What is an EPP affiliate?

If you’ve ever qualified for a discount on a product, tuition or travel through your workplace, you’ve likely encountered an Employee Purchase Program (EPP). Employee Purchase Programs (also known as Employee Benefit Portals) are shopping portals that companies join to offer as a benefit to their employees through discounts on products, services and more. EPPs offer a wide range of purchase options to qualifying employees, often at a low cost to the companies. Add EPPs to your affiliate marketing and you could take your programs to the next level.

Who uses EPPs?

Employee Purchase Programs have had years of success in the European market, through portals such as Next Jump and Corporate Benefits. Now, North American companies are joining EPPs to entice American workers with an engaging benefit set that goes beyond insurance. Take a moment to search ‘Employee Purchase Programs’ and see the wealth of shopping opportunities just for employees! The biggest, brightest companies in the U.S. offer employee purchase programs- some as employee discounts on their own products, like Apple, Samsung and Dell. Others offer a more robust selection of savings by working with an EPP that is affiliate-based and features many merchants.

What is the benefit of an affiliate-based EPP?

Research from Corporate Wellness indicates that the American workforce is more than a little stressed, and that one of the main sources of employee stress is personal finances. With sky high credit card and student loan debt and much of America experiencing a very high cost of living, most workers struggle to buy the important things in life without accruing debt or having room for saving.

Employee Purchase programs are an inexpensive benefit that provides employees discounts that aren’t available elsewhere on products they are looking to purchase, with pricing meant to alleviate some of that financial stress. Some EPPs structure a financing plan on large purchases for employees, with low or zero financing fees. Others allow employees to make purchases through payroll deductions. Most feature discounts that are exclusive to members. To partner with an EPP as a merchant has some notable built-in perks.

First, EPPs are a welcome benefit that is intriguing to employees and relevant to their needs. Your brand participation demonstrates an interest in saving people money, as a perk of their employment. That’s an everyday, noticeable benefit that outshines the standards people have come to expect, such as health insurance and free coffee, and makes your brand stand out among competitors.

Second, EPPs target employees with purchase opportunities that they are already looking for and knows exactly where your audience is. There’s no email capture campaign to locate these customers- typically, their work email is tied to the benefit. 57% of workers admit to shopping on the job. That’s your audience, and most of them are already at their shopping terminal – uh- work computer. Plus, most EPPs are either mobile-first or mobile-friendly, allowing your business to capitalize on the 79% of shoppers who shop on their phones or tablets.

Third, the cost is minimal to the company and minimal to the partner. Typically, your standard affiliate commission rate is the cost of entry into this market. The main cost to you as a partner is the set-up time and creating a unique offer for this marketplace that you can feature for up to 1 year. Many EPPs offer coordinated email campaigns to drive engagement with partner brands and keep shopping top of mind. There are often placement opportunities to expand your reach, as well.

Fourth, the discounts you provide are limited in scope to the members of the EPP. To take advantage of the discount you’re offering, customers need to be logged in, and the discounts are meant for only them. No more viral coupon codes that overtax your bottom line and are available to just anyone. This is a small set of highly engaged users.

The terms for participation, as mentioned, are typically a standard affiliate commission rate on each purchase made through the employee purchase program. To participate, you can expect as a merchant that you’ll need to provide a discount that is not typically found in the marketplace- maybe 25% off sitewide as opposed to your standard 20% off. Additionally, the promotions you provide to an EPP will need to have a longer shelf life- think 1 quarter to up to 1 year, depending on the program Finally, some programs will expect the promotion you provide as a merchant partner to be exclusive to their program. No re-using promotions between your regular affiliate program and the employee purchase programs! This fidelity helps the EPP compete with the coupons and deals marketplace while also offering a true benefit to employees- a great deal they can’t find anywhere else.


In summary, employee purchase affiliate program can be not only a true benefit to employees but also a lucrative endeavor for the companies who offer them. Take the leap and try expanding your affiliate marketing efforts into employee purchase programs to join the cutting edge of focused, closed-network marketing. The world’s employees will thank you for doing so with their wallets.