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The Target affiliate program is not as well-known as Amazon Associates or the Walmart Affiliate program even though it’s a great alternative to both retailers.
In this review, you will learn about the pros and cons of the program so you can decide whether the program is worth your time.
There is no need to introduce Target. Even though it’s way smaller in size than Amazon and around 20 times smaller than Walmart, Target still belongs to the top 10 biggest retailers in the USA.
It’s a big and trusted brand in the USA with hundreds of thousands of different products.
The Target affiliate program is hosted via Impact Radius. You can create an Impact Radius account and join the program from the Target affiliate landing page.
In order to be accepted to the program, you need to have a website with traffic mainly from the USA.
Target accepts affiliates from all around the world, but your content needs to be directed to the US market.
Unlike Amazon, Target does not ship internationally, so if you don’t have US traffic then promoting Target would not make sense for you anyway.
The Target affiliate program has a 7-day referral period, so you get credit for any order that is placed within 7 days of the original click placed by your visitor.
Once you get accepted to the program, you will get access to over 150 banners in a variety of sizes. You are even provided with banners for sales and special promotions, which is great.
Even though Target has around 30 different categories, Target affiliates are very limited in what they can promote.
You can only promote the following categories:
So, for instance, you cannot promote any electronics, video games, music, books etc.
The program commission varies based on categories and your monthly net orders.
Below you can see Target’s chart with the commission for each category.
As you can see, the commission ranges from 1% to 8%. Except for Health & Beauty, your commission gets bigger with more sales.
Let’s now take a look at how Target’s commission stands in comparison with Amazon and Walmart.
For all these categories, Amazon Associates offers the best commission rate. However, the commission rate should not be the only deciding factor; more about this later in the review.
Target commission is not the highest so you may be asking what it takes to make $1000 a month with this affiliate program.
As with any other affiliate program with a lower commission, you need to generate many more sales in order to earn any significant amount. In order to generate more sales, you need (yes you guessed it) more traffic.
How much traffic do you specifically need to earn $1000 a month?
That depends on many factors: the price of the product you promote, the commission rate and your conversation rate.
Let’s calculate it for this random Target product: ‘’SWISSGEAR 16" Laptop Backpack’’
This product falls into the Women's Accessories category so the commission rate is 5% to 8% depending on monthly net orders (in this example, the 7% commission would apply).
The product costs $42 and so your commission would be $2.9.
In order to make $1000 a month, you would need around 345 people to buy this product each month.
The normal conversion rate is around 1% to 3% so for the purposes of this example, let’s say that you have a conversion rate of 2%.
With a 2% conversion rate, you would need to have 17,500 visitors each month in order to generate 345 sales.
Of course, you would need fewer visitors if you selected a product for which you would earn a higher commission than just $2.9. But keep in mind that, in general, the more expensive the product is, the lower the conversion rate. So, with expensive products for which you would earn, for instance, $5 commission, you may not have a 2% conversion rate, but just 1%.
If you had $5 commission and a 1% conversion rate, then you would need to generate 200 sales in order to make $1000 a month, but you would need to have 20,000 visitors.
So, as you can see, earning a higher commission does not necessarily mean that you will make $1000 a month any faster.
This is, of course, just an example. In reality, you would not make $1000 from a single product but from multiple ones. Also, your conversion rate may be higher if you have a very targeted audience and quality reviews (or it can be even lower).
But this should give you a general idea of how hard it is to make $1000 a month with the program.
Target limits you quite a lot in what you can promote, so if you decide to promote solely Target products (which I don’t recommend), it would make sense to create a niche affiliate website rather than a general affiliate website.
If you are confused about the difference, read my review of the Walmart affiliate program where I explain it in-depth.
But in general, what I mean is that for this affiliate program it will be easier to make money from affiliate websites that are focused on just one category.
To demonstrate using an example, you could create an affiliate website around women's apparel & accessories.
This category has many subcategories like tops, dresses, handbags, jewelry, scarves, etc.
You would choose just one at first. In our case, it would be handbags.
Then you would publish content around handbags. You would write handbag reviews and comparisons just as purely informational articles for women who are deciding what handbag to purchase.
Once you started seeing results in your chosen category and felt that there is no room for growth, you would expand to promoting products from other subcategories.
If you decide to follow this path, remember to register a general domain. If your domain name includes handbags, then your website will not be perceived as an authority when you start promoting dresses.
You learned earlier that Amazon has better commission rates than Target.
However, Target has a 7-day referral period while Amazon has only a 24-hour active cookie.
Walmart, which ended last for the comparing categories, has a 3-day referral period.
Many people don’t buy immediately and take time to evaluate product alternatives. This is especially true for more expensive products. Amazon commission is the highest, but the cookie period is the shortest.
Amazon extends the short 24-hour cookie to 90 days, but only if your visitor adds the product to their shopping carts. This will not happen in most of the cases though.
If you don’t have the majority of your traffic from the USA, then Amazon Associates is still your best choice as neither Target nor Walmart offers international shipping.
With Target you can only earn commission from a couple of categories, so if you have a more general affiliate website and you want to test promoting many products across many different categories, both Amazon and Walmart are better choices.
Overall, Amazon is, despite its short cookie period, a clear winner. And what about Target and Walmart?
If you know that you want to promote products for which you can earn a commission with the Target affiliate program, go with Target as it has a longer referral period. The commission rate does not differ much between these two. Target is only a bad choice if you want to promote Health & Beauty products since, as you can see from the chart, the commission for this category is only 1%.
Target has, overall, a good affiliate program that is worth joining if you have a lot of traffic from the USA and want to promote products from categories that the program supports.
Even though the Target program looks worse in comparison with Amazon Associates, it does not mean that you should only join Amazon Associates and disregard the others.
Instead, you should join all of these and test how the programs work for you. With some programs, you may have lower commission but higher conversion rates so at the end of the day you earn more because you generate more sales.
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