No Ecommerce Company Is an Island

Analyze a successful ecommerce business, and you’ll likely uncover vital partnerships and external selling channels. I’ve managed online companies since 2006. I’ve learned the value of trusted affiliates, niche marketplaces, loyal customers, and reliable vendors.

I’ll share my experiences in this post.

Affiliate Networks

Affiliate marketing remains a mainstay for many merchants. It has experienced a recent boom with the rise of influencers, who often earn commissions from sales.

There are many potential affiliate platforms to partner with. Examples include CJ Affiliate, Impact Radius, HitPath, Publisher Finders, and Rakuten Advertising. All have many publisher connections. At Lighting Reimagined, my current employer, we use Rakuten. It helps us find suitable affiliates and provides tools for managing commissions, payments, and more.

Screenshot of Rakuten Advertising home page

An ecommerce company has many potential affiliate networks to choose from. Rakuten Advertising is an example.

Affiliate networks facilitate relationships. The publisher will not succeed if the merchant’s offer is poor. A merchant’s offer fails if the publisher does not generate relevant traffic.

These relationships are typically solidified via the phone, email, or video. Tradeshows and conferences — e.g., Affiliate Summit, MailCon, and Lead Generation World — are also good facilitators.

A robust affiliate program generates additional online exposure for your products and business. The best affiliate relationships are long-term — nurtured and managed for joint success.


As with affiliate partnerships, marketplaces expand your reach and attract audiences who may be unfamiliar with the brand.

Lighting Reimagined partners with a few marketplaces. Houzz is ideal for our home lighting products. It caters to interior designers and homeowners looking for fixtures.

Every marketplace is unique — i.e., usability, fees, conversions, admin support, inventory management, and more. Feed tools such as Feedomonics integrate your product data into the marketplaces directly, eliminating manual loads.

Vendors and Clients

Beyond affiliates and marketplaces, don’t forget vendors and clients.

At Lighting Reimagined, we view every client as a long-term partner. We’re not looking for one-time transactions. We seek to foster a mutually-beneficial experience that produces repeat, lifetime sales.

Vendors, too, are partners. They can be manufacturers, logistics providers, marketing consultants, or web developers. A vendor relationship, like a client, should help both parties. It’s not one-sided. If I mistreat a manufacturer, the relationship fails, leading to a loss in sales. Without reliable logistics, my customers will not receive their orders.

Lighting Reimagined partners with Brilliance Business Solutions for web development. FedEx is our primary logistics provider.

Remember, no successful ecommerce company is an island. It’s partnerships that determine success or failure.

Christopher Dobroth
Christopher Dobroth
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