The parents of Jerry Aharony wanted him to be a lawyer. He was headed for that life 15 years ago when something funny happened. He created a hugely successful company instead.
“I was in law school 15 years ago when I started this thing,” remembers Aharony, CEO of the Mallcom.com affiliate program. “I started the company on a computer in my mother’s basement with my sister [Mary Friedman, who is now the Mallcom vice president]. I dropped out of law school because it started to take off so fast. I found that I was doing more work for Mallcom than I was for paying attention to the law professors. I went home and told my parents, ‘Look, I’m sorry to break your hearts, but I’m going to give this a shot. If it doesn’t work out within six months, I’ll be the first one to admit it and go back to law school.’ They gave me the six-month break and by the end of it things were flying. My parents never mentioned law school again.”
We’re always a phone call or an email away, and we go that extra step to make sure our affiliates are happy.
That’s because by the end of the grace period, Aharony’s new company was employing 100 people and shipping 2,000 packages a day. He had to move the business from his mother’s basement to a 5,000 square foot facility. It was nothing short of phenomenal, and Mallcom continued growing in the years that followed until today, when the Glen Cove, Long Island-based firm boasts of many more employees working in a 28,000 square foot facility.
And now, to celebrate this success on its 15th anniversary, Mallcom is giving something back to affiliates.
‘We’re doing a special 50 percent commission for all new affiliates,” Aharony says. “When you join our affiliate program, we create a white label site for you. We match your site’s colors and logos and we create a Mallcom store for your site. For all new affiliates, we’re giving them 50 percent off the top of every sale for the first three months. Any new affiliates who want to take advantage of the deal can do it by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll do the rest.”
Currently Mallcom boasts of thousands of affiliates, according to Aharony. The company acts as a fulfillment house for them, creating custom stores for client websites in various different genres, as well as stores for toys, DVDs and video-on-demand (VOD). In an online environment where affiliate programs seem to be slipping, Mallcom continues to flourish. Aharony thinks he knows why.
“We’re always here for our affiliates,” he says. “We’re always a phone call or an email away, and we go that extra step to make sure our affiliates are happy.
“In general the affiliates are saying that our shopping cart does better for them than any other program.”
The solid performance of Mallcom continues to lure new business, and the reason for this is clear in the recent partnership with an important new site, AdultDVDNow.
“They’ve said they’re impressed with how quickly we respond to all their requests,” Aharony explains. “When they want us to change the site’s colors or add more toys to the site or just customize the banners, we respond right away. They said our service was the best and our site converted like no other. This site does about $3 million in sales every year, and the owner chose us from among five other companies. After extensively researching the other companies, he saw that we were the ones who are the most responsive to all of an affiliate’s needs. So we just signed a one-year agreement with them to do all of their fulfillment.”
Another reason for the continued boom in Mallcom business is the recent addition of the Flesh Drive among the company’s sale items. The Flesh Drive is a small USB drive which contains visual content.
“We’re one of the only companies carrying those and we’re doing a phenomenal business with them,” Aharony reveals. “It’s a drive that’s about the size of your little finger and fits right into your pocket. People like it because it’s very discreet.
“I think the business is trending toward these now. I just read an article that predicted that by 2015 they’re going to be selling about half a billion of these drives per year.”
This may not be an exaggeration, since the drive can be used on any device with a USB outlet, including TVs, Xbox, Play Station-3, PCs, Macs and i-Pads. The fact that Mallcom is on board early with this technology is just one more reason why the company maintains its leadership in a business model that seems to be on the wane.
“It’s true that the affiliate business model is not what it used to be,” Aharony admits, “but we’ve had our affiliates for 15 years. They are very loyal to us and they still bring in a ton of business. Our affiliates are still making really good money and sales ratios are as low as 1:150 for some of our partners.
“We believe that whenever you get a customer, you have to keep them happy so they keep coming back.”