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Tips & Guides — 17 Mar 2021
Prime Takeaways from Amazon Associates Program
When a conversation about affiliate marketing starts, even a person without broad knowledge about the industry can mention the Amazon affiliate program.
Also known as Amazon Associates, Amazon’s referral program is one of the largest in the world as well as their retail business. For the whole past year and still, a massive 0.9% of all websites use Amazon Associates.
We’ll take a look at how Amazon affiliates work, and what tools it provides to its partners to ease promotion of their products. And we will try to determine the components of the success of the Amazon affiliate program. We hope this review will help other eCommerce businesses to manage or create their own affiliate program even more effectively.
As with any other affiliate program, with Amazon Associates, affiliates get a referral link to the store page of a product and place it on affiliate website or in social media. If within 24 hours an onsite visitor clicks on an affiliate link with tracking ID and purchases a product from the Amazon store, an affiliate will receive a sales commission. Commission rates of the Amazon Program differ and depend on the type of goods.
Amazon provides a variety of tools to help affiliates with a smooth promotion set up in order for even novice affiliates to quickly and easily start working with the program. Let’s take a closer look at these tools to understand how the most popular affiliate program runs.
The easiest way to promote with Amazon Associates is through a simple product linking. The link with a special tracking ID can then be embedded in the text on affiliate blog, for example. The Amazon link creation process is intuitive and straightforward.
Using search, affiliates can find the product categories or even specific brands they want to promote on their websites. Then by clicking the button “Get link” they get an Amazon referral link in an extended or short version.
image source: affiliate-program.amazon.com
In order to make the work of affiliates effortless, Amazon Associates has in its arsenal a tool such as the Site Stripe. This bar-widget on the Amazon website allows affiliates to create a link to the product page with no delay. There are several link options to choose from:
After choosing the suitable option an affiliate receives a link in a pop-up window. Affiliates should remember to be logged in with their Amazon Associates account to use the Stripe Site tool.
Publisher Studio is a browser extension that allows publishers/ affiliates to create Amazon affiliate links right during post creation. It is compatible with Chrome and Firefox browsers and works on platforms such as WordPress, Blogger, Twitter, and Facebook.
image source: chrome.google.com
For example, an affiliate works with WordPress editor. Once he or she selects some text, a small button will appear underneath enabling to create an Amazon referral link.
To use Publisher Studio in WordPress, publishers need to integrate the extension by adding HTML embed code to your website.
Amazon doesn’t stop at Publisher Studio when it comes to interacting with WordPress. This isn’t surprising, considering that WordPress is one of the most popular CMS in the world. At the moment, there is an active development of a plug-in that simplifies integration and expands opportunities for publishers. Using this plug-in, partners can not only create Amazon affiliate links but also quickly upload images, prices, product descriptions and more directly from Amazon.
What if users from Canada click on a referral link to the UK Amazon and purchase from there, while you only have an Amazon US affiliate account? Unless you took care of it in advance and installed Amazon OneLink or another geo-redirection solution, you may very likely lose a commission. Luckily, there is a solution.
image source: affiliate-program.amazon.com
Amazon OneLink serves to automatically relocate shoppers to local Amazon stores in their countries while ensuring that an affiliate receives his payout from customers’ purchases. Amazon OneLink or a similar tool is of high value for publishers with a big chunk of audience from all over the world. Before OneLink was created to sort out and monetize traffic from the UK and Canada, but now it is extended to Italy, France, Spain, Germany, Japan and neighboring countries.
The important point to consider, even when using the OneLink tool, is that not all products are available simultaneously in two all countries.
image source: amazon.com
This feature is targeted at influencers with a strong voice on social media. Specifically for influencers Amazon sets up unique store pages with their favorite goods. All that influencers need to do is forward their audience to this page. You don’t need to be a world-class celebrity to participate in the Amazon Influencer Program, but you must have a community of at least thousands of loyal followers.
The advanced Amazon affiliates also can benefit from getting access to the Product Advertising API (PA-API). Affiliates can significantly improve their advertising performance with the help of in-depth findings recieved from PA-API. Further, they are free to implement their own integrations and automate Amazon advertising processes as they like.
The well-established and diverse features of Amazon Associates really make it easier for anyone to start promoting affiliate products. Does this alone make Amazon such a successful program? Well, it’s definitely not enough. Let’s now take a look at the aspects that can also influence affiliate’s willingness to partner with Amazon over the years.
Amazon is primarily associated with a store that sells and delivers physical goods. Thus Amazon Associates can become an excellent choice for affiliates whose audience is interested in purchasing physical goods. Further, when customers order several products at once, an Amazon affiliate will receive a payout for all products accordingly. Not all eCommerce websites offer the same in their affiliate marketing programs.
Amazon stores have some of the best conversion rates in the world. In comparison with other eCommerce stores with the average conversion rate of around 1–1.5%, the average conversion rate for all Amazon products is about 9.5% According to the data for July 2020. And if you take the stats for Amazon prime members, then the numbers will go absolutely sky-high.
An important factor in these results is customer trust in the brand. Thus, despite Amazon’s sometimes meager commissions for certain products, you are unlikely to see the same high conversion rate anywhere else.
Another reason that has a positive effect on this indicator is upselling. We have already mentioned that people often buy several products at once on Amazon. And Amazon is extremely good at upselling using AI-based and machine learning recommendation engines.
Based on user purchases and search history, AI will show buyers relevant to their previous requests recommendations. For example, in addition to buying another pack of dog food, a user may decide to buy a long-delayed dog leash and a collar for his buddy.
Considering that a cookie’s lifetime lasts 24 hours, partners can safely expect Amazon’s upselling strategies to give affiliates commissions for all related purchases.
image source: advertising.amazon.com
Another difference between Amazon Associates and most other eCommerce programs is the number of available promotional options. In addition to the standard referral link placed in the text, publishers can use native advertising in the form of a carousel of products on a web-page, mobile app pop-up banners, and many other advertising methods. It is hard to find the same variety anywhere else, and Amazon is constantly improving the ways it recruits affiliates.
At the end of the day, the most important factor in affiliate marketing is performance. As each referral link has a unique tracking ID, this makes it possible to test and optimize advertising campaigns in real-time.
Amazon naturally has in-house tools for tracking, reporting, and protecting against ad fraud. However, if you want to run an eCommerce partner program you don’t need to have your own solutions like Amazon has. There are SaaS partnerships solutions that help businesses manage affiliate programs in the same way and provide various tools for tracking, optimization, protection against fraud, and other vital features.
There is no clear answer. Amazon Associates has many pros, but also has some serious cons. Commission rates for some goods are very low. Terms and regulations might be very harsh sometimes. You can very easily get a ban and have a hard time figuring out the reasons for it.
However, if you take good in and leave the bad from the Amazon Associates program, you can significantly improve your own affiliate program. What can help you make this process easy and fast? Affise partnership management platform provides a wide range of tools for your affiliate program to be just as good as Amazon Associates in terms of automation and technological support.
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