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What is the Amazon Affiliate Program

June 16, 2021
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Amazon’s affiliate marketing program, called Amazon Associates, is one of the largest in the world for the affiliate marketer, comprising over 900,000 worldwide affiliates—content creators, bloggers, and publishers.

The program works with its affiliates to monetize their online traffic in return for Amazon product placements. 

In an online marketplace booming in commission-based product promotions, there’s no question why Amazon is at its helm—they’re the product pros. For answers to questions like “what is affiliate marketing?or how to start affiliate marketing?” Our guide will show you everything you need to know concerning affiliate management

How to Qualify For Amazon’s Affiliate Program

Qualifying for the Amazon affiliate program is actually quite simple. An affiliate-to-be only needs an online platform—that is a website, video channel, or blog—to advertise and promote any Amazon product to qualify for the program.

If you already have an Amazon account, you’ll need to log in before signing up for the program. After indicating that you want to create an affiliate account, Amazon will ask for the URL of your website or platform. Then, you’ll have to inform Amazon of the following:

  • How you will direct traffic to your website
  • How many monthly visitors your platform receives
  • Why you want to join Amazon’s affiliate program

After filling out the appropriate information, Amazon will ask for your tax information and preferred payment method. 

Then, you’re in. Amazon will send over a welcome email and your journey as an Amazon affiliate will have begun. 

Amazon marketing services

How the Amazon Affiliate Program Works

Essentially, Amazon Associates is a referral program. The affiliate marketers within the program advertise Amazon products and services of their choice on their website or video channel. 

When a viewer of the website or video clicks on an affiliate link and purchases the product, the affiliates receive a percentage of the sale. The percentage is largely dependent on the type of product the customer purchases. 

Affiliate Link

After signing up with the Amazon Associates program, you will need to generate an Amazon affiliate link. The Amazon link can be placed on your website or within a video description to prompt viewers to view your recommended product within Amazon’s marketplace

Amazon also uses this link to track the number of visitors directed from your website or channel. The number of visitors will be calculated to determine your affiliate commission. If you’re a blogger using WordPress, Amazon also offers a plugin for Amazon affiliates that can be easily added to your website. 

Commissions

The Amazon Associates program operates using a standard commission income. A list of eligible product categories and their fixed commission rates are found on the Operating Agreement, which includes but is not limited to:1

    • Luxury Beauty – 10% 
    • Music and Videos – 5%
    • Books, Kitchen, and Automotive – 4.5%
    • PC, DVD, and Blue-Ray – 2.5%
  • Televisions and Digital Video Games – 2%
  • Amazon Fresh, Physical Video Games, Game Consoles, Grocery, Personal Care 1%

The Amazon Associate program also offers a variety of “Bounty” and “Bonus” events to receive additional sources of affiliate income. Bounty Events include:

  • Creation of an Amazon baby or wedding registry – $3
  • A subscription to Prime Video – $2.50
  • Creation of an Amazon Business Account – $15
  • Registration for Amazon Music Free Trial – $3
  • Registration for Audible Plus Free Trial – $5

There are also two Amazon Bonus Events, which also operate with fixed dollar amounts:

  • First purchase of Amazon Fresh products – $3
  • First purchase of Pet food and supplies – $3

Various products and income and categories exist. It’s recommended that Amazon affiliates make themselves aware of each category, as some are not eligible for commission (such as Audible AudioBook and Audible Premium).

Conversion Rate

The fixed commission rate isn’t the only factor that’s considered when calculating an Amazon Affiliate earnings. Amazon also uses something called a conversion rate. 

The conversion rate is calculated by determining what percentage of total visitors to your website actually follow the affiliate link and make a purchase within the Amazon marketplace. For example, if your website receives a total of 100 visitors, but only one person follows the affiliate link to make a purchase, the conversion rate is 1. The more users who make a purchase, the higher your conversion rate and the better your affiliate commission. 

Additional Commission Opportunities

Not only can Amazon Associates earn a percentage of purchases made using the affiliate link, but they also receive a percentage of all the purchases made by the consumer within a 24-hour window after following the link to the marketplace. 

However, once the 24-hour period ends, the affiliate will no longer receive a percentage of future purchases made by the same consumer. 

