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If your brand sells its products on Amazon, or your business has clients that do, driving affiliate traffic to buy there is probably your biggest growth opportunity.

Wait, what? Can Amazon growth be GOOD for you?

You may think that because Amazon operates its affiliate program separate from the networks and sets its own commission rates, there’s no way for you to make Amazon sales work for you. Not true. With more than 60% of products sold on Amazon now coming from independent sellers, an enormous ecosystem of Amazon Sellers needs powerful tools to drive growth.

Key Takeaways

  • Amazon has built a massive ecommerce ecosystem that many brands now rely on for much of their revenue and profit.
  • Millions of companies merchandise their products on Amazon as Amazon Sellers. These Amazon Sellers traditionally relied on CPC and CPM media to boost sales. However, they are now rapidly adopting the affiliate model to drive those sales, boost search rank, and increase their ROI.
  • Amazon Seller programs are separate from the Amazon Associates program and often offer much richer commission rates. However, most affiliate teams do not yet manage Amazon Seller affiliate efforts.
  • Amazon Seller affiliate programs also offer enormous business opportunities for publishers and agencies to power growth.
  • To help Sellers, Associates, and agencies capitalize on this massive business opportunity, Amazon Marketing Platforms are now available that offer robust affiliate recruitment and management tools for the Amazon ecosystem.

Thousands of Amazon Sellers now leverage their own affiliate initiatives to grow sales on Amazon, driving millions of purchases and $billions in sales. These efforts are outside the Amazon Associates affiliate program and are one of the fastest-growing segments of digital commerce. And nothing even comes close to matching Amazon as a growth channel:

If you aren’t getting a piece of all that, it’s time you did.

Why Amazon Seller Brands Have Affiliate Programs

Like almost all merchant brands, Amazon understands how efficient and scalable affiliate strategies are for their business. In recent years, Amazon has cut commissions on most categories, leading many to believe they are trying to discourage channel growth. This is a completely wrong assumption. Rather, they offer low commission rates because they can.

With their captive audience and outstanding conversion rates, Amazon doesn’t need to provide as rich a commission to drive program participation. Despite the “low” rates, Amazon Associates is most pubs' number one affiliate revenue source.

Brands create supplemental affiliate programs to drive sales of their own products on Amazon. They also offer them to increase traffic to their product pages and influence the Amazon search algorithm. Item traffic is a primary signal for the Amazon algorithm to determine search rank. A higher rank in search results is so valuable that many Amazon Seller programs offer commission rates 5-20X higher than the Amazon Associates program rate.

Finally, many brands primarily use CPM and CPC advertising on Amazon to drive sales but are concerned about rising costs and ROI. Adding an affiliate program enables them to shift dollars to CPA and drive a greater return.

Why Publishers Should Join Amazon Seller Programs

Amazon Seller programs provide an enormous incremental revenue opportunity for publishers. As we discussed, commission rates for these programs are usually very generous -- they benefit from efforts to boost search rankings. They might make, for example, 2% on the sale from Amazon PLUS an additional 5-20% from the brand.

Additionally, many Amazon Seller affiliate programs offer much more favorable lookback windows than Amazon Associates. While Amazon uses a 24-hour window to attribute sales, the typical Amazon Seller affiliate program uses a 14-day window. That means many sales “lost to time” with Amazon Associates will still earn with the Amazon Seller programs.

How Agencies Benefit from Amazon Seller Programs

Agencies can dramatically increase their business with existing clients by adding Amazon Seller affiliate program management services. Further, client engagements encompassing Amazon and DTC sales may drive longer, stickier relationships. Offering these services may also help improve win rates in the new business process because the agency can provide more value in an engagement. 

In addition, agencies offering Amazon affiliate management services can pursue clients that only sell on Amazon. Thousands of companies sell products solely on Amazon to simplify back-office tasks and lower fixed costs for distribution, inventory, and logistics. Instead of having logistics teams, warehouses, and distribution networks, they pay a commission on sales, and Amazon assumes responsibility for these tasks. 

Making Amazon Seller Programs Work for You

Just like with DTC affiliate, building a strong business through Amazon Seller affiliate programs requires access to partners, trusted measurement, and strong payment tools. We created my company, Levanta, to offer comparable services for the Amazon ecosystem as the best affiliate networks do for DTC. The Levanta platform gives you access to partners, simple tools for setting and updating offers, a full reporting suite, and a payment capability that manages payouts to all your publisher partners.

If you’re ready to explore the Amazon opportunity for your business, here’s how you can get started.

Advertiser-side affiliate marketers can start by understanding how their company’s brands market on Amazon. Connect with the internal Amazon team and explain the advantages of CPA buying over CPC and CPM media. From there, you can trial a program using your internal or agency team and an Amazon Marketing Platform.

Publisher affiliate teams can capitalize even more easily.  By joining the Levanta Creators community, you can quickly learn which of your current affiliate advertiser partners has an Amazon Sellers affiliate program. You can pursue these low-hanging fruit and reach out to other brands that make sense for your content and audience.

For agencies, the best place to start is to see how many existing clients already sell on Amazon. Assuming responsibility for these programs can help drive revenue and commissions quickly. From there, you can leverage the site’s search tools to find other Amazon Sellers to pursue. You can also use Amazon program management services as a differentiator in new business pitches, where it is so valuable to have unique skills.

We all need to find great new ways to drive growth. You can bring your affiliate skills and expertise to make Amazon Seller affiliate efforts grow faster and deliver more value. Visit the Levanta website to learn more about our platform, and join now. You can also explore our content and resources that outline the opportunity in greater detail and provide great best practices and tips.

Rob Schab is the co-founder and CMO of Levanta.

Levanta is a next-generation Amazon Marketing Platform that makes it easy for Amazon Sellers to connect with creators, affiliates, and influencers to promote their storefronts. For too long, there has been no easy way for brands to bring the proven efficiency and ROI of affiliate to the Amazon ecosystem. Levanta fills that need with tools and technology to drive strong sales and enhance Amazon search rankings. With its comprehensive partner discovery, tracking, measurement, and payment solutions, the Levanta platform drives outstanding growth and transparency for brands and creators while making it easier for Amazon shoppers to find the perfect products for their needs. For more information, visit levanta.io