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End of the Amazon Associates Era?
What Might Be Coming Next
Jesse Lakes
CEO/Co-founder, Geniuslink
Interest in Amazon Associates
appears to have peaked...
Google Trends
Google searches for “amazon associates” and “amazon affiliate”
U.S., 2004-2020
Google Trends, January 2020
Google searches for “amazon associates” and “amazon affiliate”
Global, 2015-2020
Google Trends, January 2020
Google searches for “affiliate marketing” and “amazon affiliate”
Global, 2015-2020
Google Trends, January 2020
BuiltWith
Sites employing Amazon Associates links, 2011-2020
https://trends.builtwith.com/ads/Amazon-Associates, January 2020
High traffic sites employing Amazon Associates links, 2011-2020
https://trends.builtwith.com/ads/Amazon-Associates, January 2020
https://blog.geni.us/just-big-amazon-associates-program/, January 2018
2017
12 programs
“...over 900,000 members”
- From the meta data of the Amazon Associates page.
2019
16 programs
“Amazon affiliate program...
works with millions...”
- From Amazon job description
2017
148,255 websites
PublicWWW
5.2% of websites
W3Techs:
https://w3techs.com/technologies/details/ad-amazonassociates
2019
82,128 websites
PublicWWW
2.6% of websites
W3Techs:
https://w3techs.com/technologies/details/ad-amazonassociates
Similarweb
Dec, 2017
22%
Dec, 2019
6.3%
SimilarWeb, 2019 -- https://www.similarweb.com/website/amazon.com#referrals
Geniuslink, 2018 -- https://blog.geni.us/just-big-amazon-associates-program/
Mixed Signals
Amazon Associates: The Good and the Bad
● 38% of US web sales*
● Massive affiliate program**
● (Fairly) easy to use
● Good conversion rates
Amazon Associates: The Good
● “Halo” commissions
● Large tool / plugin ecosystem
● International stores and programs
● Significant consumer trust***
* eMarketer: US Ecommerce 2019 -- https://www.emarketer.com/content/us-ecommerce-2019
**Geniuslink 2018 -- https://blog.geni.us/surveying-affiliate-landscape/
*** Morning Consultat: Most Trusted Brands 2020 -- https://morningconsult.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/Morning-Consult-The-State-of-Consumer-Trust.pdf
Amazon Associates: The Bad
● Declining commission rates
● Increasing compliance issues
● Limited support
● Single point of failure
“I feel like a frog that is slowly being boiled
alive, so I don’t jump out.”
Amazon Associates: The Bad
Declining Amazon Commissions
Before April 2017
Volume-based fees
4% - 8.5%
After April 2017
Flat rates, based on category
1% - 10%
Amazon Associates: The Bad
Amazon Associates: The Bad
Declining Amazon
Commissions
Before
After
Amazon Associates: The Bad
For example...
A site earning commission on TV products would see
commissions drop at least 50%.
Associates generating 31 or more sales per month would
see their commissions drop by at least 39% for “4% or
less” categories.
Amazon Associates: The Bad
Part of a larger trend since 2009:
● 19 of 54 categories had
commission rates lowered
● Most were reduced by 50-60%
Amazon Associates: The Bad
End of the “halo effect”?
(Currently EU-only)
“An account belonging to you has been closed
for violations of the Operating Agreement…”
Amazon Associates: The Bad
Amazon Associates: The Bad
Confusing and scary rules
“You will not cloak, hide, spoof, or otherwise
obscure the URL of your site containing Special
Links...”
“We noticed that you are not using tags associated
with your store in any of the Amazon Special Links
you have created on your Site.”
“We have been unable to verify that the means through
which you are referring customers to the Amazon Site
are in compliance with the terms...”
“...violations include the following: You are
automatically sending users directly to the Amazon Site
without requiring the user to click on a Special Link”
Amazon Associates: The Bad
Relying solely on Amazon has its risks
Multi-Retailer
A case study:
Boosting commissions
with choice
Results:
● +160% in Associates commissions
● Became top affiliate for B&H
A case study:
Boosting commissions
with choice
YouTube, Double your YouTube Income with this Simple Technique -- https://youtu.be/1H7XH_ig2og
Geniuslink, 2019 -- https://blog.geni.us/how-one-client-doubled-his-commissions-by-giving-consumers-a-choice/
Questions?
What percentage of your revenue is from Amazon?
How much does this hurt if it disappeared over night?
What have you done to diversify your revenue?
Jesse Lakes
CEO/Co-founder, Geniuslink
jl@geni.us @jesselakes
Thank you!

