Digital Vs. Physical Products: What’s Better for Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing is one of the most versatile ways to make money online. There are many channels to promote offers, many strategies to follow, and many different products you can advertise to maximize your profits.

Of course, the enormous range of products on the market may shock you at first. And even if you roughly know what goods to focus on, there are lots of things to consider before the final decision.

You can sell digital products, including online courses, ebooks, guides, and more. Or you could stick to a more accustomed model and concentrate on physical goods.

Both approaches are pretty viable. The key thing here is to figure out what suits you best.

Knowing what involves selling digital products vs. physical products may help you decide on the right option. Also, it’ll help you keep away from excessive troubles along your way to the top.

To help you make the right decision, we’ve decided to compare both options, identifying the benefits and drawbacks of each. Off we go!

Physical products for affiliate marketing

Physical goods make material things like apparel, home goods, or sports equipment.

Before taking further steps in this direction, you’ll need to find a niche that really sells. You can opt for the industry’s trends or reach a wider audience and sell something for customers’ basic needs.

Benefits

  • There are many physical products affiliate programs since material items are usually easier to sell online as people can see what they’re getting. Also, if you’re promoting a well-known brand, it’s already a reliable source.
  • Unlike many digital products, you can expect regular reorders from physical goods. Once customers have bought something, they may need to repurchase the same product.
  • Returns and refunds take place less often. Typically, that is because of the inconvenience linked to shipping something back.

Drawbacks

  • Generally, a good affiliate commission can only be made on high-end physical things. But they are more challenging to advertise and sell.
  • The commission is usually between 4–15% (depending on the sector), which is generally lower than information downloads.
  • Material things may often be defective. Allow in your budget for sales losses due to returns or unhappy customers.

There are numerous sources to find the perfect products to advertise. Scour Google or Amazon’s best-seller lists to create a unique value offer with products that are sure to engage your audience.

Digital products for affiliate marketing

Information goods include digital downloads, ebooks, online courses, and audio or video content. They are typically intended for entertainment or to help people solve some problems.

If you seek to maximize profit from information downloads, you need to prove that investing in your downloads will bring value for them, and they will make most of their investments.

Benefits

  • One thing can be sold multiple times without any additional cost to further productions or stock.
  • Information goods typically make straight commission with no middle man.
  • While the average commission rate on tangible things varies between 4–15%, you could earn up to 75% on digital goods selling through digital marketplaces.
  • Information products require no shipping costs, making them a far better option to advertise.
  • Digital downloads are relatively easy to promote. All you need is to register for an affiliate program, create your marketing content, and then spread your affiliate links across your networks.

Drawbacks

  • Digital goods are easier to refund since they don’t involve shipping to customers and back. The potential risk implies that someone will download them and request a refund in a while.
  • When promoting digital products, you should expect lots of competition as well. Where good money can be made, there will always be hundreds of competitors.
  • Some digital products may have quality concerns, and some buyers may doubt they’re worth paying for them.
  • Information downloads have lower conversion rates than physical goods.

If you doubt where to start, try some of the most popular marketplaces for information goods like Amazon, ClickBank, or MoreNiche.

Digital products vs. physical products: which suit you best?

Whether you’re looking to enter affiliate marketing or have already been doing it for some time, you may be wondering which side to join.

Many affiliate marketers start with physical merchandise. They usually deal with well-known sites such as Amazon and, over time, switch to digital options.

Indeed, your success as an affiliate marketer can be equally high in both directions. The niche you opt for is not as important as the things you’re going to promote.

Once you’ve decided on your segment, the next point is to see what your followers and potential customers are really interested in.

Another thing is the approach you use to promote your affiliate marketing products. Even if you’ve found a goldmine, things can go awry because of the wrong promotion channels.

Try to learn as much as possible about the things you’re going to advertise. If it is a digital option, we recommend choosing a vendor that is easy to reach and can help you sell.

If you choose material goods, opt for a company with excellent, quality creatives made for you. Make sure photos of products are good.

If you have never tried either of the options, we recommend giving it a go, especially if you’ve seen a decline in your affiliate sales or you’re looking for a new path to follow in the future.

Finally, it depends on your abilities. The nature of affiliate marketing is that you’re not obliged to stop at one option only – if you want, you may try to market both.

The key here is to estimate your capabilities wisely and get on board fully informed and prepared.

Verdict

As for affiliate marketing and deciding what segment to choose – digital or physical products – there will never be a clear answer. Any product that has a market can be monetized.

Much of your success depends not so much on the direction you follow but on the product you promote and the way you do it.

Getting on the right track is often accompanied by mistakes, and your choice regarding types of products may change over time.

But knowing all the pros and cons of digital products vs. physical products before you enter affiliate marketing puts you in a far better position to do well.

Not sure which option would suit you better – information products or physical products? Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn, and feel free to ask us any questions you have!

Let us guide you through the features most valuable for your business. Arrange a free demo to see UCLIQ at work and get all your questions answered.