7 Amazon Affiliate Alternatives When Amazon No More Needs You

Amazon affiliate alternatives

Amazon is lowering its commission rates drastically. Back in March 2017, Amazon put an end to its performance-based commission slabs where top affiliates were earning up to 10% commission in the highest tier.

After this structure ended, Amazon has now fixed a flat commission rate for each category.

Amazon commission structure

Above are the commission rates set by Amazon across different categories. There’s no increase in the commission rate no matter how much sales you drive in.

Due to these changes, some blogs that were reviewing electronic devices and PC components saw a sharp decline of 70% in their revenue.

After this change, people started flocking into home improvement, outdoors and pets as they can easily earn 8% commission on every product sold. This is leading to more fiercer competition on the high commission niches. People who have selected the PC components niche are now reconsidering their niche.

Advantages of using Amazon affiliates

  • Trusted brand: Amazon is a trusted brand and people look no further to buy products from Amazon due to their excellent support and return policies. The conversion rates will be higher.
  • Commissions on all products: You’ll get paid even if a visitor purchases a totally irrelevant product that you are not promoting. Suppose if you are promoting gaming mouse and someone purchased some diapers for her baby through your affiliate link you’ll still get paid.
  • Plenty of tools: There are plenty of tools available for you to promote the products offered by Amazon like EasyAzon and other plugins.
  • Festive seasons: You’ll see a huge spike in commissions during holiday sales like Black Friday and Christmas time.

Advantages of using other affiliates

  • More affiliate cookie duration: Amazon offers you 24 hours of cookie duration. Whereas many other affiliate platforms and programs offer you upto a month or 90 days of cookie.
  • High commission rates: You may tell me that Amazon converts well. But, many of the niche affiliate merchants and platforms offer lucrative commission rates. The long cookie duration combined with high commission rates will be helpful.
  • More freedom: Ever felt like you are putting all eggs in Amazon’s basket being an entrepreneur? Once you try and settle with good alternative affiliates, you’ll have some peace of mind.
  • Peace of mind: If Amazon bans you as an affiliate one day due to some silly TOS violation mistakes, your business won’t be shattered.

Amazon Affiliates Alternatives

So, what are some of the good Amazon Affiliate alternatives that you can consider? I’ve carefully researched some of the strategies and affiliate programmes that you can consider joining in, and maybe test them on your live site to test the conversions.

#1. Manufacturer’s website

Let me put this way. Forget that your site is “Amazon affiliate site”. Relabel it just as an “Affiliate site”.

In your site you review many products. Some of those products’ manufacturers have their own inhouse affiliate programs.

There are some of the well-known treadmill brands that are offering in-house affiliates in their own site.

Here’s the kicker.

Some of the manufacturers have a hidden invite-only affiliate program, or will be happy to set up a partner account if you promise to drive them some sales. Because, the fact is that, manufacturers always wish people to buy from their own site rather than Amazon sellers, retailers, and Amazon, which keeps some percentage.

So you can always contact the manufacturer to set you up a partner account.

Conversion rates will be good almost like that of Amazon when people buy it on manuafacturer’s site as they will be buying product directly from the manufacturer.

#2. Niche affiliate programs

You know about large affiliate programs like Amazon, Walmart, etc. But many people underestimate the power of niche affiliate platforms.

Here are some examples.

  • If you are promoting products like photography, videography equipments, lightings, audio equipments, camcorders, projectors, TVs etc, you can consider joining BHPhotoVideo’s affiliate program. It offers you a commission of up to 8%. This affiliate program covers most of the niches in electronics category.
  • If you are promoting computer components and products, you can consider NewEgg’s affiliate program.

Just a simple Google search can yield you great results.

This can be a game changer for you if researched properly.

Again, let me take an example of Survival niche. Here are some of the lucrative niche merchants - BePrepared Affiliates, Survival Life’s Affiliates, Survival Kit’s affiliates, etc. They offer on average of 10% commissions and sometimes even more.

As they only deal with a specific niche, conversion is good. Not to mention - the longer cookie duration.

#3. CJ

Commission Junction is one of the most popular physical product affiliate platform.

For example, if you take treadmills as your niche, here are some of the well-known treadmill brands that are part of the Avantlink affiliate network - Bowflex, Nordictrack, and Proform Fitness. If you are in the fitness niche for quite a while, you know that these are the best brands. In fact, Nordictrack is the first brand that comes to my mind when I think of treadmill brands. All these merchants offer 7% commission.

This is significantly higher than that of Amazon’s commission rate on fitness products that is 4.5%.

Commission rates are accurate as of October 30, 2017.

#4. Avantlink

Avantlink is one of the reputed affiliate networks that’s been around from a long time. Like that of ShareASale, you can find merchants in every possible category.

