Amazon Associates, a program launched by the popular Amazon.com itself, was started in 1996 and has become a popular tool for many publishers around the web. As a well-known and growing business, Amazon’s affiliate program has helped website owners make money merely by posting links to Amazon products.
- Links: Amazon offers a variety of links you can add to your website, including:
-Links to Amazon products, of course.
-Different types of widgets—such as the Deals Widget, a carousel widget, and a widget to list your Favorites for Amazon products.
-Banner ads.In addition, Amazon’s unique aStore allows you to display specific Amazon products on your site and give consumers the option to add items to their online shopping cart through Amazon.
- The Amazon Site Stripe: Unique to Amazon Associates is their option for the Site Stripe—a toolbar that gives publishers quick access to earnings reports, the ability to add a quick link or create a slideshow, and the option to quickly share a product on social media. This tool alone is extremely helpful.
- Reporting Options: Beyond the types of links Amazon provides, their reporting features are even more attractive. When you partner with Amazon, you can view the progress of your links 24/7, since they offer daily reports. Through these reports, you can view online traffic, the amount of money you’ve earned so far, the success of each type of link you’ve posted, referrals and orders, trends, and more. What’s more, they have great tracking features that allow you to give your links IDs and track their progress.
- Payment: There’s good news and bad news with Amazon’s payment options, depending on your personal needs. To their credit, Amazon does a thorough job of outlining your earnings. Whenever your link leads to the sale of an eligible Amazon product, you earn a commission. For example, they offer a 5% commission for the sale of an MP3 or an instant video, a 4% commission for electronics products, and a 6% commission for Amazon gift cards. When you make a sale, Amazon will pay you by check, direct deposit, or (unique to their company) an Amazon gift certificate.
While Amazon has a lot to offer, their payment options can admittedly be limiting. For one thing, they do provide three different ways of paying you, but if you choose to receive checks, there’s a $15 fee for every check, and if you opt for an Amazon gift certificate, you’re obviously limited to spending your earnings on Amazon only.
In addition, Amazon only pays their clients once a month, and you have to have racked up a certain amount of earnings in order to get paid by check or by Amazon gift certificate.
Furthermore, while Amazon offers a great variety of links and boasts their helpful Site Stripe, they don’t offer many other publisher features like cookie tracking, web page building, or deep links. Depending on your needs, that can be a major setback.