Affiliate Marketing Vs Dropshipping: Which One Is Best Model?

Affiliate Marketing vs Dropshipping
8 min read

If you’re looking for ways to make passive money online, you’ve probably heard the constant discussion of affiliate marketing vs dropshipping. 

Both of these company strategies provide excellent opportunities for earning money online without bothering about product inventories. Both dropshipping and affiliate marketing require considerable effort to get started. The majority of people who begin online marketing believe that they can quickly become wealthy by creating a website and generating revenue streams. This is a significant error. Whether it’s dropshipping, affiliate marketing, or any other type of online business, continual effort is required to expand the business.

When it comes to making money online, affiliate marketing vs dropshipping share many similarities:

  • In both cases, the Internet has been a significant factor in their success.
  • Regardless of whether or not you own the product, you act on behalf of the owner.
  • Success in affiliate marketing and dropshipping is mainly dependent on a shared set of abilities.

Each of the following similarities will be explored in further detail in the following paragraphs, but by now, you’re probably wondering:

Is affiliate marketing and dropshipping the same business model?

NO, Each industry has its own unique set of challenges for a potential entrepreneur.

However, you’ve probably come across several of the articles arguing in favor of either position. What’s the matter? Affiliate marketing or selling things on e-commerce sites is more financially beneficial?

To assist you in making a decision, we’ve put together this in-depth comparison of affiliate marketing vs dropshipping.

Dropshipping Vs Affiliate Marketing – What Is Affiliate Marketing?

When it comes to making passive income, affiliate marketing is one of the most popular methods. Many entrepreneurs use affiliate programs to generate additional revenue as a side business.

To put it simply, affiliate marketing is all about promoting someone else’s items and receiving a commission from each transaction that comes from your referral or affiliate link on a website, blog, or social media account. As an affiliate marketer, you have your own unique UTM-tagged affiliate link. When someone clicks on this link and reaches the product page, a cookie is saved on their browser. Depending on how long the cookie lasts, you may earn a commission if the user makes a purchase. Assuming, of course, that the customer hasn’t deleted their cookies before making a purchase

Affiliate Marketing vs Dropshipping

You might be surprised to learn that 93% of consumers read online reviews before purchasing! That is massive.

You can profit from your audience’s purchases by providing product reviews and recommendations. The procedure is straightforward. If someone clicks on your affiliate link and ends up making a purchase, you’ll get a cut of the profit. Fortunately, anyone can become an affiliate marketer, and it’s straightforward to get started!

Find businesses you like and sign up for their affiliate program after you’ve chosen a niche and created a website to promote them. For example, everyone wants to improve their website in this digital age. Choose a reputable web hosting provider such as Temok and get their reseller hosting or join their affiliate program to promote their products to earn an attractive commission.  Someone interested in affiliate marketing can promote Temok products, i.e., Managed Digital Ocean Cloud, or Amazon S3, managed dedicated and VPS servers, you may offer your static content at ultra-fast speeds from different servers distributed around the globe, resulting in a faster loading time for your website.

A link to sign up for their affiliate program can be found in their website’s footer. Creating affiliate links is possible as soon as you’ve signed up. These linkages can be traced back to the source, so the company knows exactly where the money originated.

You’re not acting like a store at all. In the eyes of a potential customer, you don’t even exist. You take on tasks that the product owner either does not want to or cannot perform. In this way, you promote the owner’s product (or perform any other action deemed valuable by the owner).

Affiliate Marketing Pros

  • Starting is an easy (even free)
  • In the long run, a steady source of income.
  • Customer service is not required.
  • Numerous options exist for affiliate programs.
  • Startups with low risk
  • There will be no product production or storage.
  • There is no way to process orders.

Affiliate Marketing Cons

  • Some companies offer low commissions.
  • In some cases, retailers may delay commission payments.
  • Pricing is entirely out of your hands.
  • As a result, there is stiff competition in specific markets that have already reached saturation.
  • Customers are being redirected away from your website by your actions.
  • There is no guarantee that commission rates won’t change at any time.

Affiliate marketing has its share of drawbacks, but those who have the appropriate information may work around them ahead of time. Choosing a specialty and creating a site around higher-priced products with more excellent commissions is typically worthwhile. Alternatively, you can go for a market with few competitors. You’ll have a better chance of showing up in search results if you do this.

Affiliate Marketing Vs eCommerce

If you’re beginning a new online business, you have two options: you can either set up an eCommerce website or an affiliate website. Affiliate marketing and e-commerce are popular because of their high conversion and revenue potential, despite various online company methods. In the United States and Canada, affiliate marketing generates approximately 16% of all e-commerce orders and is now projected to be worth $12 billion. 

Difference Affiliate Marketing Vs eCommerce 

Affiliate marketing necessitates selling things made by other companies, whereas e-commerce does not. You’re engaging in e-commerce when you sell your goods. You can join as many affiliate programs as you like to sell more products. Setting up an online shop is the first step in e-commerce.

Reviews, tutorials, and listings are the most common methods for locating affiliate products. To get to the branded sales page, they browse recommendations quickly. They tend to forget who referred them to the product once they’ve purchased it. You brought someone to the site and let the sales page sell for you. It’s time for you to go home. As long as they like what they see and you’ve piqued their interest, you’ll get paid. Essentially, your job is selecting the best items among many online shops.

Now explore what occurs when a customer visits your e-commerce website.