Here are some of the treadmill merchants - Sole fitness, Bladez fitness, Diamondback Fitness and JohnsonFit.

For example, CJ and Avantlink combined covers almost 80% of the major treadmill brands.

Please note that the treadmill is just an example. I’m sure that you’ll find similar affiliate merchants other than Amazon for any of the niches.

#5. Target’s affiliate program

Target is one of the major competitors to Amazon in the US. They offer a very competitive commission rates for their affiliates. They still have a performance based commission model in place.

Refer the below table for the commission structure of Target’s affiliate program.

Target affiliate program commissions

As you can analyze, the Target affiliate program is not at all suitable for fitness niches. It is very suitable for home improvement and outdoor living niche. This may be one of the reasons why Amazon has not yet lowered the rates on these niches.

If in future, Amazon lets you down on outdoor niches, Target will be your go.

Target is a well-known  brand in the United States, so the conversion will be good.

#6. ShareASale

This is the affiliate program that is making a lot of noise in the affiliate marketing world. Unlike other affiliate platforms like CJ or Clickbank, ShareASale deals with both physical and digital products. It is my favorite affiliate platform for a reason.

In ShareASale, you can search for your niche keyword and you will come across affiliate merchants who are selling products in your niche.

If you are in the gardening niche there are some of the high paying merchants like Houzz, WayFair, Raised Beds, Tmart, 5amily, and much more which offer commissions upto 10%.

#7. Rakuten - Formerly Linkshare (Included Walmart and BestBuy affiliate programs)

Rakuten was formerly called Linkshare. It’s a fairly popular affiliate platform.

Walmart’s affiliate program is hosted on Rakuten. Without signing up for Rakuten you can’t access Walmart affiliate program. The commission rates of Walmart is similar to that of Amazon but very low in some categories. Walmart pays a flat commission of 4%. If you are promoting products on Amazon that fall under 4% rate, it’s time to give Walmart a shot as they also give you 3-day cookie duration.

I personally hope that Walmart takes Amazon seriously and boost the commission rates to like 7% to give Amazon a serious competition and prevent monopoly. In fact, many Amazon affiliates are actively looking for an alternative. The heat is on.

You also get access to the BestBuy’s affiliate program by signing up for Rakuten. But I won’t recommend you promoting BestBuy as they offer lowest commission rates I’ve ever seen 0% - 1%.

Some tips to increase conversions when promoting other merchants

Let’s face it.

In spite of you following all the affiliate CRO tips, you may be struggling to convert your visitors to other affiliate merchants instead of Amazon.

Here are some of the tips:

  • Explain why visitors need to buy from the merchant you are recommending. Amazon needs no introduction and same is the case with plenty of other merchants. Explaining your visitors like “Why buy from Target?”, and explaining them some USPs of the company help them convert well. You may also share your personal experience about the merchant you are recommending.
  • Test new merchants. Never settle for low commission. Always keep on trying new merchants until you find the right one with longer cookie duration and higher commission rates.
  • Review products that are unique to your merchants and not available on Amazon. In the review, mention that the product is not available on Amazon. Yes. There are some products still not available on Amazon especially in industrial supplies and outdoor niches.
  • Reach out to manufacturers for sponsored posts.
  • Before choosing a niche, make sure you are choosing a niche where merchants other than Amazon are also playing great. Like in survival niche, outdoors niche, industrial supplies, supplements, etc.

Wrapping up

These are some of the best alternatives to Amazon associates. The affiliate program by Amazon is undoubtedly a great affiliate network. For most of the people, the switch isn’t even necessary as of now. But it’s unsure whether Amazon is going to further lower down the commission rates due to the growing amount of prime users, Amazon app, Alexa devices, and monopoly. Amazon is slowly turning to be a Google of eCommerce.

It’s better to scatter your eggs to several baskets and be prepared for the future. Before starting any niche site, make it suitable to all merchants. Don’t lock yourself down only to Amazon.

Hope you loved this blog post on some of the Amazon affiliate alternatives. Make sure to share this post with your social media fanbase.

DISCLOSURE
This post may contain affiliate links, meaning that if you click on one of the links and purchase an item, we may receive a commission (at no additional cost to you). All opinions are our own and we do not accept payments for positive reviews.

7 thoughts on “7 Amazon Affiliate Alternatives When Amazon No More Needs You”

  1. Thanks for the tips and alternatives. Amazon is working pretty well for me, as I’m in Home Decor, but yes, I’ve been seeing more competition here. It’s too bad that Target doesn’t have higher rates. I like the idea of diversifying and I’m really going to have to do more of that, but probably starting in January.

  2. It’s true that it hurt much when Amazon decreased the commissions on pc components from 4 to 2.5% and we should also concentrate on other affiliates as well.

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