The Future of E-commerce Lies at the Intersection of Affiliate Technology, Content and Commerce

Raji Kalra
5 min readApr 28, 2022


At Peopletail, we envision a future where Shopify retailers can reach new customers through user-generated content while ensuring content creators are fairly rewarded.

It’s a future I am excited to talk about because we’re helping make it a reality with our Peopletail Rewards app. Fast and accessible, it updates affiliate technology to fit the evolving nature of e-commerce and affiliate marketing.

The shape of affiliate technology today

Affiliate marketing works, which explains why it has been a mainstay of e-commerce. But as someone immersed in all things e-commerce since 2004, it is clear that affiliate technology has adapted too slowly.

While the barriers to becoming an e-commerce retailer have fallen, user-generated content has grown. And the reality is that affiliate technology has not developed to meet this new paradigm.

Online retailers are stuck with time-consuming processes that complicate on-boarding affiliates, while content creators must navigate opaque and demanding procedures to connect with e-commerce brands.

This lose-lose situation sees new businesses struggle to attract the right affiliates for their brand. Meanwhile, content creators with engaged audiences miss out on the financial rewards of promoting products their audience will buy.

Even those affiliate programs getting results are frustrated by outmoded software, complicated user interfaces, and unclear processes.

We want to remove those pain points. The goal of Peopletail Rewards is simple: to quickly and easily match energetic, creative affiliates with ambitious e-commerce retailers.

The value of user-generated content in affiliate marketing

By making affiliate marketing convenient, we are fixing another issue with current affiliate technology: a failure to maximize the marketing potential of user-generated content.

The ease of publishing user-generated content coupled with the proliferation of smartphones has altered the affiliate landscape. Content today is more personal and reflective of its audience, which are the ideal ingredients for affiliate marketing.

Content creators are first and foremost enthusiasts, making content they and their audience enjoy. People from all walks of life are generating content, yet few are committed entrepreneurs with the time and know-how to jump through the affiliate marketing hoops.

And who can blame them? Anyone who has subjected themselves to the registration process for traditional affiliate programs will agree: it is a long and tedious procedure that often ends with a struggle to find marketable products.

Even those who’ve cracked the code and found those elusive affiliate links will encounter further hurdles, from tracking sales accurately to receiving timely payments.

And these frustrations are shared by small retailers. Many see the advantages of affiliate marketing and want affiliate technology that works better for them.

Who are the people shaping the future of affiliate marketing and e-commerce?

At Peopletail, we understand that profitable affiliate marketers are on social media and home-grown blogs.

They are TikTok creators, YouTubers, and Instagram influencers. Stay-at-home moms celebrating lifestyle trends; DIY experts helping homeowners learn new skills; makeup artists testing new beauty products; or techies unwrapping the latest must-have gadgets.

Compelling content is created by ordinary folk equipped with a camera and a story to tell. People who connect directly with their audience, making them a part of what they’re producing.

Yet while content creators define trends and influence consumers, few are interested in building an affiliate business.

That’s where Peopletail Rewards comes in. By removing the pain points we mentioned, affiliate marketing can be open to all.

The convergence of content and e-commerce in the future

Our team has identified what works today and designed an app that is free, easy to use, and includes all the necessary features to connect Shopify retailers with the people shaping the conversation.

It’s a tool that brings everyday content publishers and e-commerce vendors together into one thriving ecosystem, creating a clear route to affiliate marketing.

Traditional paid advertising is not going away, but we can help businesses big and small leverage the enormous potential of user-generated content marketing.

You only have to look at the surging growth of TikTok to see the wealth of opportunities for retailers and affiliates. What’s more, digital media consumption is tracking upwards on the back of 5G and expanding broadband access. With the Metaverse just around the corner, our online lives are set to be more immersive and interconnected.

Social media thrives on delivering a constant stream of fresh, relatable content. Using the TikTok example again, users love it because they feel the content is created for them, making them participants and observers. This potent mix instills a feel-good factor that traditional advertising can’t compete with.

The former CEO of the advertising giant Saatchi & Saatchi identified this trend way back in 2006. In his book Sisomo: the future on screen, Kevin Roberts explains why potential customers appreciate being part of something. The proliferation and democratization of the internet tap into that need, enabling people to make content that reinforces the creator and consumer relationship. That, in turn, creates a connection that retailers and affiliate marketers can harness.

Kevin Roberts was ahead of the curve in 2006, and I’d recommend reading his book — it is still relevant in today’s ever-evolving world of content-driven marketing.

Despite plotting the direction of content marketing in its infancy, affiliate technology has been playing catch-up ever since.

How Peopletail Rewards is updating affiliate technology

We believe Peopletail Rewards can play a vital role by updating the affiliate experience to meet current needs. Sitting at the intersection of content and commerce, we’ve made it easier for any Shopify business to harness the potential of people-generated content marketing.

Shopify sellers can readily connect to a pool of affiliate marketers, just like the big players, unlocking the limitless marketing potential of user-created content. They can quickly set rewards, find affiliates, create promotions, and manage affiliates with a user-friendly interface.

That’s just half the battle. We know that affiliates need looking after too: our free app enables access from any device, with easy-to-find promotions and links that affiliates can post with one click. Performance tracking is displayed intuitively. Crucially, affiliates are paid directly through the app into their PayPal account.

We’re launching Peopletail Rewards and want to work with those who want to realize the full potential of unifying content and commerce for all the people involved.

Whether you’re a content creator looking to earn rewards for your work or a retailer who wants to reach more customers, I would love to hear from you.

Drop me a line at