Amazon Associates Review for Publishers

Introduction to Amazon Associates

Amazon AssociatesFounded in 1996, Amazon Associates was one of the first affiliate networks on the Internet. Today, it is arguably the largest, with over 1.6 million sellers and hundreds of thousands of affiliate members.

Overall Rating: 4.25 out of 5.
  • What We Like: Large seller base, big, recognizable brand name, easy implementation.
  • What We Don’t Like: Very small commissions.

Amazon Associates Company Stats

Amazon Associates Support & Contact Information

  • Address: 1200 12th Ave S Ste 1200, Seattle WA 98144
  • Phone Number: 800-372-8066
  • Support Email: https://affiliate-program.amazon.com/contact/

Publisher Requirements

  • Publisher Terms: https://affiliate-program.amazon.com/help/operating/agreement
  • Traffic Minimum: None.
  • Publisher Language Requirement: There is no specific language requirement in their Associates Program Operating Agreement.
  • Prohibited Publisher Content: Material that is sexually explicit; violent; libelous or defamatory; discriminatory based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation, or age; promotes or undertakes illegal activities; directed toward children under the age of 13; include any trademark of Amazon or its affiliates or a variant or misspelling of Amazon or its affiliates in any domain name, subdomain name, username, group name, or other identifier on any social networking site; violates IP rights.

Advertisers & Offers

  • Advertising Types: Affiliate.
  • Offer Types: CPA.
  • Verticals: All.
  • Network Size: 1.6 million sellers, as of March 31, 2009, according to Marketwatch.
  • Sampling of Publishers: Retro Headphones, Digital Photography School, ReviewsHQ.org.

Tech Implementation

Amazon Associates Tech Implementation Rating: 5 out of 5.

Example of Amazon Associates product implementation

Example of Amazon Associates product implementation on affiliate site

  • Creating an Ad Unit: In addition to preset banners and links to Amazon shopping categories and general promotions, Amazon Associates also allows its affiliates to create their own product banners and links to any page on Amazon.com. To create any type of ad unit, simply select one of the options from the “Links & Banners” dropdown in the top navigation. After creation, simply copy and paste the resulting HTML or Javascript code. Overall, creation is very easy and highly customizable.
  • Display Ad Unit Sizes Available: 300×250, 160×600, 120×90, 125×125, 468×60, 120×600, 88×31, 234×60, 728×90, 300×600.
  • Implementation Technology: HTML, Javascript.
  • Compatible with Google AdSense: Yes, as long as ad units are not styled to look like AdSense units.
  • Mobile Ad Units Available: Yes.
  • WordPress Plugin Available: Yes (third-party only).

Publisher Reporting & Admin Control Panel

Amazon Associates Publisher Reporting & Admin Control Panel Rating: 5 out of 5.

Amazon Associates admin control panel

Amazon Associates admin control panel

  • Control Panel: The Amazon Associates affiliate control panel is very user friendly. Upon first logging in, there is a form to quickly add new links by searching or browsing for a product. There is also a month-to-date earnings summary on the right side. From the top nav bar, there are links to create ad units (Links & Banners), Widgets, aStore, Product Advertising API, Affiliate Programs, and Reports.
  • Reporting: Reports can be created for any custom period of time of any length. Reporting options include earnings reports, orders reports, miscellaneous referrals, link-type reports, daily trends, or tracking ID summary reports, which is helpful if you have more than one tracking ID (e.g., in the case of monetizing more than one site). Stats are available on earnings, order amounts, commission amounts, clicks, and more.

Payment

Amazon Associates Payment Rating: 3 out of 5.

  • Publisher’s Share of Revenue: 4%–15% commission.
  • Payment Methods Available: Amazon.com Gift Card, Check, Direct Deposit.
  • Payment Terms: Net-60.
  • Minimum Payout Threshold: $10.

Account Help

Amazon Associates Account Help Rating: 4 out of 5.

Fixed Standard Program Fee Rates for Specific Product Categories

New Standard Program rate

The Advantages of Amazon's Affiliate Program

Amazon Associates is the world's most popular affiliate program because it offers more benefits and advantages than any of its competitors. And it includes

  • Amazon Offers Unlimited Product Choices

You have unlimited choices in product features, pricing, built quality, shipping time, and every other aspect imaginable. There are different product categories that you can browse on Amazon to find products. Every category has dozens of sub-categories. And many sub-categories have even more sub-categories.

With so much variety, you'd always have products to promote no matter who your target audience is

  • Trusted Brand With Millions of Shoppers

Amazon has a trusted brand that receives more than 200 million visitors every month. As an affiliate, it’ll make it easier. This means that no matter how effective your promotional strategies are, your sales numbers will always be determined by the relationship between your audience and the brands you're promoting.

