Whether you’ve been using the Associates Program for years, or you’ve just created your account, these five takeaways will help you better leverage the affiliate opportunities available within the program. 

The Amazon Associates Programs works like other Cost Per Action affiliate programs whereby a referrer earns commissions from sales originating from an Amazon advertisement on their site. After signing up, users can create links to nearly any product in the Amazon Store, and earn commissions each time someone clicks from their site and later goes on to purchase an item. 

1. Understanding The Commissions Structure

Commissions for most physical goods range from 4-8%, while digital goods such as digital videos can earn you up to 10%. 

Amazon allows a 24-hour “Affiliate Window,” which means that if the referred consumer adds anything to their shopping cart within 24 hours of clicking from your site, you are eligible for a commission. While the item needs to be “shipped” to actually earn the commission, the consumer has up to 89 days for the order to be completed.  

Commissions are paid on a monthly basis in one of three ways: check, gift card, or direct deposit. It’s important to note that Amazon will withhold a payment until the commissions reach over $100 for check, or $10 for direct deposit / gift card. 

2. Storefront-Specific Regulations

Amazon has 11 international storefronts in the United States, Canada, Brazil, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, China, Japan and India. 

What many people don’t realize is that each of these storefronts exist as independent entities and because of this, users should be aware of some storefront-specific functionalities:

  • With the exclusion of Brazil, each storefront hosts its own Amazon Associates Program. 
  • To earn international commissions from each country, users need to create an account in each program to earn your commission from sales in the corresponding storefront.
  • The Chinese, Japanese and Indian storefronts require users to have a registered bank account within each respective country in order to receive commissions. 

3. Tools for the Job 

A successful Associates affiliate marketer should be familiar with the three basic ways to create and host Amazon store links:

  1. Links/Banners – Links and banners are the most basic ways to create links, and allow you to create simple text links, image links, or banner ads to specific products, product categories or promotions.  
  2. Widgets – The widget tool allows you to insert an interactive “mini-application” into your site, where users can browse multiple items without leaving your site.  
  3. aStore – The “aStore” is a customizable online store that you can place within your site and allow visitors to browse any number of Amazon Products. 

Regardless of the tool, an essential part of using the Associates Program is the unique tracking ID that identifies you as the referrer. This ID is what identifies a link as being affiliated, and can then assign and rout the relevant commissions back to you, the referrer. 

4. Restricted Products and Platforms

The Associates Program excludes some digital purchases, such as Kindle subscriptions, and any products sold through the Appstore for Android. 

Additionally, the Associates Program is not a mobile friendly affiliate platform at this time. Fortunately, however, for app developers and app discovery services worldwide, this may be changing in the near future. 

5. Geo-Fragmentation Within The Associates Program 

We know that due to geo-fragmentation, large international e-tailers like Amazon segment their online stores into region-specific storefronts. Doing so helps alleviate the problems associated with differing currencies, languages, tax regulations, and physical and digital distribution. Unfortunately, this division creates a bad user experience for many international users, and leads to lost commissions for affiliate referrers. 

When used in conjunction with the Associates program, an all-in-one affiliate linking services such as GeoRiot can reverse the negative effects of geo-fragmentation. 

GeoRiot works by ensuring your international links are routed to the correct local store using the proper affiliate tracking parameters. Doing this preserves your referral commissions and, by ensuring your links function properly for your global audience, guarantees your customers the best possible shopping experience.