If a consumer follows an affiliate link, adds the product to their Amazon shopping cart, and closes the window before making a purchase, there’s still a chance that the Amazon Associate will receive some commission—just as long as it’s added to the cart within the 24-hour window and bought before the shopping cart expires. This takes 90 days.

How to Get Paid as an Amazon Associate

Amazon Associates are paid on a monthly basis. Most often payments are made two months following the purchase date. So, if the customer purchased a new planting pot in January, the Amazon Associate will receive payment no later than late March. Amazon provides three payment options, including:

  1. Direct deposit – Amazon Associates must provide Amazon with their banking information. From there, Amazon will deposit the commission once an affiliate earns a minimum of $10. 
  2. Check – Affiliates must provide Amazon with a mailing address. The company will then send the check once the affiliate earns $100. There’s also a $15 check processing fee.
  3. Amazon gift card – Amazon will also send Amazon gift cards to the affiliate’s email account once the affiliate earns $10.

In some cases, Amazon Associates won’t receive earnings for certain purchases if:

  • The order was canceled before it shipped
  • The order is yet to be shipped
  • The affiliate system marked the product as ineligible for commission

In most cases, Amazon prefers that affiliates only refer customers with who they don’t have a pre-existing relationship with. As such, it’s generally frowned upon for an affiliate to refer a close friend or family member to their affiliate link.2 

Pros of the Amazon Associate Program

The Amazon affiliate marketing program offers content creators a viable way to earn online revenue with a simple click of a button and swipe of a credit card. As such there are many benefits to becoming an Amazon Associate:

  • Easy to join – Signing up for the Amazon Associate program is relatively easy. All you have to do is notify Amazon that you’re interested in the program and share personal information regarding your website URL, banking details, and reasons for joining.
  • Trusted retailer – Amazon is a relatively trusted retailer. As such, website visitors are more likely to follow the affiliate link and buy themselves a new pair of shoes. You can also trust you’ll be treated fairly as an Amazon Associate.
  • Many products – The Amazon marketplace is bountiful. There’s plenty of local and global products to choose from and promote on your platform. 
  • Additional commission – As stated, Amazon affiliates can earn commissions from each purchase made by the customer within a 24-hour period after following the affiliate link. Because of the way Amazon is structured, it’s very likely that the customer will add more than one product to their cart, meaning more commission for the affiliate. 

While the Amazon Associate program provides profitable earnings, there are also a few disadvantages to consider when determining whether the Amazon affiliate program is the best affiliate marketing program for you.

Cons of the Amazon Associate Program

When it comes to the disadvantages of the Amazon affiliate program, pay special attention to the fine print:

  • Commission rates – When compared to other affiliate marketing programs, Amazon’s commission rates are relatively low. The highest commission rate stands at 10% for luxury beauty products, while the lowest stands at 1%. Unless you’re diverting a large percentage of your audience to the marketplace, it may be difficult to accumulate cash quickly.
  • Amazon Associates Program Program Operating Agreement – Amazon’s Operating Agreement is constantly updated. As such, if affiliates don’t check the agreement regularly, they may be unaware of significant changes made to the program.
  • Payment Options – Because the Amazon marketplace does not use PayPal, it may be inconvenient for overseas affiliates who use PayPal as their primary payment tool.

While the Amazon Associates program has a few drawbacks, it’s still a great way to earn online revenue relatively effortlessly. Amazon is a treasure trove of marketing opportunities—one you might want to hitch your wagon to. 

Become an Affiliate with Power Digital Marketing

While the Amazon affiliate marketing program offers an expansive, worldwide platform for affiliate marketers, the size of the company offers little in the realm of personal support or guidance. Interested in other partnerships? Learn more about what is a Twitch affiliate and other programs offered. 

If you’re looking for a personal touch, Power Digital Marketing is here to help. Our team provides affiliate marketers with the tools and guidance to succeed. We offer full-service affiliate marketing management, in which we supervise your platform and affiliate relationships. We also provide ongoing consultations to ensure your affiliate marketing services are continuously growing and earning—that’s our guarantee. 

 

Sources: 

  1. Amazon Associates. Operating Agreement Statement. https://affiliate-program.amazon.com/help/node/topic/GRXPHT8U84RAYDXZ 
  2. Amazon Associates. Payment Schedule. https://affiliate-program.amazon.com/help/node/topic/G63DR893K4DH55XZ 

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