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Use Top Retailers' Data To Your Affiliate Advantage

Posted on 7.21.2009

One way to get a handle on popular online consumer products is to take a close look at some of the larger online retailers. With so many transactions taking place, affiliates can get a very nice look into what products are moving, top-rated products and consumer preferences across the Web. And just about every online retailer has options to sort and analyze.

Let's take a look at three big online consumer websites and how affiliates can freely use their immense amount of data to fine-tune their own programs and offerings for maximum profit.

Amazon.com (right) has been leading the way in online retail for many years. One of the advantages to using Amazon for your research is the sheer scope of the products offered. The image on the right is the result of a search on Amazon by product category for "Movies & TV." About halfway down the page on the right is their list of bestsellers. You can see that "Watchmen" holds the top two spots with separate offerings. This list also provides a longevity indication, price, and those products that are rising or falling in popularity, marked with a green or red arrow. That's some pretty valuable information gained from just a couple of clicks.

Overstock.com (right) also offers powerful insight. The image here shows men's watches. We first sorted by price, then used the drop-down menu to sort by top sellers. We can see that the top-selling watch in this category is going for $59.99. We can also see that this watch outsells a more expensive watch with a completely different style. So, an affiliate might conclude that leather-strapped watches at a lower price point might be easier to move than steel watches that are more expensive.

CNET (left) offers a bit of a different view. Here we searched for MP3 players. CNET has a nice feature that shows those items most often viewed by consumers. As this site is a point of research for consumers, we can use this information to peer into a different part of the buying cycle. We can read consumer reviews, CNET editor's rankings, and even see prices of the items from competing online retailers. Note that the top-viewed item for MP3s is a set of headphones - and expensive ones at that. On this list, the first Apple product was the iPod Nano, in the fifth position.

The important takeaway here is that these websites (and others like them) have a treasure trove of data that can help you sell products. You might not sell the exact products listed, but you can get a good idea of what types of products are selling in your industry, appropriate price points and more. You might never compete with Amazon or Overstock, but you might as well use them to your advantage.

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