Target Affiliate Program Review 2020 How Does it Compare to Amazon Associates?

When you first start out on your affiliate marketing journey, the prevailing wisdom is that you should sign up for the Amazon Associates program.

And that’s good advice.

But it can lead to complacency…and missed income opportunities.

Like not looking at what other affiliate programs there are in your niche, no matter how general it might seem.

The Target affiliate program is a perfect example of this.

It’s comparable to Amazon in terms of scope, but we wondered if the Target affiliate program was better in any perceivable way.

So we dug into it, separated the good from the bad, and break down whether or not this program is worth your time and effort.

And the net result is this – our Target affiliate program review.

Target

Here’s a company that’s been around for over a century now, opening its first store way back in 1902. 

Target.com went online in 1999, and the Target affiliate program followed shortly afterward.

Target Homepage Screenshot

Basically, you’ll never have to explain to your audience who Target is and why they should consider shopping with them.

That’s always a huge plus for affiliates because you don’t need to pre-sell nearly as much.

And it usually leads to higher conversion rates because your visitors won’t think twice about clicking on your affiliate links.

What products can you promote?

Next up in this affiliate program review is the range of products you can promote.

We’re not going to spend a lot of time on this except to say that your visitors can buy items from the following categories:

Women’s clothingMen’s clothingKid’s clothesYoung adult clothesBaby clothes, toys, etcFurnitureHome decor
Patio & GardenToysElectronicsVideo gamesMovies, music, & booksSports & OutdoorsBeauty
HealthLuggagePetsSchool and office suppliesHousehold essentialsParty suppliesGroceries

As you can see, they sell pretty much the same variety of products as Amazon…but there’s a subtle difference.

Amazon has, in my opinion, kind of muddied their store with their FBA (Fulfilment by Amazon) program – a mixture of affiliate marketing and drop shipping.

So, where you could previously buy branded products, you’re now presented with “knockoff” products from companies you’ve never heard of.

Target, on the other hand, only stocks brand-name products.

The FBA model obviously improves Amazon’s bottom line – they’re not doing it for altruistic reasons.

But it can dent consumer confidence. 

There’s also important nuance here in terms of how you earn affiliate commissions with the Target affiliate program, which we cover shortly. 

You literally cannot afford to miss that part of this post.

How does the target affiliate program work?

Their program is managed by Impact Radius, although you still need to sign up through the Target Affiliate website to join.

Which means there’s no need for you to set up yet another affiliate network account.

The Target affiliate program is also free to join – it might seem odd that we’re stating that, but some affiliate programs/networks do ask for a refundable deposit…which always baffles me.

In terms of what you need to join this affiliate program, the only real prerequisites for a Target affiliate are:

  • You must have a family-friendly website
  • It must have existing traffic 
  • That traffic must be predominantly from the United States

You can also add multiple websites to your account during the signup process, which is a nice touch.

Now let’s take a look at the affiliate payout side of things – or what you’ll get paid for referring a customer to Target’s online store.

Target Commission Structure

And now to the part of this affiliate program review you’ve all been waiting for – what commission rate you can expect.

This is where the Target affiliate program differs from other affiliate programs because the more units of anything you sell, the more commission you’ll get.

If we take the ‘Home & Outdoor Living’ category, you start with a 5% commission rate for referring 0 – 10 sales per month.

But that increases to an 8% commission rate if you refer 10,000 sales per month.

3% extra might not seem like much, but if the item you’re “selling” is worth $10, and you sell 10,000 of them, that extra 3% is worth $3k per month in affiliate commission to you.

Target Commission Structure

That all sounds pretty good, right?

It does until you look at the ‘Health and Beauty’ category which pays a flat 1% commission no matter how much you sell.

But that’s not the worst part of it.

What’s far worse is that certain categories in this affiliate program pay you exactly 0% commission – a whole shitload of them:

GroceriesHousehold essentialsBaby care itemsPetsElectronicsToys
Sporting goodsMoviesVideo games and consolesTarget PhotoMusicTarget Optical
Target CaféGift cardsPharmacy and OTCBooksSweetJoJoContract mobile

If you weren’t aware of this in advance (your due diligence, btw) then you could quite easily build an entire affiliate website around one of the above categories…only to find that your affiliate referrals are worth exactly zero dollars and cents to you.

