Amazon has the world’s most well-known affiliate program. It has been gracing the commercial breaks of podcasts and the top banners of websites for years.
But It's not alone.
In the past few years, we've started to see other major retailers pop up with their own affiliate programs, in which entrepreneurial and ambitious hustlers (that's you) can earn money selling that retailer's products.
One of these businesses is Home Depot. The massive hardware and appliance chain has thrown its name into the ring, launching an affiliate program to challenge that of Amazon and other huge retailers.
But is the Home Depot affiliate program any good? How does it hold up against some of the other heavy hitters?
That's what we set out to determine. In this comprehensive resource, we'll take a look at everything you need to know about the Home Depot Affiliate Program.
Here's a snapshot of what's included. If you're interested in heading straight to the sections that interest you most, click below:
- Introduction to the Home Depot Affiliate Program
- Home Depot Affiliate Program’s Orientation in the Market
- Home Depot Affiliate Program Engagement Strategies
Introduction to the Home Depot Affiliate Program
Home Depot’s affiliate program was designed to push their products while giving partners an opportunity to make some money on the side.
While the former is almost guaranteed if the partner does their job, the latter is always in doubt.
Your ability to make money with the Home Depot affiliate program boils down to a few key questions.
- Which products are included?
- Are there any policies that limit your earning potential?
- What kind of payouts can you expect to earn?
- Will you be able to earn at your experience level?
Let’s dissect these points one at a time to find out.
Home Depot Products
Home Depot’s product list runs deep. The good news here is that the majority of the items sold online by the company are included in the program.
That’s more than 500,000 products, which are all available through homedepot.com. This includes tools, construction projects, services, and large appliances like refrigerators, lighting fixtures, barbeque grills, and more.
The items that you would be selling to your audience are offered as both ship to store or ship to home. There’s no limitations placed on you if your customers decide they want to pick the item they’ve purchased online up in a physical store.
You’ll also be able to highlight specific items that Home Depot is trying to push. A daily product feed is provided to affiliate partners, along with banner ads and text links.
Of course, there are some limitations.
Home Depot affiliate program commissions are not eligible for:
- Items such as a gift card
- Installation services
- Special orders
- Custom created products
- In-store purchases
So, which categories are included for affiliate partners?
A whole heck of a lot.
Home Depot affiliate program categories:
- Bath and Faucets
- Decor and Furniture
- Building Materials
- Doors and Windows
- Flooring and Area Rugs
- Heating and Cooling
- Kitchen and Kitchenware
- Lawn and Garden
- Lighting and Ceiling Fans
- Outdoor Living
- Storage and organization
As you can see, you have a very deep well to draw from. It’s important to check out these categories and figure out where there is crossover appeal with your audience.
Obviously, if you have a home improvement podcast or blog, you’re set. But it would also work if you routinely talk about gardening or interior decorating.
Something like a movie and TV review blog, however, is not going to have a lot of crossover appeal with Home Depot.
Now comes the fine print.
All affiliate programs have a series of policies in place that dictate how the program is run. Home Depot’s program is no different.
But while every program has a number of policies, they’re not all oppressive or overly limiting.
Say that someone clicks on your affiliate link and goes onto the Home Depot website. They see something that they want but they are distracted and navigate away. Later on, they go back to the Home Depot site and make that purchase.
Are you still getting paid?
Yes, as long as the purchase is made within 24 hours of their initial click on your affiliate link. Home Depot tracks cookies for a 24-hour period, which is common for most affiliate programs. It’s still one of the shortest cookie windows possible, so keep that in mind when you’re marketing products.
Another point you have to take into account is geography.
If you’re based outside the United States, can you still participate in the Home Depot affiliate program?
Yes, but there are some things to consider.
While websites outside of the US can join the program, it should be noted that Home Depot only ships products in the continental U.S., with a limited number of products going to Hawaii and Alaska.
So that means if you’re based in the UK or Canada, you can absolutely participate in the program. However, this is another instance where it’s important to take a long hard look at your audience.
If you have an audience that is primarily outside of the U.S., this program isn’t going to do anything for you. Home Depot does not ship outside of the United States, so if you have a large percentage of your audience outside the country, it might be time to consider another program.
Multiple websites owned under one umbrella can be a part of the program. So, if you have a whole network of sites with audiences that make sense for this vertical, it’s entirely possible to double, triple, or even quadruple up and cast a wider net.
Commissions are earned on all qualified sales. A qualified sale is defined on the official Home Depot Affiliate Program FAQ page as a transaction that is not canceled, declined, or returned.
Finally, Home Depot’s affiliate program can earn commissions on repeat customers. That means if someone has shopped at Home Depot before, you can still earn on items that they buy.
