Affiliate Disclosure: Look, I'm working my ass off delivering value to you. So, yes any links that you see in this post are probably affiliate links to help keep this blog going. They are true recommendations and if you click on them and purchase, I probably earn a commission (at no additional cost to you).
As you can see in the image above, the changes were pretty significant.
Furniture, Home improvement and so on, saw a cut from 8% to 3%.
This is absolutely huge and it’s important that you are aware of this before starting.
The commissions were not exactly high before this change, but now they are really low.
If you make a $100 sale, you earn between $1-$3.
Luckily, Amazon does convert well, but you still need a lot of traffic in order to make it worth your time.
Is It Still Worth It?
It can still be worth it if you are in a category that has not been hit at as hard.
However, 1-3% commissions are extremely low and you can probably find niche-specific affiliate programs that payout a lot more.
The problem is that often these niche-specific affiliate programs don’t convert like Amazon’s affiliate program does.
Again, this is due to Amazon being a well-recognized global brand that every consumer trusts.
Due to these conversions, it may still be worth it.
Amazon Associates Conversions
The conversion rates of the amazon affiliate program are insanely high.
While most other affiliate programs see conversion rates of around 1-3%, Amazon sees conversion rates of about 8-12%.
If we go by the average 2% and 10%, that would mean that Amazon converts 5x higher than most other affiliate programs.
This would mean that even if you are getting 2x or 3x higher payouts somewhere else, Amazon still may make you more money.
The only way that you can really find out, is by testing.
Amazon Affiliate Program: Pros and Cons
Let’s take an overall look at the pros and cons of the Amazon affiliate program and all of its pros and cons.
Pros of the Amazon affiliate program
Cons of the Amazon affiliate program
High Trust = High Conversions ✔
Huge Product Selection✔
Banners/Deep Links available ✔
Check Out Process often triggers Upsells on which you also get commission✔
Very Low Payouts❌
May get even smaller in the future/Disappear (see below)❌
Low Cookie Duration (24 Hours)❌
Does not support PayPal❌
Links are not allowed in emails❌
It’s Hard To Get Universal Affiliate Links
Amazon Affiliate Program Review: How Does The Cookie Work?
The cookie has a duration of 24 hours.
This is pretty low compared to most other affiliate programs.
Basically, what it means is that if you are sending somebody over to Amazon through your affiliate link and they leave, but return within 24 hours and make a purchase, you will still earn a commission.
24 Hours is not really very long and often will not get you a lot of additional sales.
Many other affiliate programs have cookies that last for 90 days, or sometimes even forever.
Amazon Affiliate Program Pros and Cons: Summary
Overall, there are quite a lot of pros, but lots of cons too.
You really need to research and see whether the program is worth it in your category.
Or, you may have already had an idea of how you can create a blog/website that generates lots of traffic.
The key is that you have a lot of traffic, as this combined with the high conversions will make up for the low payouts.
Getting Universal Affiliate Links is Also Hard
If you just use the usual affiliate links that amazon gives you, you will not be credited with the sale if somebody from another makes a purchase.
This can be a real headache and I have forgotten to get a universal one before which of course is a big problem.
So, if you are going to promote the Amazon affiliate program, make sure to grab the universal affiliate link.
Otherwise, you may not be paid or make as many sales.
Other than the low payouts, there is one more big problem with the Amazon affiliate program, although this is just a prediction and not a fact.
Amazon can change the affiliate program, how they want when they want, and basically do whatever they like.
I could see them reducing the commissions of their affiliates even more or eventually even getting rid of the affiliate program completely.
It just depends on what % of sales come from affiliates, once that number is low, Jeff Bezos will probably decide that he does not need affiliates anymore and cut that number completely.
Keep in mind this is just a prediction, but this guy cut the commissions in the middle of a pandemic, so you should definitely keep it in mind.
Amazon Associates Alternatives: Top 5
Before you jump in and start building a website, or adjusting your current website to promote amazon affiliate products, I just wanted to show you 5 alternatives to the amazon affiliate program, so that you could promote these instead if you wanted to.
They all have their own pros & cons and are all a little different from one another.
Firstly we have ClickBank which focuses mainly on digital products.
This means the commissions you will receive are much higher, as there aren’t any shipping/production costs involved.
It’s also really easy to signup and most products are open, meaning that anyone can grab their affiliate link and start promoting.
The big downside of ClickBank is that a lot of the products look and are extremely spammy.
Make sure to research the products that you would like to promote so that you know they are good products.
Otherwise, you will get a ton of refunds.
ShareASale is also another affiliate marketplace that you can use to find affiliate products.
On their marketplace, you can find both digital and physical products.
Usually, the products are a lot more trustworthy compared to ClickBank, however, there are 3/7 1 star reviews for the marketplace on Trustpilot.
Now, all of these reviews don’t seem to go into much detail.
One’s complaining that he didn’t make any sales with banner ads, another is complaining that he didn’t get accepted and another doesn’t go into any detail on why his account was shut down.
JvZoo is also another affiliate marketplace that you can use.
However, keep in mind that this marketplace is also similar to ClickBank, so make sure to research the products that you promote well.
The biggest difference is that you have to apply to become an affiliate for the products.
The Walmart affiliate program isn’t really one that I recommend, as the commissions are pretty low just like Amazon.
However, depending on your category, they may pay more than Amazon, as they have categories that pay 4%.
This might be worth testing, as their products convert pretty well too.
You can also read my: Walmart Affiliate program review
However, in most cases, it wouldn’t be worth it.
5. Finding Niche-Specific Affiliate Programs
Lastly, you could also find niche-specific affiliate programs, and I believe this will be the best option for many niches.
The best way to do this is just by heading over to Google and looking for your niche + affiliate programs.
Here, you can often find niche-specific affiliate programs that will pay higher percentages than amazon.
How To Get Started With The Amazon Affiliate Program
The first step you need to take is to create your blog or website, as you will need this to promote your amazon affiliate links efficiently.
You won’t be able to get enough volume of sales on social media, so you will need a website.
Luckily, Bluehost is offering extremely cheap web hosting for around $3 per month which will allow you to make your website.
If you would like help setting up a blog, you can also get my free book sent to your email which also covers how to pick a profitable niche.
You will want to do this first as you want to make sure you get accepted into the amazon affiliate program, and as I mentioned earlier, you may even wait until you get some traffic first as this will minimize the risk of your account being shut down.