  • They: Associate the product’s name and brand with your personal experience.
  • Return visits after a reliable brand have been discovered
  • Promoting the company’s goods and services if customers had a good time

Because you’re the provider, an eCommerce website has a long-term future. Like with affiliate marketing, you’re not a middle-man. In reality, you’ll likely use the marketing efforts of affiliates.

What is Dropshipping?

By using dropshipping as a business strategy, anyone can make money by selling products on their website. Carrying an inventory isn’t necessary, for the least. Suppliers receive an order from the dropshipper when they order a product from their website. The product is then shipped to the customer by the supplier. Dropshipping is an excellent business model for those just starting in e-commerce or trying to test out several product categories on their target market. Online store owners have been known to conduct their businesses while attending school or working a regular job.

Affiliate Marketing vs Dropshipping, dropshopping

You don’t need a warehouse for dropshipping because you don’t buy any products in advance. Dropshipping differs from traditional retailing in several ways regarding acquiring and storing. They believe their products are in bulk and keep them ahead of time for regular retail businesses (online or brick-and-mortar). Dropshipping has no dangers because you don’t have to buy anything in advance. To sell your products, you must first import the product listings and then market your store to potential customers. As soon as a customer orders the product, you call your supplier’s website for fulfillment.

As you can see, here’s the process:

  • In your own eCommerce business, you can profit by selling the goods.
  • You are the one in charge of setting up and running your online retail store.
  • Customers buy from you at the retail price you set for the product.
  • Then, after the customer has paid you, you order it from the merchant at the wholesale price
  • The item is delivered to the consumer who believes you provided it.

And you make a profit1

Dropshipping, like any other business model, has its advantages and disadvantages.

Dropshipping Pros

  • Because you only pay for goods when an order is placed, dropshipping carries a low level of risk.
  • You are in charge of determining the product’s cost.
  • Higher profits
  • Create your own identity
  • Expansion opportunities in the future that could lead to the creation and sale of your items
  • You can retarget clients who have already visited your site by advertising.

Dropshipping Con’s

  • Frequently, you’ll have to deal with customer service.
  • Difficulties in working with manufacturers due to lack of control over product quality
  • There is no way to know when the package will arrive, thus there is a risk of delays.
  • Orders must be placed and processed online via an e-commerce website
  • Some niches have become overcrowded, making it difficult for newcomers to break in.

Similarities: Dropshipping Vs Affiliate Marketing

In either case, if you know your way around the Internet, you’ll be in good shape. Because of this, many affiliates and dropship store owners have similar characteristics: they are young, knowledgeable about the Internet, and low on money.

The following are some more striking similarities:


The same rationale and processes can be used for launching your own dropshipping business if, at least once, you’ve followed the process of choosing a profitable affiliate marketing niche.

Find a niche that can be profitable, do some research on the competitors, see what deals are currently being offered, and then get to work on advertising. As long as you’re good at one thing, you should be able to handle another.

Employing Third-Party Offers

Both professions require you to work with a product you don’t have. It doesn’t mean that you don’t have any responsibility for the final output. Having a dropshipping store means handling returns because customers see you as a direct vendor.

However, it requires a particular attitude to sell and advertise items you don’t own. You must adjust rapidly and have a keen sense of observation to identify the advertising angle swiftly. Having this perspective can be advantageous in both situations

Advertising Strategies

To get visitors, you must be visible online. That’s clear. And making yourself visible is similar.

The main difference is that you may want as much organic traffic as possible for a dropshipping store. This requires a lot of SEO work, which is rare in affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing relies heavily on purchased traffic.

Affiliate Vs Dropshipping: Differences

Let us discuss contrasts.

Some make one option better for some folks than the other.

Product Types

Affiliates frequently promote digital offers while dropshippers handle authentic goods. While many affiliates enjoy offering diet pills or miracle lotions, dropshipping means material provides.

This comes with a cost, which will be revealed later.


Digital offers are scalable.

Put another way, you can go from 100 to 1000 digital offerings without doubling your work. This is a massive issue with physical goods. These aspects require a large amount of production, packaging, and shipping. Then the next day, ask for ten times as many products.

A more extensive product range equals more potential bottlenecks.

  • Processing abilities of supplier
  • The capacity of delivery service
  • Be able to handle more consumer inquiries and returns

Affiliate marketing avoids all of the issues listed.


Flexibility results from scaling: bypassing unprofitable niches or even countries in affiliate marketing. Sit in India one day and market to Eastern Europeans the next.

Dropshipping makes this impossible. It’s important to know which suppliers cover which regions and what delivery services are available in which countries.

So, if your offer is approved for this new GEO, you change your traffic source platform’s GEO and translate your landing page.

As A Final Note

Affiliate marketing and dropshipping are both attractive and lucrative online business models when done correctly. However, in the long run, scaling your dropshipping business is more likely than trying to grow as an affiliate marketer. Dropshipping, in our opinion, is the winner in this struggle when it comes to economics.

Both ventures need a fair amount of effort, but once they’re up and running, you may reap the benefits.

Whether you choose dropshipping or affiliate marketing as a company plan, your ability to work from home will be a plus. 

And if you’re still unsure about what kind of business to start, check out our guide to alternative online businesses that may be created on a low budget! Is there anything else you’d like to contribute to the debate between affiliate marketing and dropshipping?

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