One of the most powerful tools we have ever built are what we call Choice Pages. They allow you to link a single product to a variety of retailers. This does two things. One, it gives your audience the opportunity to buy the product from their preferred retailer. Two, it allows you to earn more affiliate commissions. Choice Pages are a game-changer.
But one thing we have also heard over and over is that it can be kind of a pain to build Choice Pages.
So we are excited to share a major improvement to Choice Pages. The new Suggestions feature significantly reduces the time and effort necessary to curate a good shopping experience for your audience.
This is done by recommending other US-based retailers that sell the same product, then allowing you to choose which retailers you’d like to include and having the retailer-specific product link added into your Choice Page.
Previously this process was done manually by clicking to “Add a destination choice” and digging through the websites of alternative retailers to find the matching product.
A Choice Page can now be created in a matter of seconds, instead of minutes, so you can focus on what you do best and leave the “last mile” of product recommendations to us.
Why Choice Pages
Before we dig into the value of being able to take advantage of the Suggestions feature to quickly build Choice Pages, let’s review why a Choice Page, the optimized landing page for recommending a single product across multiple retailers, might be a good alternative to using a globally aware Amazon affiliate link.
Choice Pages have four distinct advantages.
They can help you maximize your affiliate revenue and conversion rates, by allowing interested shoppers to do their comparison shopping on the fly. Shoppers are less likely to jump to other sites or search engines to check prices and availability on other stores if you give them a direct path forward (and the bulk of shoppers like to do a price comparison before buying!). We’ve also found that by allowing the shopper to explore other retailers they build momentum in the buying process, especially for mid to higher cost items. Clicking the button to check the price and availability is a micro-conversion in the buying process and helps them be more comfortable in that final step of clicking the buy button. By ensuring all of this happens via your affiliate links your are maximizing your conversion rate by minimizing the chances for the shopper to abandon the process.
Choice Pages also help you cater to a wider audience. While Amazon does have a massive piece of the eCommerce pie, especially in the US, they are still “only” 39% according to eMarketer. This means that 61% of eCommerce happens outside of Amazon. If we apply this to sales then it roughly applies to 3 out of 5 sales happening within other online stores. An intelligent Amazon affiliate link will help you capture those sales for Amazon but still ignores that large percentage of eCommerce that happens outside of Amazon, where a Choice Page is specifically optimized to capture these missed opportunities.
By including multiple retailers, and using their affiliate programs, you are diversifying your revenue to reduce risk. By having multiple revenue streams you reduce your dependence on Amazon’s affiliate program as your sole source of affiliate revenue (which can be quite risky!). You’ll also find that some affiliate programs have much more gracious affiliate windows or commission rates on the product categories you are promoting.
Finally, Choice Pages include an affiliate disclaimer that meets the FTC guidelines right next to the buttons as well as includes the Amazon Associates disclaimer necessary to stay in good standing with the Amazon affiliate program. This makes Choice Pages the easy option for tweets, pins, and other social media where there is minimal room to include the necessary compliance requirements. Further, the Amazon affiliate button, images, and title are all programmatically generated via the Amazon Product Advertising API as requested in the Operating Agreement to keep you out of trouble.
Anytime you use the Geniuslink dashboard to transform an Amazon link we now check that if that exact same product is available in nearly 100 well known US-based retailers that also offer an affiliate program. Our goal is to significantly reduce the effort to build Choice Pages so you can further optimize your affiliate marketing efforts by maximizing your earnings and conversion rates from your existing audience.
When we check your Amazon links and find there are matches, we’ll alert you on screen with an opportunity to “Create a Choice Page.”
Once you are within the tool to build and customize your Choice page you’ll see a similar alert to “See suggestions” and review the specific retailers and the product links we found.
Clicking to “See suggestions…” pulls up a new window where you can review the matches we’ve found for the same product across other retailers. These matches include the store name and logo, a photo of the product, the in-store title of the product, the regular price, and a link to go directly to that product inside the specific store.
These options are provided for you to choose the additional destination choices you’d like included on your Choice Page which can simply be done by clicking the checkbox on the far right-hand side of the window.
The image, title, price, and link are included for you to quickly and easily find the retailers you’d like to include as well as, if necessary, verify that the matching was done accurately.
When deciding on which retailers to include in your Choice Page, we recommend limiting it to the stores that you know will be trusted by your audience.
