FYI - I am an Amazon affiliate and have been so a long time. My first commission payment was on October 2, 2000, back when commissions were only paid quarterly.
You probably know Amazon Prime is a huge deal. Amazon is pushing everyone to sign up for Prime and this service has increasingly separated Amazon from Ebay and other online retailers.
You may have also heard Amazon is now rolling out Prime Now, offering fast delivery service. For some orders delivery now occurs within an hour after ordering.
As an Amazon affiliate, this should be exciting news as you can refer buyers to Amazon and also tell them they can buy right now and have a product delivered to their doorstep that day. Conversions should skyrocket!
Here's the problem ....
1. Amazon has rolled out a second "website" for Prime Now buyers to use.
2. Amazon is not paying you any commissions for orders on this service.
Check out http://primenow.com - This Amazon domain is now redirecting to https://primenow.amazon.com. Here, on this Amazon subdomain are the growing number of products available for fast delivery. It is basically a copy of the main Amazon site where Prime members can order products.
Product pages have the order button, product info, reviews, etc., and the domain says Amazon.com.
But affiliates get zero commissions for referred orders. Nothing. Nada. Zilch.
How can that be?
If you review the affiliate operating agreement it vaguely say this is the website Amazon pays commissions on:
|"Amazon Site" means the amazon.com site or any other U.S. site that is owned or operated by or on behalf of us or our affiliates and which is identified as participating in the Program in the Associates Program Advertising Fee Schedule.|
Yowsa. That's some clever language. Bet you thought referrals to Amazon.com resulted in commission payments. Nope. Only the portions of Amazon.com specifically mentioned in the fee schedule.
I point blank asked Amazon about the issue and this morning received a clear written response:
|"Amazon PrimeNow orders are not eligible for referral fees."|
Gazing into my crystal ball, fast delivery is the wave of the future for Amazon. Right now a tiny number of products are available, and the service is not available in every city.
But you know, and I know, and Amazon's well-known history makes clear - small starts by Amazon eventually result in massive, industry disruptive impacts. Just ask the bankrupt bookstore owners who originally laughed at the small number books Amazon offered.
Going forward ...
- Expect a huge PrimeNow push this Christmas. Even bigger next Christmas.
- You may not be losing commissions now (if you even know), or the amount is small.
- As the fast delivery service expands you will lose more and more commissions.
- You should be pissed that Amazon, or any merchant, would intentionally create a new subdomain and use tricky, non-obvious legal terms to avoid paying you commissions.
- I already suggested to Amazon that affiliate commissions be paid on orders where the buyer elects to use the PrimeNow fast delivery service. You should. too. As in right now, log into your Amazon affiliate account and send a polite message requesting that affiliates be paid for PrimeNow orders.
It's kind of like voting. If you don't make your voice heard to Amazon don't be complaining on the forum in the future about the death of your Amazon affiliate sites because your work is paying you nothing.