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Changes to the Amazon Affiliate Program: Reduced Fees, COVID-19 Adjustments
On April 21, Amazon Associates introduced a number of changes to its affiliate program. Reduced fee rates for several product groups, amendments related to coronavirus, and the role of intermediaries are among them.
On April 14, 2020, Amazon informed affiliates about fee reduction. The changes came into force on April 21, 2020. Users from all over the world are making purchases on the site. In one year, Amazon sells more than $ 50 billion to the international market. Tens of thousands advertisers and influencers who work for Amazon as affiliates, played a significant role in such success. All of them are were saddened by the news that from now on, the fee they receive for the goods which where being sold with their participation, would be cut.
The category of everyday goods, which includes Grocery, Health & Personal Care, and Amazon Fresh got most affected. The fee fell to 1% there. It is noteworthy that the fee for products in the grocery group fell from 5% to 1%. The fee for Furniture and Home Improvement products fell from 8% to 3%.
All changes by product category are listed:
- Health & Personal Care will go down from 5% to 1%.
- Amazon Fresh will be reduced from 3% to just 1% as well.
- Furniture, Home, Home Improvement, Lawn & Garden, Pets Products, and Pantry will be cut from 8% to 3%.
- Headphones, Beauty, Musical Instruments, Business & Industrial supplies will be reduced from 6% to 3%.
- Outdoors, Tools will be reduced from 5.5% to 3%.
- Sports and Baby Products categories will be cut from 4.5% to 3%.
There are no changes introduced for the categories of Luxury Beauty, Amazon Coins, PC, DVD & Blu-Ray, toys, Amazon Kindle devices, Amazon Echo, watches, jewelry, Luggage, shoes, bags and accessories, and several others. The rate cuts are just one of the recent changes to Amazon’s affiliate programs.
COVID-19 adjustments. In mid-April, the world's largest online retailer Amazon.com announced intention to hire an additional 75 thousand warehouse workers and couriers in the United States due to the growth of online orders against the background of the COVID-19 outbreak. Before that, the company had already attracted 100,000 new employees in March. This is a bright side. But this growth has led to delays in delivery and the shortage of some products, especially in the home goods category. This, in turn, forced Amazon sellers to withdraw some of their advertising campaigns. Besides, the commercial marketing deals of Amazon with such publishers as BuzzFeed and Vox have been put on hold.
Affiliates show new trends. The current situation in the world has made millions of people spend more time at home than ever before. In this regard, home comfort came to the fore. Customers are happy to get cozy clothes and home goods. For those who have decided to bring some healthy lifestyle to their lives, partners are happy to offer some sportswear, yoga products, and much more.
No more third-party networks. Amazon has decided to stop cooperating with the third-party affiliate networks. Such intermediaries as Skimlinks and Sovrn are now out of Amazon’s interest. From now on, the company intends to work only directly with publishers. The company has developed strong relationships with thousands of them.
The most resonant was the news about the reduction of payments. Participants of the Amazon Associates took it negatively, saying that the reduction would hit their business hard. Therefore, most likely, we should expect affiliates' activities moving into more 'generous' categories. Soon Amazon did not comment on the changes in the fee rates. Some experts blame COVID-19, while others point out that this is not the first time when the company had lowered the rates.