We don’t recommend you use the prices listed as retail pricing for eCommerce can be incredibly dynamic and what’s the lowest price now may not be the same as when your shoppers click on the link. With this in mind, we recommend including a call to action similar to “Find the best price below:” to encourage your shoppers to do their research.
We also recommend you curate the list of retailers you include in your Choice Page to those in which you can earn affiliate commissions. This is easily identified by the green “Affiliated” badges.
Remember a retailer’s links can be auto-affiliated one of two ways. The auto-affiliation can be done directly by adding the necessary affiliate tracking information for their affiliate program into the Affiliate page in your Geniuslink dashboard. Please note that while the list is ever-expanding it is a select number of top affiliate programs that you can currently directly affiliate via Geniuslink.
The other option is, which enables you to be able to earn commissions via tens of thousands of affiliate programs is by adding in either your Skimlinks or Sovrn Commerce (fka VigLink) API information to the Geniuslink service via your dashboard.
Once you’ve chosen the retailers you want to be included, and verified the product matches the one you are recommending, click the “Back” button and you’ll see the deep link into the specific stores now included.
If there are additional destinations you want to be included you can always click the “Add a destination choice” and add additional retailer’s product links.
Additionally, you can use the stacked vertical lines to the right-hand side of the URLs to rearrange the order for which the buttons show up on the Choice Page. We don’t have hard evidence of this yet, but it seems that the number of clicks per retailer decreases with the place on the list.
The Suggestion feature is currently in Beta. This means three things. First, we have lots of plans for improving it in the future, but (second) we are also looking to you for feedback on how to make this tool better for you (so please share your feedback either below in the comments or contact us directly). Finally, it’s not perfect so please bear with us as we work out the kinks.
With the third point in mind, it’s important to note that the product translation that we are known for (and have multiple patents around) is not fully applied here. At least not yet! While we have a high degree of faith and have seen solid results from our testing, we still encourage you to verify the products we find to ensure they are the same as the product you are recommending. We’ll be continuing to improve the translation and bring it to the level you trust us within the coming months.
The initial launch of the Suggestions feature we including 85 retailers across a variety of categories (full list below) that were specifically included due to having product catalogs that overlapped with Amazon and were recognizable brands.
For this initial Beta launch of the Suggestions feature, we’ve specifically used US-based retailers. It’s important to note that this is just a stepping stone and our goal is to expand on the feature to recommend region-specific retailers, carrying the same specific product, for your top countries around the world. We’ve got a bit of work ahead of us but are excited the foundation is laid to move quickly here. Find the full list of retailers, broken out by category, below.
Advanced Links + Choice Pages
An Advanced link can be optimized to send international users to different destinations based on what country they are clicking from. By default, each set of rules for Advanced link points to a single destination but you can quickly configure this to instead be a Choice Page (just click the gear icon on the right-hand side to choose different destination types). This allows you to define specific Choice Pages to be shown in certain instances.
This sets you up to use the Suggestions for your Choice Page to only be shown to US-based clicks but you could custom configure what Choice Page is shown for other countries or languages or devices, or any combination thereof!
Recommend A Retailer or Brand
If you work with a US-based brand, or retailer, and would like the products in your store to be included in our Suggestions feature please reach out to let us know.
The introduction of the Suggestion feature should significantly decrease the effort necessary to build a high converting landing page for the products you are recommending (our tests show it reduced a three-minute job for a seasoned pro to less than a 30-second task for anyone) but it’s just the start of a series of features we are looking to launch in 2020.
Please let us know how this new feature works for you and what we could do to make the process of building a link as a whole, or the Choice Pages in general, better for you and we’ll be sure to include those in our engineering road map.
Good luck, we look forward to hearing how your conversions and revenue increased from this new feature!
Appendix: Full Retailer List
Books and Music
|The Book Depository||(bookdepository.com)|
|B&H Photo Video||(bhphotovideo.com)|
|BeachCamera / BuyDig||(buydig.com)|
Fashion and Apparel
|American Eagle Outfitters||(ae.com)|
|Eastern Mountain Sports||(ems.com)|
|Saks Fifth Avenue||(saksfifthavenue.com)|
Home and Garden
|The Home Depot||(homedepot.com)|
|Zavvi US & Canada||(us.zavvi.com)|
|Austin Canoe & Kayak||(austinkayak.com)|
|Bass Pro Shops||(basspro.com)|
|DICK’S Sporting Goods||(dickssportinggoods.com)|
|Modell’s Sporting Goods||(modells.com)|
Beauty and Cosmetics