Amazon Affiliate Program Commissions Slashed

To As Low As 1%

The Amazon affiliate marketing program has a long and interesting history. The recent commission rate reduction will only serve to deepen the drama.

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On this page we’ll examine the origin, evolution, payouts, benefits, drawbacks and the new controversy of this popular marketing program. Here, you’ll find everything you need to know about Amazon Associates.

What Happened To The Commission Rates?

April 14, 2020

Amazon is planning to make dramatic cuts to commission rates for its affiliate marketing program, which allows media organizations, e-commerce companies, and small and independent businesses to receive a cut of revenue from a sale if a customer lands on the product page and purchases the item through a provided link. The cuts go into effect on April 21st, according to CNBC, and some product categories will see drops of more than 50 percent.

For instance, commission rates under the categories home improvement, furniture, lawn and garden, and pet products will see a commission rate of 8 percent per sale drop down to just 3 percent. For headphones, beauty products, and musical instruments, commission rates will go from 6 percent down to 3 percent. Many other categories — including grocery, sports, baby products, and outdoors and tools — are all dropping down to 3 or 1 percent, CNBC reports, from 4 percent or higher.

The changes will be a harsh blow to digital media organizations, many of which spent the last few years building out commerce divisions dedicated to recommending products that are largely purchased, at least in the US, on Amazon. Other retailers, like Best Buy and Walmart, also run affiliate marketing programs, but Amazon remains the leader in US e-commerce with nearly half of all online sales. Last month, Amazon and other retailers also began suspending dedicated commerce marketing deals, which are separate from the standard affiliate program, with big digital media firms amid the COVID-19 pandemic.*

*source = The Verge

Why Did Amazon Do It?

The short answer is because of Covid-19.

But long-time Amazon Associates will tell you that Coronavirus is an excuse, not a reason for the dramatic payout decrease. That Amazon has been looking for a way to diminish the role of affiliate marketers in their program for years.

The truth is probably somewhere in between.

What Can Be Learned From The Slashed Amazon Payouts?

There are many lessons to be learned from the Amazon Associate commission cuts.

But I will only focus on what I believe is the most important one here, and that is:

Why The #1 Is The Worst Number In Marketing

I learned from marketing legend Dan Kennedy long ago that the worst number in marketing (including online marketing) is the number one.

Why?

Because if you rely on only one of anything related to your internet marketing business you’re exposing yourself to overnight failure.

For example…

Do you rely on only one:

  • Traffic source
  • Product
  • Affiliate network
  • Group of customers
  • Social media platform
  • Niche
  • Service
  • Data source
  • Search engine (for SEO)

The truth is that all of these things on the internet can change at lightning speed. Things you rely on can literally change or disappear overnight.

In the this case, many marketers have been cruising along for years promoting Amazon as the only source (or at least 80+%) of their online income. That is a HUGE mistake. Never ever put all of your eggs in only one basket.

Unless you have full control over any one of these elements, anything can and will happen through no fault of your own. Quick too.

And Its Not Just Amazon Either

  • I know a marketer who received all of his traffic from organic Google search only to have his site disappear from page one of Google overnight because of an algorithm update.
  • I knew another guy who relied on Google Adword traffic only to get banned by Google (for who knows what) and lost all of his traffic overnight
  • The worst? I know a group of guys (band actually) that got all of their exposure from only one source: MySpace. Oops.

I think you get the idea.

Action Step: Diversity Your Income Streams Now

If what Amazon did wiped out a significant part of your online income, the time is now to safeguard youself from that ever happening again by diverisfying your income sources.

Amazon Associate Program Alternatives:

The key is to diversify your income streams by leveraging several different platforms simultaneously.

What Is The Amazon Affiliate Program?

The Amazon program, called Amazon Associates,  is one of the largest affiliate programs on the planet. It allows website owners (publishers) the ability to monetize the traffic to their websites.

The program is free to join and simple to use. As an associate, you’ll be able to earn commissions when one of your website visitors clicks on your links and completes a purchase on the Amazon platform. You will be able to earn advertising fees from qualifying purchases, along with the products that you advertised.

