Ecommerce Sprout is one of the oldest and largest free ecommerce resource sites on the internet. A common question we often get asked is why do you offer everything for free? And, it is usually followed up by how do you make money?
So we are creating this page to answer how Ecommerce Sprout is funded and why it matters to you!
Simply put, we earn a small referral fee if you buy an ecommerce tool (online store builder, hosting, email marketing, etc.) using the referral links on Ecommerce Sprout.
How Is Ecommerce Sprout Funded?
We have always believed that being honest and transparent about our business practices with our audience. In our opinion, that is the only reputable way to build a community.
Running a popular website like Ecommerce Sprout that helps millions of users every month requires a large investment, both on the server infrastructure part as well as on the content creation part.
Our team creates and maintains hundreds of free ecommerce tutorials that you can use for your business.
So yes, we have to make money; otherwise we would have to shut this site down. Below is the primary source that funds Ecommerce Sprout.
We earn referral fees when you buy services from companies that we recommend on this site.
This is known as affiliate marketing, which is a marketing arrangement that pays a commission to a website for referrals. In fact, the biggest brands on the internet all offer referral programs (e.g. Amazon, eBay, and Expedia). Even some of your favorite sites use referral marketing to pay the bills associated with running a website (hosting, marketing, staff, content, etc.).
The only difference between us and other sites is that we never forget to tell our users that we are part of referral marketing.
Referral marketing can be placed in banner ads, special unique tracking links, images, and videos. The popular banner size is 300 by 250, and will look something like this on Ecommerce Sprout:
While a special unique link that tracks referrals will look something like this:
- http://ecommercesprout.com/go/bigcommerce – this is a sample BigCommerce referral link that tracks our referrals to BigCommerce.
- http:// ecommercesprout.com/go/wpengine – this is a sample WP Engine hosting referral link that tracks our referrals to WP Engine.
For instance, if you use our referral link to access GoDaddy, you are tagged with a special cookie to track the referrals. If you end up buying the product, GoDaddy will then pay us a small referral fee at a later time, but only if you do not cancel the service or ask for a refund. These referral fees vary from service to service. For example, for a domain sale at GoDaddy, we might earn $1. For selling a shared hosting package, we might earn $30. The referral fees are one-time commissions.
In reality, it is the internet equivalent of a car salesman getting paid a commission for selling you a car. Just like in real life, there are scrupulous and unscrupulous salesmen online.
Question #1 – Will It Cost Me More Money?
No, absolutely not. In most cases, our deals will save you money.
Because Ecommerce Sprout is an authority website, a lot of vendors offer our readers exclusive discounts.
For example, if you were to purchase managed WordPress hosting from WP Engine on your own, you would normally pay $29 per month. However, if you purchase it through our referral link, you will get 50% off for the first three months.
Please check out our deals section to find more exclusive deals.
Question #2 – Do You See My Personal Details?
No. We do not see any of your personal information – e.g. name, address, phone number, email, credit card, etc.
For instance, we usually see that an anonymous user spent an x amount of dollars, the date and time purchase was made, and which hosting plan (or whatever other service) was bought. Here is what our SiteGround referral report looks like:
How Can You Help Us?
Sites like Ecommerce Sprout need a large investment to operate – an investment big enough to buy a nice house in many parts of the USA.
We have a dedicate team of paid professional programmers, writers, and editors.
That is why we need your help. Here are some of the things that you can do to help us:
- If you are thinking about buying a product, then please buy it using a Ecommerce Sprout referral link.
- If you are using any of the products that we review and recommend, then please leave your review in the comments section to help others.
- Spread the word by sharing Ecommerce Sprout tutorials and resources with your friends and family on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.
Why Should You Help Us?
At Ecommerce Sprout, we treat our team like family, and our #1 priority is our readers. We are not other bloggers that write fake positive reviews without ever testing the product/service just to earn a referral fee.
All our ecommerce resources are free because our goal at Ecommerce Sprout is to level the playing field for small businesses, so they can grow and compete with the big guys.
If you have found Ecommerce Sprout to be helpful, then we hope that you will support us, so we can continue working towards our mission.
Thank you for your continued support.
Founder of Ecommerce Sprout