While this might seem like a strange thing to point out, the Best Buy Affiliate program has a rule which states that you earn nothing on sales made to anyone who has ever purchased from Best Buy’s website in the past.
Yeah… Not great.
Alright, let's get down to it. It’s time to talk about money.
How much can you actually make on this program? Furthermore, how often are payouts made?
According to the Home Depot website, current payouts are set at 2% on products, mobile, and buy online pick up in-store orders.
We'll cover how this stacks up in the next section.
On top of that, Home Depot gives a 1% sales commission on any and all appliances sold through the program.
An 8% commission is applied on select home decor products.
Now that you know what you can make, it’s time to take a look at how you know what you’ve made. It’s important to be able to track your earnings in real-time so that you can accurately gauge what you’re making at any given moment.
Earnings can be tracked easily through the Home Depot Impact Platform.
This platform can generate reports which are updated daily. It gives you a lot of information on not only what you’ve earned, but also how you’re doing.
The reports go through the number of impressions you’ve had. This tells you how many people have seen your link, whether they click on it or not.
It also gives you the click-through rate of those impressions. In other words, of the people who have seen your links, what percentage of them actually clicked through to Home Depot’s site?
Then you’ve got the actual commissions that you’ve earned. This helps you determine your conversion rate. Of the people that clicked through onto the product page, how many actually made a purchase?
This is important information because it will allow you to determine the effectiveness of your marketing. If a lot of people are coming to the site but not clicking on the link, then perhaps you have the link in a spot that’s not encouraging action. If they’re clicking through but not making a purchase, then it’s likely that there’s an issue on Home Depot’s page.
Payments for the prior month are processed on the 20th of each month and paid out by either a physical check or direct deposit.
Why the one month wait to get your money? Transactions are paid out the following month to confirm the validity of the purchase. In other words, Home Depot wants to make sure that people are making a purchase and not immediately returning the item.
However, if you don’t meet the minimum threshold for your payout method, you won’t receive payment at all.
If you opt for a physical check to be mailed out to you, then you have to wait until you hit a minimum threshold of $100. That means if you managed to make only $99 in January, you’re not going to be getting paid in February. Once you hit that $100 total in February, you’d then be paid out in March.
Direct Deposit is a bit easier to obtain. It has a minimum threshold of just $50. Also, direct deposit is transferred instantly, whereas you’d have to wait for a physical check to be mailed out.
Level of Experience
There is no recommended level of affiliate marketer experience for the Home Depot program. The only requirement listed on the program’s official website is that you have a working website at the time of application.
That means you can’t apply for the website that you’re hoping to have someday or a site that’s going to be launching sometime in the near future. The site has to be active and running at the time that you apply to take part in the program if it is going to be considered.
Home Depot also notes that it reserves the right to refuse or revoke membership to any site at any time for any reason.
We would recommend Home Depot’s program for beginner and expert affiliate marketers alike, as long as it makes sense for your website’s subject matter and audience. They have decent payouts, a wide range of products, and a recognizable name.
Home Depot Affiliate Program’s Orientation in the Market
How does Home Depot measure up to some of the heaviest hitters in the affiliate marketing game?
After all, if you’re interested in getting started in affiliate marketing, you’re going to have to first determine which is the most effective platform to jump onto.
Let’s start off with the biggie — Amazon.
Amazon was one of the very first affiliate programs to break into the mainstream and remains the most well-known affiliate program in the world today.
Amazon was once a far more lucrative system, but recently slashed all of its commission rates, making it a bit more difficult to profit hugely from the platform.
So how does it measure up to Home Depot, now?
Amazon’s rates for outdoors and tools were once 5.5%, but that was recently lowered to 3%.
Their home improvement and lawn/garden categories once paid out at 8%, but were subsequently lowered to just 3%.
However, even after slashing commission rates down, in some cases more than 50%, Amazon is still paying out more than Home Depot.
Home Depot pays 2% for products and 1% for appliances. So, while Amazon may have placed a number of limitations on its partners, it’s still giving you more money than Home Depot and has a larger selection of products outside of Home Depot’s niche.
Then there’s Target, another massive retailer with both online and physical locations.
When you look at Target’s website, you’ll immediately note that, like Amazon, Target has a larger variety of products than Home Depot.
Target’s commission structure starts at 5%. They bump you to 8% if you make 10,000 sales in a month.
Target has more of a sales incentive than Home Depot. They reward high earners, encouraging you to push more products to make a larger commission. They also start you out at a larger commission price than Home Depot.
It should be noted that Home Depot states that the more you sell the more you earn, but it does not seem to have a set bump up threshold as Target does.
Best Buy is the final comparison we’re going to draw.
Like Home Depot, it has a niche market and features both an online store and physical retail locations. There’s even some overlap in products between the two, as Best Buy sells household appliances like refrigerators, washing machines, etc.