History Of Amazon Associates

Amazon was the first company to make an affiliate model available to the general public. Amazingly, it was launched way back in 1996 which was when the internet was just gaining traction.

At the time, Amazon only sold books, movies and music. Imagine that.

The affiliate model was so new then that Amazon paid their affiliates with checks that were mailed out. Their online model of marketing opened the doors to other affiliate companies who jumped into the market once they realized the potential of this untouched market segment. The idea of affiliate networks and internet-based payment methods happened a few years later with the creation of Commission Junction (now CJ.com).

Today the Amazon Associate program is an absolutely huge since the company has become a behemoth.

Amazon’s valuation topped an amazing trillion dollars in July of 2019 making them the most valuable company in the world. Even larger than the only other trillion dollar company: Apple. Amazon’s net income more than tripled from $3 billion in 2017 to over $10 billion in 2018

Amazon is the largest online retailer in the world by a long shot. This type of scale makes the Amazon program attractive to small businesses and marketers, and makes Amazon associates and each Amazon affiliate part of a global marketplace.

Amazon Associates is an easy way to create passive income online from the comfort of your own home. You’ll learn everything you need to know on this page including a step-by-step guide on how to become an Amazon affiliate.

New Amazon Commission Rates:

Amazon affiliate commission rates used to range from 1-10% of the item’s selling price. Now it has been reduced to a mere 1-3% of the item’s selling price.

The percentages are determined by the category the item is listed under on Amazon.

Here’s a breaks down of the new commission schedule:

amazon affiliate program commission chart image

The Old Amazon Commission Rates:

amazon affiliate program commission chart image

Is Amazon Associates Still Worth Joining In 2020?

I think the answer is yes despite the reduced commissions. But only to supplement other programs you’re promoting online. Their enormous product selection is reason enough to continue promoting them.

As an Amazon Associate in 2020:

  • You can still earn commissions up to 3% in several popular categories
  • It’s easy to join and free to get started
  • You’ll be able to promote a huge selection of products that you can make commissions on
  • You will still be partnering with one of the most trusted ecommerce platforms in the world
  • They still provide for you a resource center for affiliates to learn how to make more money with Amazon (tips and training for both beginners and advanced affiliates)
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How To Become An Amazon Affiliate

Step 1: Sign in or sign up to Amazon

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Step 2: Enter you personal information to get paid

Step 3: Complete the Profile section of the application:

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Step 4: Start using Associates Central

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Pros & Cons Of The Amazon Associates Program

Pros:

  • Excellent Creatives: The Site Stripe toolbar allows you to easily add links and for a quick view of your earnings. You’ll also get banners, images, product links, product advertising API and other cool tools
  • Complete Reporting Tools: That detail your orders, earnings, referrals, payment history, daily trends and more
  • Enormous Product Selection: Amazon has literally millions of products to choose from
  • Stellar Reputation: Amazon is one of the most recognizable brands in the world. People love the selection and convenience of shopping online on their website
  • Amazon Affiliate Resource Center: This is a really great feature. Here you’ll find in-depth tutorials, articles and tips created by members of both the Amazon Associates community and the Amazon Associates team. The Resource Center will help you make more money on your website or blog, improve its visibility and provide tips on using some of the great tools available on Associates Central.

Cons:

  • Low Now Even Lower Commission Payouts: Compared to other high paying affiliate programs and networks on this website
  • Short 24 Hour Cookie: You only get a 24-hour window to earn a commission for the products your website visitors purchase

Amazon’s Associates Tools And Reports:

Tools For Your Site

Amazon makes it easy to take advantage of thier tools. Even if you have zero technical knowledge. You just cut-and-paste your affiliate link to your desired products, categories, favorites, best selling items, search-results pages and banners. There area limitless options for you.

Site Stripe Toolbar – Use their Site Stripe Toolbar to easily add links and also for a quick glance at your earnings. You can also use the Site Stripe bar to build shortlinks.

Link to any Page – You can navigate to any Amazon product details page and capture the links directly from that page.

Share on Twitter and Facebook – Allows you to post a quick update to Facebook or Twitter with your affiliate link to the Amazon page of your choice.

