Practical Ecommerce

OSC Affiliate programs a hot and easy way to sell more product

Affiliate programs are one of the hottest ways to sell extra product by getting your partners to advertise for you on their websites. They can be quite lucrative for affiliates, with some offering up to 50% per sale through the program. And for most of the top open source eCommerce programs, they are either pre-installed and included, or are easily available as an add-on for free or for a small fee.

How to set up an open source ecommerce affiliate program

After you have ad banner graphics made, affiliate programs are easy to set up and administer. Your graphic artist should make several variations in industry standard sizes (see the link at the bottom of the page for standard sizes) with the most common sizes being full banner (468×60 pixels) and square button (125×125).

After you have your graphics, it should take you about 30 minutes to set up the program if it is pre-installed, or about an hour if you must download the affiliate module and install it separately.

Pre-installed affiliate programs

These open source ecommerce programs already have affiliate programs turned on when you first download and install your online store. There is no additional charge for the affiliate program, and nothing special you need to do.

To set up these affiliate programs, you will upload your ad images and fill in a few boxes to specify your affiliate program email address, how much of a commission you want to offer, any terms and conditions, and how often you will pay affiliates.

  • osCmax: Free, pre-installed and on, turn off from the admin panel.
  • OpenCart: Free, automatically included, actually need a separate extension to turn off and remove from the footer if you do not wish to use it.
  • Loaded Commerce 6.5: Included in the for-fee B2B version, pre-installed and on, turn off from the admin panel.

Programs with affiliate add-ons available

The programs above are considered “loaded” versions of open source eCommerce programs. The following programs take a “less is more” philosophy which allows you to select and install only the modules you need. This means there is less possibility of modules conflicting with each other, and each store ends up more customized than the loaded versions.

To set up an affiliate program with these programs, after installing the add-on (or hiring a techie to do it for you), you will fill in the same kind of forms as described above to specify your affiliate program’s email address, commission rate, and so forth.

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Comments ( 2 )

  1. Jean Doulain August 25, 2012 Reply

    A great affiliate extension for VirtueMart is also Virtue Affiliate, see here:
    It’s even cheaper than the one recommended in this article.

  2. Salvatore F. Iozzia August 27, 2012 Reply

    One difference with Loaded B2B edition, is that it comes with full commercial support. Years ago it was a free contribution that required a lot of tweaking and bug fixing so we absorbed it into the B2B edition to give it the time and attention it required for this mission critical feature.

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