Amazon Affiliate Programme: What Is It? And Why Is It Important?

For brands selling their products on the world's largest online marketplace, the Amazon affiliate program (known as Amazon Associates) offers an opportunity to increase brand awareness and sales without having to foot the bill.

While many health and beauty brands already work with industry influencers to create content and promote their products, there is an opportunity for brands to connect with a much wider selection of bloggers, vloggers, and other online publishers to promote their products as part of a mutually beneficial relationship.

So how does the Amazon Associates program work from a merchant standpoint, and why is it an excellent option for brands selling products on the platform?

How Does the Amazon Associates Program Work?

The Amazon Associates program works similarly to most other affiliate programs. In short, the process is as follows:

  1. An online publisher signs up for the program to be approved by Amazon. 

  1. Once their account has been activated, they can pick the products they want to promote and create a unique referral link to place on their blog, website, YouTube video description, or other online property.

  1. Visitors who click the link are taken to the specific product the online publisher promotes within their content. 

  1. If the visit results in a sale of that product, the affiliate receives a commission from Amazon.

As you can see, this is very similar to how other affiliate programs work. As a brand selling on Amazon, you reap the benefit of more product awareness, increased traffic to listings, and, ultimately, increased sales. 

The cookie for affiliates lasts 24 hours, and the commission earned depends on the product's category

Below are the current rates paid for each category:

  • Amazon Fashion - 10%

  • Home - 7%

  • Consumables (including Health and Beauty) - 6%

  • Digital and media - 6%

  • Hobbies & Auto - 6%

  • Amazon Devices - 3%

  • Electronics & Computers - 3%

  • All other Products Categories (excluding Gift Cards) - 3%

Affiliates also receive a flat 1% commission across the board (excluding Gift Cards) for any indirect qualifying purchases. 

For instance, if a beauty blogger is promoting a specific mascara, and a visitor clicking the link goes on to purchase the mascara and a hairdryer (electronics category), they receive an additional 1% on the hairdryer purchase. 

Why is the Amazon Affiliate Program Important for Brands Selling on Amazon?

There are several reasons why brands should consider incorporating the Associates program into their Amazon marketing strategy

For starters, it doesn't directly cost you, as a brand, anything. Yes, there are plenty of fees associated with selling on Amazon. However, for the Associate's program, Amazon will be footing the bill rather than you.

If you're a start-up or new entrant to your market, you can leverage Amazon's incredible brand reputation and reach. While influencers promoting your products might struggle with conversion rates on your own website (due to a lack of brand awareness), customers know and trust Amazon to deliver high-quality products.

Therefore, those unfamiliar with your brand will be much more willing to take a risk when purchasing through Amazon since they have first-class customer services to fall back on should things go wrong. 

Lastly, despite being gradually eroded in recent years, the Amazon Associates programs still offer online influencers fantastic commission rates when you consider conversion rates. Fashion, home, health, beauty, and digital media are all areas where Amazon still offers excellent commission percentages. 

As a brand, this makes encouraging your partner influencers to sign up for the program far easier, as the rewards are great for them too.

What Are the Potential Downsides to the Amazon Affiliate Program?

While there are numerous obvious benefits to the Amazon affiliate program, there are also potential drawbacks.

Top of the list is the influencers themselves. While you benefit from an affiliate program funded directly by another entity, that advantage comes at the cost of control. Influencers are approved by Amazon, not by you, the brand. 

In short, you have little control (unless defamatory statements are made about your products) over the quality of an affiliate marketer's efforts. From poorly written website reviews to YouTube videos full of incorrect information regarding your products, there's little control to be had. 

A common practice is for online influencers to over-promise (to secure the sale) regarding your products' performance, leaving customers disappointed post-purchase. Those promoting your products in this manner could have adverse repercussions for your listing performance, as well as your overall brand reputation.  

Fortunately, there are ways to report any potential issues with an influencer's promotion to Amazon, and they will take appropriate action. Still, it's essential to constantly monitor brand and product mentions online to avoid any negative consequences caused by an affiliate's poor promotion.

You can also negate the influence of rogue affiliates by closely integrating the Amazon Associates program under the umbrella of your own influencer marketing program. By making contact with influencers and pushing them towards the Amazon affiliate program, you gain a degree of control. You can vet and monitor their promotion more definitively and minimise any potential issues. 

Leverage the World's Largest Affiliate Program to Drive Sales of Your Amazon-Listed Products

Notwithstanding the fact that you lose an element of control, it's important to remember that Amazon offers the largest affiliate program in the world. 

Brands operating in the higher commission categories, including health and beauty, have an advantage in terms of affiliate recruitment, with percentage values double some of the most popular categories on Amazon.

When paired with a strong in-house influencer marketing program, you can increase brand awareness, drive traffic to your Amazon listings, and, most importantly, enjoy sales growth.

If you want to learn more about harnessing the power of the Amazon affiliate program as part of your marketing strategy, be sure to book an Amazon Growth Audit with us today. In our fast-paced call, We'll look at your current marketing mix and recommend strategies to help you achieve greater sales and marketing success on Amazon.

We look forward to connecting with you soon!