In-Depth 2020 Target Affiliate Program Review (and How to Make Your First Commissions)
Everyone’s heard of Amazon Associates, but the Target affiliate program is news to most affiliates, and probably you too.
But is it any good? Is it worth adding to your monetization mix for niche or review sites?
With up to 8% commission on over a million products, the answer is yes. Target is an excellent addition to affiliates. It might even become your primary source of income, depending on your niche.
In this article, we’ll cover the Target affiliate policies, products, and payouts, review which affiliate it’s most suitable for, and demonstrate real-life strategies to start getting your first Target commissions.
Target Affiliate Program Basics (Products, Commissions, and More)
What is the Target affiliate program?
The Target affiliate program allows webmasters, bloggers, and influencers to sign up to promote a selection of Target’s products and receive a commission upon referring a sale.
If you promote an affiliate link to a lounge chair in the Target online store, someone clicks your link, likes what they see, and makes a purchase. You’ll get up to 8% of the final sale revenue. The commission depends on how many customers you refer each month.
Though the Target.com online store offers a massive product catalog with a wide range of categories, many are excluded from the affiliate program.
Target’s affiliate marketing program doesn’t support that many categories.
The main ones that offer affiliate payouts are home and outside living (furniture, appliances), apparel, and beauty products.
Beyond that, Target excludes many significant categories, including electronics, video games, books, music, baby care products, etc.
Excluded product categories:
- Target cafe
- Household commodities
- Digital entertainment
- Books and magazines
- Pet care
- Non-carbonated beverages
- Video games
- Meal essentials
- Breakfast & warm beverages
- Photo non-lab
- One spot
- Photo lab
- Target.com music
- OTC-personal care
- Target.com movies
- Target.com books
- Paper & disposable plastics
- Contract mobile
- Bread and baking
- Frozen – meals and sides
- Bulk coffee
- Prepaid cards
- Pizza hut express
- Bulk candy
- Target cafe retail
- Frozen pizza and desserts
- Gift cards
- TV and home electronics
- Fan central
- Imaging and office
- Portable electronics
- No-contract mobile/accessories
- Bicycles and physical fitness
- Games/diecast/action figures
- Team and sport equipment
- Indoor/outdoor recreation
- Computer software
- Preschool/seasonal toys
- Electronics services
- Automotive accessories
- Outdoor Recreation
The Target referral qualification policy relies on the last-click attribution model and saves referral data for up to 7 days (cookie duration).
If someone visits your website, follows the link, and decides to think about it, you can still earn a commission.
As long as they directly visit the product page and click no new affiliate links, the referred customer can wait for a week.
Only one action (checkout) is allowed per click, but the cart can include unlimited products/value.
Commissions & Payouts
Any sales transactions (actions) are “locked” for 60 days after the end of the month in which they happen.
That means a sale happening on March 1 is locked for 90 days, until May 31. During this period, Target can adjust or cancel your commission, depending on the status of the sale.
For example, if the entire order is returned for a refund, the commission will get canceled. If a single product in a larger order gets canceled, the commission fee will be modified.
Payouts happen 20 days after the end of the transaction lock period.
In other words, it might take up to 110 days from the day you make a referral until you finally get paid for your work.
Level of Experience
Because Target offers copy-and-paste ads and product tables, much like Amazon Associates, it’s suitable for any affiliate marketer, ranging from beginners to experienced.
The only caveat is that because the supported product categories are narrow, it’s only a viable alternative if you target one of the three main categories of products.
But its volume bonuses make it an especially great option for established affiliate marketers in the home & outdoor furniture, baby, or apparel niches.
These categories, especially home and outdoor, include several high-priced products from hundreds to thousands of dollars.
Note: Like many other affiliate programs, TAP follows a manual application process, so you need an established platform (website or social media following) to get accepted.
Target Affiliate Program vs. the Competition
In this section, we compare how Target holds up against Amazon Associates, Wayfair, and other competitors.
After reviewing your alternatives, you might find a better option or discover that a mix of multiple programs will give you the highest commissions across different product categories.
Target Affiliate Program vs. Amazon Associates
As another retailer that sells virtually anything, Amazon Associates is a fair comparison for the Target affiliate program.
The Amazon affiliate program supports a broader range of products, but Target has higher payouts (even at the base level) for it’s supported product categories.
As a result of Amazon drastically lowering some of its affiliate commissions in April 2020, Target now has a significant competitive advantage.
To top this off, Target offers volume bonuses, with its affiliate commission rate capping at 8%.
For example, if you are in the indoor or outdoor furniture space, you could earn up to 5% more in fees by switching to Target.
Target Affiliate Program vs. Wayfair Affiliate Program
Because one of the main product categories included in Target’s affiliate program is home and outdoor, Wayfair is a great comparison.
Previous affiliates should note that Wayfair has moved from ShareASale to Commission Junction.
Let’s take a look at how the specifics stack up:
Up to 7%
Up to 8%
7 days (last click)
7 days (last click)
60 days after sale
60 days after EOM
20 days after EOM
20 days after lock
The thing that stands out is that Wayfair’s EPC (estimated earnings per 100 clicks) is more than twice as high as Target’s. Of course, Target offers many lower-priced products like beauty creams and clothes, compared to Wayfair, which focuses on furniture and other home products.
While the locking period can be shorter, the standard Commission Junction payouts are delayed until 20 days after the end of the month after a transaction.
Other than that, these programs match up very evenly, especially when you consider that the available products are in many of the same categories.
For medium volume affiliates, with a few thousand monthly visitors, and less than a hundred referred sales, Target’s maximum of 8% is unreachable.
For most affiliate