The Amazon affiliate program is the most popular online affiliate program on the internet today when it comes to dealing with products. Amazon were the first to really bring forth the online affiliate program aspect and put it to good use. However, there are many “Pros and Cons” to consider when deciding whether or not to use the Amazon affiliate program. You need to determine whether or not it is right for your particular website and business model. We will first take a look at the “Cons” of the Amazon affiliate program, followed by the “Pros” to see whether or not the good out weights the bad.
The first and most widely criticized aspect of the Amazon affiliate program is the fact that their tracking cookies only last for 24 hours. Tracking cookies are what are used to keep track of the people who have clicked your amazon product affiliate links. There was a time when it was a 30 day duration, but they have dropped it to 1 day. This is indeed a big problem when it comes to referring and selling products online. People will most of the time browse the internet and do their homework before coming to a decision on what product to buy. This means that most purchases are going to be made several days or even weeks down the road.
Unfortunately Amazon does this because they are so popular and have nothing to gain by increasing their tracking cookies beyond 24 hours. The chances of them increasing this duration at some point in the future is next to nothing. Most other online stores have tracking cookies of 30 days or longer. However, this particular problem with the Amazon affiliate program might not be so bad when you consider just how popular Amazon really is. They are the most widely used store hands down, meaning that almost any customer that you send to amazon is going to be familiar with the web site and will more than likely have made a purchase there in the past. Many people think this fact alone is enough to off set the “Con” of the 24 hour tracking cookie, because many people may never purchase items through other stores.
Another down side to the Amazon affiliate program is their payout percentages. They use a “performance structure” which starts out at a measly 4% and slowly works its way up to as high as 8%. However, this requires a large volume of referred items to reach this. A “performance structure” works in such a way that your amount paid per item referred increases with the more items you sell over the course of any given month. Most other online stores pay out anywhere from 10% and higher depending on the product and the store. Once again, however, many argue that the low payouts at amazon are outweighed by the popularity and sheer volume of products available on the amazon web site.
The most obvious and major upside to using the Amazon affiliate program is the fact that Amazon is the most used online store by far. Not only this, but their wide selection of products is almost endless, and therefore you have a greater chance of the people you refer finding what they are looking for. Along with this comes the fact that you will be paid for any items they buy within the 24 hours of clicking your links, not just the product you are promoting. This means that if someone clicks through one of your product links and decides to browse through Amazon and buy something else, you will receive credit for this purchase.
You will receive credit for multiple purchase which will also count towards your number of products referred and therefore increase your payout amount via the “performance structure.” I myself have been credited for countless items bought through Amazon that have absolutely nothing to do with any of the web sites I own and manage. I’ve been credit for things like watches, DVD movies, printer ink cartridges, books, candy, video games and much more. This is great because it shows that you may not convince your visitors to purchase a particular item but you will still get credit for other items purchased.
As you can see, the “Cons” are easily outweighed by the “Pros” when it comes to the Amazon affiliate program. If your focus is to promote tangible products, there is no better choice when it comes to online stores. Don’t be fooled by less popular stores who offer larger payouts and longer tracking cookies. Amazon remains king of the online stores, and it doesn’t seem like this will change in the near future.