Best Buy has a flat commission rate of 0.5%. That’s the highest and lowest that it goes. What’s more, Best Buy’s program excludes most of its more common items like computers, tablets, Apple products, and wearable fitness technology.
As we mentioned in an earlier section, Best Buy’s program is only for the first time Best Buy customers. That means if someone clicks on your Best Buy link and makes a purchase, you won’t receive a commission on it if they’ve ever bought anything from Best Buy in the past.
Home Depot’s affiliate program is infinitely better than Best Buy’s. It pays out more and does not have these tight restrictions on products and customers.
What Are the Advantages of the Home Depot Affiliate Program?
Home Depot’s affiliate program has a number of distinct advantages that make it a strong platform for earning extra money:
- Unique products
- High-cost items
- High-quality products
- Recognizable brand
- Niche specialization that is associated with the industry in customer minds
- Customer product reviews featured on the Home Depot website
- Provides customers with information on every product
- Provides you with advertising banners
What Are the Disadvantages of the Home Depot Affiliate Program?
Just because the program is good, that does not mean that everything is perfect:
- Products are niche and selection is not as broad as something like Amazon or Target
- No customers outside the US
- The audience must have a need for Home Depot’s specific products
Home Depot Affiliate Program Engagement Strategies
If you’re going to try your hand within the Home Depot affiliate program, it’s important that you go in with a marketing strategy. Failure to come up with a marketing plan will make this venture a lot more time consuming and a lot less lucrative.
We’ve highlighted two solid strategies below that would be highly beneficial for this program.
SEO Audit Checklist for Home Depot Affiliate Product Website
If you want to be found by people who are looking for the products that you’re selling through the program, you’re going to have to optimize your pages for specific Home Depot products.
A great example of this would be tools that are selling well. By optimizing your pages for keywords associated with these tools, you will pop up when people perform web searches for such items.
This is called Search Engine Optimization, or SEO for short.
It’s also important to include images of some of the products on your site. But, if they’re going to be effective in improving your SEO score, they have to be optimized. Add title tags and alt descriptions to every image, and include some of your keywords in them.
Which keywords, you ask? That’s something you’re going to have to figure out.
One of the first steps to a successful SEO campaign is to do ample keyword research. You need to figure out what keywords are associated with the items you’re selling and how high of a search volume they have.
Then, once you know that, you have to try to rank for those high value relevant keywords or phrases.
One idea to help your Home Depot affiliate SEO could be to write home improvement blogs. You can then link to the various tools that your readers can purchase through the Home Depot affiliate program.
You don’t just have to write articles for your site. You can also create guest blogs with links back to your site. This will generate a series of backlinks, which are crucial for SEO success.
Video is a popular medium. People who are looking to do some kind of DIY home improvement project are always looking for instructional videos.
By creating a video channel on YouTube covering home improvement or interior decorating, you have another opportunity to secure clicks on your Home Depot affiliate links.
Give quality advice to your viewers and go through the details of various common home improvement projects like re-tiling a bathroom or patching holes in your walls before moving.
Let it be known on the show that all of the items you are using in the video are for sale through Home Depot.
It could even be beneficial to talk about the affiliate program to your viewers and explain that if they go through your website to purchase these tools, the show gets a percentage of the sale and nothing gets marked up. If they are a fan of this free content that you’re putting out, they will happily click on your affiliate link to make their purchases.
It costs them nothing extra and gives them a chance to give back to a show that provided them with valuable free information.
While Home Depot’s affiliate network doesn’t have the massive selection or higher payouts of something like Amazon or Target, it’s still a fair program that gives you the opportunity to make a good amount of money.
If you have an audience that fits into the home improvement or interior decorating demographic, the Home Depot affiliate program could be a great way to monetize your audience and earn some extra income.
Home Depot Affiliate Program and Commission Frequently Asked Questions
How Can I Sign Up for the Home Depot Affiliate Program?
In order to be accepted on the Home Depot affiliate program, you have to fill out the application form on the company’s official website.
It will ask you for your personal information, your company information, the promotional methods you use, and the media properties that you own.
What Kind of Commissions are Offered by the Home Depot Affiliate Program?
Payouts for the Home Depot affiliate program are set at 2% on products, mobile, and buy online pick up in store orders, 1% sales commission on appliances, and 8% commission on select home decor products.
How Often Will I Get Paid on the Home Depot Affiliate Program?
Home Depot pays monthly. Payments for the prior month are processed on the 20th of each month and can be paid either with a physical check or direct deposit, as long as you meet your minimum payout threshold.
Physical checks have a minimum threshold of $100.
Direct Deposit has a minimum threshold of just $50.
What Items are Eligible for the Home Depot Affiliate Program?
Most items sold on the Home Depot website are Home Depot affiliate program eligible products
Items from the following categories are included: