do is sell, advertise, and promote products on your site. In fact, you may never see the products that you sell.

Therefore, dropshipping can be a double-edged sword, as it is a part of the customer experience that cannot be controlled and tracked. Delivery time, conditions and product packaging are important aspects of customer satisfaction. E-commerce is mainly driven by regular customers.

Difficult to scale

A large number of orders and customers doesn’t mean an immediate success. One of the biggest obstacles in e-commerce is scalability. Scaling a business means more orders and customers.

You will have to purchase and process more items, look for alternative packaging and shipping solutions, and deal with extended customer support. You also need to think about the opportunities to increase traffic. In most cases, this point means looking for third-party solutions or hiring special employees.

Ecommerce has a lot of potential, but you need to be prepared to devote a lot of time and resources to your work. Typically, this business model is better for those who already have experience. If you feel like e-commerce is not yours, don’t despair, keep reading!

Looking for something easier? Take a closer look at affiliate marketing

Quite frankly, affiliate marketing has a lot more benefits. The risk is much less and the benefit is greater.

Quite easy to get started

One of the best things about affiliate marketing is how easy it is to dive into the sphere.

To get started, you only need three components:

  • The offer you want to advertise. It is easy to find in the affiliate program (Here is the article on the best affiliate networks)
  • Campaign Audience — To sell an offer, you need to get traffic from ad networks like Outbrain, PropellerAds and Taboola (read here to find the best traffic sources in 2021).
  • An ad tracker like PeerClick for easy optimization and scaling your campaigns — more on that later.


All you need to run an affiliate marketing business is a computer and internet access. You can work anywhere: from home, in a cafe, on a paradise island. Campaigns will be profitable even when you sleep.

There is nothing in affiliate marketing that cannot be done from a laptop or computer — unlike e-commerce.

Variety of products to promote

An endless variety of products, offers and verticals is one of the most exciting parts of affiliate marketing. Affiliates have the freedom to try and test a wide range of promotional products without spending a lot of time or money. You never know how consumer interests or the market will change; Affiliate marketing gives you the ability to switch anytime.

Working with e-commerce, you can’t change the main profile of your site so fast.

Quick money

Compared to e-commerce, start-up costs are very low. Plus, you can get started much faster, without having to wait for licenses, preparing and shipping goods, and launching an e-commerce site. There will also be no logistics issues that accompany an e-commerce business (customer support, packaging, shipping). You will have much more time to optimize your campaigns.

If you make enough effort, you can make good money fast. It is difficult to calculate the average income of an affiliate, but with a professional approach, you can definitely count on numbers from $ 1,000 to $ 10,000 per month. The possibilities are endless 💫

Affiliate Marketing Challenges / Finding The Right Combinations

It is not always easy to find a reliable source of profit. You have to spend a decent amount of money finding the right approach and audience before you start making money. To analyze all of your campaigns, generate accurate reports, and optimize performance, you need a powerful tracker. Pay attention to PeerClick!

Learning curve

A beginner needs to master some skills: content creation, landing page creation, technical understanding, writing are some of the most important. The internet is full of forums, webinars, groups, courses, and more to help you! 😉

Patience and work …

In affiliate marketing, patience is the most important thing. Creating profitable campaigns can take a lot of time and effort. Based on the data collected from your campaigns, you can create reports, analyze your strategy, and make improvements. Without a tracker, data collection would be a disaster.

Which model is right for you?

It takes money, time, and experience to dive into e-commerce. In addition, it will take a long time to make a profit.

If you’re a newbie to the online business world, affiliate marketing is a safer option; The risk is much less, and earnings will come much earlier. Regardless of which path you take, don’t waste your cash on useless and untracked campaigns! PeerClick will save you from such problems.

Affiliate marketing advice & case studies to help you market ethically, authentically, and efficiently.