Amazon is cutting the commission fees in 8 categories for its popular Amazon Affiliate program, or as it is officially known, the Amazon Associates Program.

Many members of the Flippa community have developed outstanding online businesses, generating fantastic revenue, focussed around the Amazon Associates platform by driving their traffic through to Amazon to complete purchases and this will certainly affect their bottom line. Luckily though, our community of digital entrepreneurs is adept at dealing with change. Be it changes in Google’s search algorithms or updates to the Shopify eCommerce platform, our users are skilled at pivoting their marketing and monetization efforts in order to stay one step ahead of the competition.

We’ll lay out the recent Amazon Affiliate changes below and make a few recommendations on how to adapt to the new environment, keeping your profits high – or perhaps higher- than before.

Amazon Associate Fee Rate Changes

Amazon is rolling out a rate decrease in 8 major categories to their Affiliates program beginning on April 21, 2020. Below we have listed those changes so that you can be aware of the effect that it might have on your own business.

Product CategoryFormer Fixed Standard Program Fee RatesNew Fixed Standard Program Fee Rates
Furniture, Home, HomeImprovement, Lawn & Garden, Pet Products, Pantry8%3%
Headphones, Beauty, Musical Instruments, Business & Industrial Supplies6%3%
Outdoors, Tools5.5%3%
Grocery5%1%
Sports4.5%3%
Baby Products4.5%3%
Health & Personal Care4.5%1%
Amazon Fresh3%1%
sourcesource

These rate changes were unexpected and will certainly have a detrimental effect on many affiliate based advertising websites, but there are still many other affiliate based programs that you can sync your business with amongst other ways to efficiently monetize your company.

Alternatives to Amazon Affiliates

Don’t fret! While Amazon is a juggernaut, despite what they might make you think, there are alternatives, and some of them will end up making you more money than you already have been! Here are just a few suggestions that we’ve seen in use by the Flippa community.

ShareASale

These days, ShareASale seems like the biggest competitor to Amazon when it comes to affiliate sales. ShareASale works with over 3,900 merchants and across essentially every category-spanning both physical and digital products. Their platform allows you to search across their collection of associated merchants for items that you might be interested in promoting on your own site, allowing you to come across many big name, high paying merchants.

Target

Yes, that Target. While many of us still think of Target as a brick and mortar business, they are actually beginning to be quite a competitive force in the online arena. On top of that, Target has a very lucrative affiliate program that uses a tiered commission system that rewards those who generate the most sales. Their commission structure goes as high as 8% if you’re a high volume seller of apparel, accessories, home goods, or outdoor products. This puts the Amazon Associates program to shame.

Commission Junction

Commission Junction, or CJ as they refer to themselves these days, is one of the largest affiliate platforms outside of Amazon. Many top brands, such as Wayfair, are available to work with on CJ and a number of them are paying up to 7% commission rates, which is perhaps why some CJ users refer to themselves as commission junkies.

Impact

Impact runs a SaaS platform that allows you to work directly with brands themselves. It allows you to develop and manage partnerships as you take your business to the next level. It is another good alternative to the Amazon Affiliate programs.

Avantlink

Avantlink is yet another tenured affiliate platform that works with thousands of qualified merchants. They work with quality partners such as Patagonia and Cabella’s and streamline the approval processes, making it a quick and easy journey.

Brands Themselves!

If you’ve got a great website, why not reach out to the brands themselves? Many larger brands already have affiliate programs in place that you can easily connect with while others would be happy to find a way to help grow their sales with your help while chipping in a bit of commission on the side. When removing the middleman, the commission structure is often a point or two higher as the margins are wider.

Conclusion

The changes that Amazon is making to the structure of their Amazon Associate’s program are driving a lot of business owners mad, but it is certainly not the end of the world. This is a chance to rethink your business and put in the time to build a network of affiliate vendors that can bring you the most revenue possible. Sometimes it takes a bit of a fire to get us running, but once you’re up and going with these other opportunities, you’ll be mad that you didn’t make these changes a long time ago.

Benjamin Weiss

Benjamin Weiss

Benjamin Weiss is a marketing all-star at Flippa. He has well over a decade of experience running multifaceted marketing programs within the CPG industry and knows just what it takes to drive a business from vision to reality. You will often find him enjoying a cold beer on a hot day in Austin, TX, or you can always find him on LinkedIn.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *