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.
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
Advantages of using other affiliates
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.
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.
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.
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.
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-know brand in the United States, so the conversion will be good.
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 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 struggle converting your visitors upto your expectations with other affiliate merchants than Amazon.
Here are some of the tips:
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.