  • Amazon is Optimized for Conversions

One of the biggest benefits of promoting Amazon products is that it has some of the world's best conversion optimization experts working on its site whose job is to ensure that every visitor converts into a customer and every customer purchases multiple products. This is why Amazon is an absolute beast when it comes to conversions.

Cookie Duration

Amazon cookies last for 24 hours which means that if your referral doesn't immediately buy any products on Amazon but returns to make a purchase within 24 hours, you still get the commission. Any products purchased through your referrals after 24 hours of visiting Amazon for the first time using your link, won't earn you any commission.

Because of this, you might find that the 24-hour expiration of a cookie greatly reduces the revenue opportunities of your small business especially if you’re promoting high-priced or complex products that people don’t usually purchase on their first visit


FAQ's

What are the Amazon Associates publisher requirements?

There are no requirements to sign up an Amazon Associates account, however your website must abide by the associates terms and conditions. To keep your account active, you also must generate a sale within 60 days.

What is the commission rate for Amazon Associates?

The Amazon Associates commission for conversions are between 1-5% in addition to fees for bounties. 

What are the Amazon Associates payment methods?

Amazon offers it’s affiliates a Net 60 days payment with methods including check, bank transfer, and amazon giftcard.  So for earnings in January, you will receive payment at the end of March. 

What is the Amazon Associates minimum payment threshold?

The minimum payment threshold varies per payment method.  For amazon gift cards and bank transfers the minimum payment threshold is $10.  For checks, the minimum payment method is $100.


Editor's Amazon Associates Review

Arguably the largest affiliate network on the Internet, Amazon Associates offers products from over 1.6 million sellers. And the program boasts hundreds of thousands of affiliate publishers. Still, the main knock on Amazon's affiliate program is that its commissions are just far too low. Publishers start at a 4% commission rate (though the rate can get as high as 15%, based on volume); so this is an all-too-common yet valid gripe. That said, mixing in the right offers on the right type of site can bring in some nice incremental revenue, particularly if volume is high and/or users are already in the buying cycle.

Like other affiliate networks, Amazon Associates pays out on a CPA basis. But unlike other affiliate networks such as CJ or LinkShare which may pay out on leads or other non-sale actions from time to time, Amazon Associates only pays on completed sales, making it a true cost per sale (CPS) network. And as already mentioned, the commission rate for new publishers starts at 4%. But as sales volume increases, commission rates also increase, up to as high as 15%.

On low-cost items such as a $20 book, at a 4% commission rate, the affiliate publisher sees a pretty paltry 80 cents in revenue from the sale. Commission revenue does start to add up on high-ticket purchases such as a $500 camera ($20 commission); or when users fill up their shopping carts with more than just that $20 book (affiliates collect commissions on all items purchased, not just the single linked-to product); or if volume is particularly high.

Low commissions aside, everything else about Amazon Associates is top-notch, starting with dead-simple, yet highly customizable link and banner creation. Amazon offers its affiliates the ability to create custom banners and links for any product page on Amazon.com, allowing publishers to send their users exactly where they would want to land on Amazon's website. Besides product-based ads, there are also general-use category- and promo-based ads that affiliates have the option to use.

For power users, Amazon Associates offers widgets and aStore. Widgets give publishers the ability to create interactive ads that allow users to search, rotate through numerous products, browse deals, find new music, and more. Creating an aStore is a feature that allows affiliates the opportunity to set up their own stores hosted at Amazon.com. Like creating standard banners and links, setting up widgets and aStores is fairly easy and straightforward.

For highly skilled developers, Amazon Associates offers a Product Advertising API, which allows access to Amazon.com's product selection, product discovery capabilities, customer reviews, Listmania lists, and more.

The affiliate control panel is also easy to use and offers reporting that is on par with all of the best ad networks. Simple to use, affiliates have the ability to generate simple earnings reports based on any period of time (no matter the length), or more detailed reports such as orders, referrals, link-type reports and more. Pretty much any report you would want is available and fairly easy to generate.

Customer service at Amazon Associates is very good, if not great. It misses out on getting the highest marks due to the fact that affiliates are not assigned a real person as an account representative. Additionally, there is no email address to contact for support. But, there is a phone number that affiliates can call for help, as well as a support contact form, and a live chat feature, which is uncommon among ad networks of any type. This live chat can be especially helpful if you're stuck on something simple that may only take a minute or two to solve. The live chat feature is available seven days a week, from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m Pacific Time, which should be convenient for most.

Unlike contextual display ad networks such as Google AdSense, implementing ad units from Amazon's affiliate network may not work for all Web publishers. Those who have the greatest success with Amazon Associates are typically either product review sites whose users are already in the buying cycle and/or high-volume sites with a high trust factor. It's not for everyone, but the program is highly reputable and that warrants testing at the very least.

References

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