iHerb (iHerb.com) is a force to be reckoned with amongst the online health supplements / sports nutrition / beauty products retailers. One of the earlier online retailers, iHerb kicked off in 1996 (remember that Amazon started just a year prior) and has stayed focused on a few key verticals to ensure they can go deep and be the experts. Over the last 20 plus years, iHerb has grown to be a global provider (and supports 54 semi-localized storefronts and ships to over 150 different countries!) with a huge product catalog — 30,000 products from 1,200 brands. Fortunately, there is also an iHerb affiliate program.
Looking online, iHerb.com is now ranked as the 1,144th most popular websites in the world, but #1 for Health Product Shipping and 81st for “Ecommerce and Shopping > Market Places” according to SimilarWeb.
iHerb is also focused on customer satisfaction and was recognized for their efforts in a 2018 Consumer Insights report.
iHerb Affiliate Program
The product catalog depth and their focus on a few key verticals makes the iHerb affiliate program a great contender for affiliate marketers looking for alternative destinations than Amazon’s affiliate program when recommending products among the sports, body and mental supplements, vitamins, herbs, homeopathy, probiotics, oils, aromatherapy, lotions, personal care, scrubs, masks, peels, and makeup.
The iHerb affiliate program is on the Partnerize network (formerly known as “Performance Horizon Group” or “PHG” for short), the program offers a 5% commission with a 7 day cookie window.
Commission Rates and Cookie Windows
For comparison of commission rates, the Amazon affiliate program offers a 24 hour cookie window (1/7th the length). With regards to commission rates per category, Beauty was one the categories that saw the massive cut in April of 2020 and went from 6% down to 3%. Health & Personal Care was also impacted by the most recent rate cuts and went from 4.5% to 1%. In comparing just the cookie window and the commission rates, iHerb is clearly dominate in comparison to Amazon with their 5% commission rate.
According to Skimlinks, the earnings per click (EPC) is $0.33 with an average conversion rate of 17.4% and an average basket size of $13.00. For comparison, we traditionally we see Amazon.com’s EPC at about $0.05. When we asked the iHerb affiliate program manager he mentioned that the Average Order Value (AOV) varied by country but in the US was closer to $50.
iHerb Affiliate Signup or Login
Apply for access to the iHerb affiliate program here or if you already have an account on Partnerize, find them in the Publisher Discover tool inside the Partnerize Dashboard. If you have an existing iHerb or Partnerize account you can login here.
The iHerb store consists of approximately 50 storefronts, all on the same domain, but with different subdomains. These storefronts are language, currency, and payment optimized. iHerb offers free shipping to most major countries with a minimum purchase and operates multiple warehouses to ensure quick and efficient delivery worldwide. The single iHerb affiliate program supports all of the storefronts, unlike the Amazon affiliate program.
Terms & Conditions
As with any affiliate program you use, you should read and understand the affiliate program’s Terms and Conditions (aka Operating Agreement or Terms of Service). These are the rules of how to play the affiliate game with each merchant. While the iHerb affiliate program Terms and Conditions are fairly straightforward they are definitely worth running through. You can find them inside the Partnerize dashboard. We flagged a few things that we wanted to bring extra attention to and may differ from the Amazon Operating Agreement.
Using affiliate links on social media is allowed. However there are some specific guidelines as one might expect.
- Similar to Amazon, you are allowed to place iHerb affiliate links on your own channels / profiles however, you are NOT allowed to place your affiliate links on the social media channels and profiles of iHerb.
- While you can use iHerb affiliate links in social media ads (unlike Amazon!) when doing so you can NOT use iHerb’s trademarked company name.
- Additionally, you aren’t allowed to create any profiles or channels that include the iHerb trademark in the page name or as a username.
Unlike Amazon’s two month lag, the iHerb affiliate program has a 32 day pending period that starts the day that the order is shipped. As is normal for an affiliate program, during this “Pending Period” your commissions may be adjusted for any orders that didn’t properly go through or were returned. Payments for approved orders are then distributed approximately 45 days after the close of the month.
Buying via your affiliate links
Just like Amazon, the iHerb affiliate program doesn’t like their affiliate links going out on written / physical material. However, unlike Amazon, if you get prior written consent it sounds like they would be willing to work with you on a case by case business.