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End of the Amazon Associates Era? What Might Be Coming Next

  • 1. End of the Amazon Associates Era? What Might Be Coming Next Jesse Lakes CEO/Co-founder, Geniuslink
  • 2. Interest in Amazon Associates appears to have peaked...
  • 4. Google searches for “amazon associates” and “amazon affiliate” U.S., 2004-2020 Google Trends, January 2020
  • 5. Google searches for “amazon associates” and “amazon affiliate” Global, 2015-2020 Google Trends, January 2020
  • 6. Google searches for “affiliate marketing” and “amazon affiliate” Global, 2015-2020 Google Trends, January 2020
  • 8. Sites employing Amazon Associates links, 2011-2020 https://trends.builtwith.com/ads/Amazon-Associates, January 2020
  • 9. High traffic sites employing Amazon Associates links, 2011-2020 https://trends.builtwith.com/ads/Amazon-Associates, January 2020
  • 11. 2017 12 programs “...over 900,000 members” - From the meta data of the Amazon Associates page. 2019 16 programs “Amazon affiliate program... works with millions...” - From Amazon job description
  • 12. 2017 148,255 websites PublicWWW 5.2% of websites W3Techs: https://w3techs.com/technologies/details/ad-amazonassociates 2019 82,128 websites PublicWWW 2.6% of websites W3Techs: https://w3techs.com/technologies/details/ad-amazonassociates
  • 13. Similarweb Dec, 2017 22% Dec, 2019 6.3% SimilarWeb, 2019 -- https://www.similarweb.com/website/amazon.com#referrals Geniuslink, 2018 -- https://blog.geni.us/just-big-amazon-associates-program/
  • 15. Amazon Associates: The Good and the Bad
  • 16. ● 38% of US web sales* ● Massive affiliate program** ● (Fairly) easy to use ● Good conversion rates Amazon Associates: The Good ● “Halo” commissions ● Large tool / plugin ecosystem ● International stores and programs ● Significant consumer trust*** * eMarketer: US Ecommerce 2019 -- https://www.emarketer.com/content/us-ecommerce-2019 **Geniuslink 2018 -- https://blog.geni.us/surveying-affiliate-landscape/ *** Morning Consultat: Most Trusted Brands 2020 -- https://morningconsult.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/Morning-Consult-The-State-of-Consumer-Trust.pdf
  • 17. Amazon Associates: The Bad ● Declining commission rates ● Increasing compliance issues ● Limited support ● Single point of failure
  • 18. “I feel like a frog that is slowly being boiled alive, so I don’t jump out.” Amazon Associates: The Bad
  • 19. Declining Amazon Commissions Before April 2017 Volume-based fees 4% - 8.5% After April 2017 Flat rates, based on category 1% - 10% Amazon Associates: The Bad
  • 20. Amazon Associates: The Bad Declining Amazon Commissions Before After
  • 21. Amazon Associates: The Bad For example... A site earning commission on TV products would see commissions drop at least 50%. Associates generating 31 or more sales per month would see their commissions drop by at least 39% for “4% or less” categories.
  • 22. Amazon Associates: The Bad Part of a larger trend since 2009: ● 19 of 54 categories had commission rates lowered ● Most were reduced by 50-60%
  • 23. Amazon Associates: The Bad End of the “halo effect”? (Currently EU-only)
  • 24. “An account belonging to you has been closed for violations of the Operating Agreement…” Amazon Associates: The Bad
  • 25. Amazon Associates: The Bad Confusing and scary rules “You will not cloak, hide, spoof, or otherwise obscure the URL of your site containing Special Links...” “We noticed that you are not using tags associated with your store in any of the Amazon Special Links you have created on your Site.” “We have been unable to verify that the means through which you are referring customers to the Amazon Site are in compliance with the terms...” “...violations include the following: You are automatically sending users directly to the Amazon Site without requiring the user to click on a Special Link”
  • 26. Amazon Associates: The Bad Relying solely on Amazon has its risks
  • 28.
  • 29.
  • 30. A case study: Boosting commissions with choice
  • 31. Results: ● +160% in Associates commissions ● Became top affiliate for B&H A case study: Boosting commissions with choice YouTube, Double your YouTube Income with this Simple Technique -- https://youtu.be/1H7XH_ig2og Geniuslink, 2019 -- https://blog.geni.us/how-one-client-doubled-his-commissions-by-giving-consumers-a-choice/
  • 32. Questions? What percentage of your revenue is from Amazon? How much does this hurt if it disappeared over night? What have you done to diversify your revenue?