As we head into the New Year, taking stock of what’s working—and, more importantly, what’s not working—in your design studio’s business model is important. This exercise involves setting new overarching goals and identifying alternative revenue streams, which, for many studios, includes affiliate marketing. Adding an affiliate shop directly to your website is a perfect solution for the designer who wants to start selling products without managing the logistics of e-commerce.
We’ll break down the ins and outs of setting up a fully curated affiliate shop, share examples from our latest website templates, and give you a cheat sheet of our favorite supported brands within home and design.
Photography by Madeline Harper
What are Interior Design Affiliate Shops?
If you’re new to the world of commissioned-based product revenue, it’s simple. Affiliate marketing platforms like LTK (formerly known as RewardsStyle) allow you to curate products from supported brands, create custom links, and then share those custom links to earn a commission. You can share affiliate links via social media, create an LTK Shop on the app, or embed an affiliate link shop directly on your design studio’s website, where products are displayed like an online storefront.
Unlike e-commerce, affiliate shops eliminate the logistics of tracking inventory, shipping, and quality control. Instead, whenever customers click a product from your website’s shop page, they’ll be directed to the product page on the brand’s website. If they make a purchase, you earn a commission of approximately 10%, depending on the brand. The commission will apply to ANY purchases that originate from your link, not just the specific product.
Having a curated shop of favorite products on your website establishes your design studio as an industry tastemaker and provides a shopping resource for followers (and potentially, future clients) to achieve a like-minded aesthetic.
Creating and Using Links via LTK
Integrating an affiliate shop into a service-based website can be very strategic, but first things first: let’s talk logistics. To become a LTK creator, you'll need to apply and meet the following qualifications:
At least 4 months of consistent, quality, and original content
Clean editorial design
An engaged and growing audience
Once accepted, the easiest way to create and categorize LTK affiliate links is by using a browser extension called the LTK Product Link. This tool “allows you to create commissionable links, save favorites, and share products directly from a brand's website.” Just place the button on your web browser bookmark bar for easy access. Anytime you find a product from a supported brand, you’ll click this LTK Product Link button to create your custom affiliate link with the option to add the product to a specific folder. The folder tool is a handy way to organize your affiliate shop's categories, whether you group products by room, season, project reveal, and more.
Once you’ve filled each category of your affiliate shop with products, you’re ready to embed them on your website. You’ll simply use the embed code from LTK’s boutique feature and copy it to the backend of your website. It’s also worth noting that all our limited-release website templates including The Ezra, The Steph, and The Jesse come ready-made with affiliate shops to sell your favorite products. We recommend viewing our demo of The Ezra to get a good sense of an affiliate shop’s look and feel. You’ll notice the shop page is built out with five product categories and functions just like an online shop, minus the hassle of inventory management.
Alternate Affiliate Marketing Options
While LTK is most designers' preferred affiliate program due to the range of partner brands in the home and lifestyle industries, it's not the only affiliate marketing option. If for some LTK isn’t for you, there are alternatives like ShopStyle Collective and ShareASale, to name a few. Although not hosted on your website, another great avenue to establish affiliate marketing revenue is through Amazon's Influencer Storefront. The program allows you to curate your favorite products across all categories for your audience to shop. Similarly, when a purchase is made from your storefront, you earn a commission.
Which Home Brands Offer LTK Affiliate Marketing
In order to set up an affiliate shop on your website, you’ll need to become familiar with LTK supported brands. You can bank that most big-box retailers will be a supported brand, while mid-to-small brands are hit and miss. Here's a list of the most relevant supported brands to the interior design industry as a starting point:
Supported Brands in Home/Design:
Photography by Madeline Harper
Our website templates are built to serve you and your interior design business, and we hope that you’ll utilize the affiliate shop feature to supplement your income or to position yourself as a resource for design enthusiasts. If you have any questions in the process, don’t hesitate to reach out—we’re all ears.