Choosing of an affiliate program by a content provider is not covered at all in the literature, and there are also no models that are close to this problem. Nevertheless, it can be assumed, that the selection process is very similar to the process of choosing a supplier of a service.
Even though the content providers do not pay money for the service, they devote part of their advertising space to the affiliate program and they lose possibility to sell the space to other parties. Therefore, there is an opportunity cost connected with every affiliate marketing provider that has to be taken into account (Hoffman & Novak, 2000).
Thus, the theory explaining the selection process of the affiliate marketing programs will be based on the literature dealing with process of choosing suppliers. First, the buying process and buying situation will be depicted, in order to understand the background of the supplier selection process. Afterwards, two models describing this process will be discussed, in order to build the framework for answering the research question three.
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