You must include a disclosure statement within any and all pages, blog/posts, or social media posts where affiliate links for our affiliate program are posted as an endorsement or review, and where it is not clear that the link is a paid advertisement. This disclosure statement should be clear and concise, stating that we are compensating you for your review or endorsement. If you received the product for free from us or from the affiliate management team for review, this also must be clearly stated in your disclosure.
This is very similar to Amazon’s suggestions around FTC compliance.
While the iHerb affiliate terms and conditions, dated May 1, 2018, do specifically mention “You may not use redirect links.” We double checked with their account manager as we’ve been working with them for months to get their program integrated into our service. We double checked this with the Affiliate Marketing Manager for iHerb, and were told that as long as your redirects are not nefarious in nature to hide the source traffic, you will be ok. As Geniuslink is transparent in this nature this isn’t an issue.
We of course encourage you to reach out directly to the iHerb affiliate program to confirm this for yourself or ask for any clarifications in their Terms. The iHerb affiliate program can be contacted via email using affiliates at iherb.com.
iHerb + Geniuslink
While the iHerb affiliate program offers a range of link creation tools via the Partnerize dashboard, it’s still a bit of a process to take a product link from the iHerb.com site and convert it into a fully functioning affiliate link.
We are excited to announce, however, that any iHerb.com product link can now be used in a geni.us link and you can be sure that your clicks will be sent to the correct destination with a properly formatted affiliate tracking link.
We call this process “Auto affiliation” and it’s very simple to set up. You simply need to grab your Campaign Reference, aka “CamRef” from your Partnerize Affiliate dashboard (and drop it into the Geniuslink Affiliate tool. Once we have your CamRef all of your geni.us links for iHerb.com will start using the tracking info appropriate for your affiliate account. Additional information on adding your affiliate information into your Geniuslink account for Partnerize can be found in our Knowledge Base.
Please note our support of Sovrn Commerce (f/k/a VigLink) and Skimlinks also enables you to monetize iHerb.com links through either of these monetization services. There are multiple benefits of using Sovrn Commerce or Skimlinks but signing up directly for the iHerb affiliate program and adding your CamRef directly into Geniuslink allows you to keep 100% of your commissions earned from the program (vs. the ~ 75% that is paid out when using an affiliate aggregator).
Excited to try out using Geniuslink with the iHerb.com affiliate program? We have a few suggestions if you are up for a challenge and want to experiment with augmenting your Amazon affiliate links.
We believe that curation and choice is good for the consumer and have built out Choice Pages to enable you to promote a single product but offer multiple destinations for the consumer to choose from (and you’ll monetize the sale either way). You can see an example here — geni.us/NettleLeaf — and we bet you’ll see a boost in overall conversions and total commissions. More info on how to set up a Choice Page can be found in our Knowledge Base.
To help aid in the quick and efficient setup of a Choice Page, the iHerb affiliate program is now supported with our Suggestions feature. This time saver feature allows for any Amazon link that you drop into the Geniuslink dashboard we’ll check if the same product exists in the iHerb product catalog and automatically add that to a list of retailers that you can add to your Choice Page with a click of a button. Further, you can also type the product name or a key phrase, hit enter, and we’ll search for the product across the iHerb product catalog as well.
With a Choice Page you can place Amazon and iHerb affiliate links next to each other in a clean, easy to buy way to further optimize your affiliate revenue and better support the buying preferences of your diverse audience. This keeps you from having to make an “either / or” decision about using iHerb instead of Amazon and from our research this actually helps increase your affiliate earnings!
A/B Split Links
The Amazon.com Associates program is often a mainstay way to earn commissions from US-based clicks, though we’d encourage you to run an experiment if it’s the best option for your audience and recommended products. The A/B Split Test links provide a platform to closely track between two or more affiliate programs.
Using a A/B Split Test link allows you to compare the performance of Amazon’s affiliate program to the iHerb affiliate program in case you wanted to evaluate replacing your Amazon affiliate links with another affiliate program.
In the last month we’ve rolled out support for monetizing your links via direct auto affiliation for nearly 10 different affiliate programs, and we are just getting started.
We look forward to hearing your feedback about using the iHerb Affiliate Program and Geniuslink.