Target Affiliate Program Structure Comment

So, while people might bitch about Amazon commission rates, at least they pay you something for everything in their store bar the highlighted items below:

Amazon Affiliate Commission List 0 Rate

All of a sudden that 2% commission rate for televisions seems really attractive, doesn’t it?

We get that Target has to compete directly with Amazon, but eliminating 15+ popular product categories from your affiliate program is just hugely counterproductive.

It’s enough to turn many marketers off this affiliate program – Target be damned…or something.

Are you hearing a “But”?

Cool – your Spidey senses are tingling in an appropriate fashion. 

5 Reasons Why Target Is Worth A Second Look

But it’s not all bad news, at least not if you’re patient, logical and look beneath the surface.

There are actually some really valid reasons why the Target affiliate program might be a good fit for your website:




#1 Something else that sets the Target affiliate program apart from its competitors is that they’re free of the almost interminable government interference Amazon has to put up with.

From social justice activists preventing them from creating 25,000 jobs in New York City to various states levying taxes that make operating within their borders financially impossible.

Amazon Affiliate Program Regulations

Target doesn’t have to deal with that crap because…well…they’re not Jeff Bezos. Billionaires are bad people, m’kay.




#2 They stock somewhere in the region of 1 million different products, and all from recognizable brand names.  Call me old fashioned – and God knows I am – but I like to buy products from brand names I recognize.




#3 Target rewards affiliates with boosted commission rates for volume sales. This is something Amazon used to do but doesn’t anymore.

It also shows that Target really values their affiliate relationships in the most tangible way – they pay you more cash money for working harder. I love the smell of capitalism in the morning!




#4 Affiliates get a 7-day cookie to work with, which is 7x more than what most of the big e-commerce affiliate programs offer. You shouldn’t have to direct link to a shopping basket to get a cookie that lasts longer than the time it takes the sun to rise and set each day.




#5 A $12 EPC isn’t exactly going to change your life, but it does show you that Target is doing a pretty good job at converting affiliate traffic into paying customers.

Weighing it up

So, let’s take a look at the “Yays” and “Nays” of the Target affiliate program – your TLDR for this blog post…you lazy wretches.

Pros

  • Target rewards you with increased commission rates based on sales volume
  • Affiliates get a 7-day cookie with unlimited occurrences (referrals) within that timeframe
  • You can promote from a large variety of 1 million products…from certain categories
  • There’s no government meddling in Target’s business affairs
  • They offer their affiliates a lot of creatives – over 150 different banners covering products and special promos
  • A $12 EPC means affiliates are actually getting paid here, so it’s not just a wild promise or speculation
  • Target offers same-day delivery of certain items via Shipt shoppers.

Cons

  • Offering 0% commission rates for 15+ of their popular product categories is sillier than a dog driving a Zamboni
  • Target has 1,700 stores nationwide, so people can choose the convenience of shopping locally if they wish
  • This company only has a presence in and ships to the United States, so it’s only suitable for US traffic.

URL: Target affiliate program

Commission:  Up to 8%

EPC:  $12

Cookie duration: 7 days

Summary

And that brings us to the end of our review of the Target affiliate program.

So, is this affiliate program worth signing up for?

That comes down to whether or not you have an audience directly or indirectly interested in the following product categories:

  • Apparel & accessories
  • Home & outdoor living
  • Baby gear & furniture
  • Health & beauty

If the answer to the above question is “Yes”, then you should consider signing up for their affiliate program – the sliding commission scale is very attractive, as is the 7-day cookie.

But if you answered “No”, then it’s a moot point – there’s no point in us elaborating any further.

We’re in square-peg-round-hole territory right there.

And that’s exactly where most new online entrepreneurs find themselves- struggling to make affiliate marketing work for them.

Instead, it all just seems to be one obstacle after another.

Well, why not allow us to show you how to hurdle those obstacles like a pro in our free affiliate marketing training class?

No charge.

Nothing to buy.

Just shoot us over your email address, and we’ll get an invite back to you, pronto.

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