Product Links – Link to a specific product on Amazon and display information about that product. Build custom text links, text and image links and image-only links to Amazon products and pages. You can also enhance your product links with product previews or use Easy Links which are high-converting promotional and announcement banners that can be delivered directly to your website.

Banner Ads – Link to Amazon product promotions and categories using artsy and stylish graphical banners for each category. Choose from numerous banner sizes, styles and shapes. Include special seasonal promotions such as Back to School, Groundhog Day, Mother’s Day, Easter or Black Friday.

Advanced User Tools

Product Advertising API – This advanced feature provides programmatic access to Amazon’s product selection and discovery functionality so developers can integrate Amazon products directly into your website. Include product search & look up capability, product features and information including Customer Reviews, Wish Lists, Hot Sellers, Similar Products and New/Used listings.

Reporting

Get detailed reports on your earnings and analytics to better understand what’s working best for your site. Track your fees frequently with the online daily reports. These reports will help you understand what motivates your customers to buy and what types of products & services they like. Amazon provides you with easy-to-read reports for your traffic, stats, earnings, conversion rates and link types to help you fully monetize your website.

Report Types You Can Access:
  • Earnings
  • Orders
  • Miscellaneous Referrals
  • Link-Type
  • Daily Trends
  • Tracking ID Summary
  • Payment History

Amazon’s Affiliate Program Summary

Amazon Associates Program

Commissions:  Volume-based ranging typically from 1%-3% depending upon category/type/market

Cookies: 24 hours

Product Selection: Literally millions of products to choose from

Audience: 11 different international storefronts: Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Spain, United Kingdom & United States

Associate Program Management: In-house

Amazon Affiliate Program Conclusion:

Despite the relativity low commission rate (getting lower) Amazon Associates offers a great way to earn passive income online by selling high demand products that people love to buy.

My own preference is to sell big-ticket, high commission products and services online. After all, that’s what this website is all about.

But if you’re just getting started, Amazon’s Associate program is a great way to learn the affiliate marketing business while you earn a nice passive income.

Amazon Associates Q&A:

Can you make money with Amazon affiliate program?
The simple answer is: yes, you can. It’s not only a legitimate program, but considered one of the most reputable affiliate programs in the industry. The Amazon program model is quite simple. You refer others to Amazon.com from your website and/or affiliate links and if they make a purchase – you earn a commission. Simple as that. There is no customer service, product fulfillment or shipping involved on your part. Amazon does all of that for you.

How do I become an Amazon affiliate?
Visit Amazon.com and go to the Amazon Affiliate link at the bottom of the home page. Click the Join Now link on the left side of the page right around the page ‘fold’. From there, sign in or sign up for your Amazon account, then complete the application.

How much does an Amazon affiliate make?
The amount of money each Amazon Affiliate marketer makes varies. There is no limit to the amount of money you can make with the Amazon program. The majority of Amazon associates put minimal effort into the program and make from nothing to a few hundred dollars per month. Other marketers work the program on a full time basis and earn several hundred to thousands of dollars per month. There are even some ‘super-affiliates’ who get wealthy using Amazon Assoicates.

Can you be an Amazon affiliate without a website?
Yes, you can. You can sell as an Amazon Associate using several alternative methods including email marketing, video marketing (i.e. YouTube), and app marketing. But you must do your due diligence first and read all of Amazon’s rules, regulations and guidelines to make sure your desired marketing method is allowed and you are in compliance. Next, reach out to Amazon Associates personally and ask them if your chosen method is allowed before you get started. It’s better to be sure in advance than to get your account frozen or closed.

Partner With Me And I'll Show You How To Earn $1000+ Per Sale
Click Here to learn how to personally partner with me and have access to an award-winning sales funnel that can make you $1000+ per sale.

The truth is that in digital marketing it takes the same amount of time & energy to promote a product or service that pays you $500.00 than it does to promote a product that only pays you $29.00. Doesn’t it make sense to get paid more money for doing the same amount of work? Let me teach you how to sell high ticket products and services for high paying commissions.

Affiliate Disclosure
Disclosure: The operator of this website is a 3rd party marketer with a material connection to product/service providers appearing on this site in that we are compensated for sales made through our affiliate links.

If you have any questions please contact me (Bill) at beachroulette@gmail.com.