Is This The Death of the Amazon Affiliate?

23 replies
Home delivery is a big deal and growing everyday, see Google Express new delivery direct from the stores, I think all this is the beginning of the demise of the Amazon Affiliate. A new study shows that 44% of shoppers now bypass the web and log in direct to Amazon compared to 34% who still use the top search engines.
I have several Amazon web sites and it is getting harder and harder to get a conversion.
Amazon Affiliates have been growing Amazon customer base for years and it is now hurting us as affiliates.

I am an old brick and mortar retailer, now out of business , but we depended on repeat customers which you don't get on your affiliate store, once they go to Amazon and open an account they don't need you anymore.

Just ranting folks , the babbling of an old retailer.

How do we overcome this?
#affiliate #amazon #death
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    • Profile picture of the author JChilds
      are you having any success with your new sites?
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  • Profile picture of the author Ellac
    I had a pretty good month in May.
    The death might occur one day.
    But it's still going strong at the moment.
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  • Profile picture of the author kilgore
    Originally Posted by JChilds View Post

    How do we overcome this?
    1. Don't rely on search engines for your traffic
    2. Add value to what Amazon already does so your customers have a reason to come to you rather than going directly to Amazon

    Originally Posted by JChilds View Post

    we depended on repeat customers which you don't get on your affiliate store
    Speak for yourself. Most of our visitors are repeat visitors. We also get lots of word-of-mouth referrals.


    It seems that when most people on the WF talk about Amazon Affiliate businesses, they have a specific type of site in mind, one in which an entrepreneur quickly creates a (shoddy) website, with a small amount of (low quality) content, usually geared toward one specific type of product, including a dozen or so products in the category and (poorly written) reviews for each of those products. If that's your business model, then I can see why you'd be worried about everything you're ranting about. And I can also see why it's so hard for you to get repeat customers.

    But it doesn't have to be that way. The Amazon Affiliate program is a monetization method -- it's not a business model. And you can get really creative with it. Moreover, it's not an exclusive program -- so you can mix it with other monetization methods, whether that's other affiliate programs, advertising programs, or selling your own products. So again, be creative. If all you're doing is creating a smaller version of what Amazon already has on its website, you're right that your customers don't need to. But there are lots of ways to create value for customers so that they'll keep coming back to you.
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    • Profile picture of the author JChilds
      Thanks Kilgore for your input,

      I am most certainly just speaking for myself , I had a retail store for 30 years with lots of employees so I know a little something about customers and loyalty and most buyers are a loyal as the best price they find that day...

      If you think that Amazon is not out take traffic away from you then you are just not being honest with yourself..

      There is no question that some site are better than others if you have bad content on your sites maybe you should update.

      I try to keep my content fresh but I do not and will not write or hire someone to write phony reviews about a product I have never seen or used.

      I still make Amazon sites and work to get traffic. I was just pointing out that Google is now in the home delivery business called Google Express so there will be lots of ads from Google and Amazon about their home delivery.

      Amazon is now offering 2 to 3 hour delivery in my area they also try to sell the Amazon Prime to every shoppers that goes to their site thru affiliates.

      If they upgraded one of my buyers to Amazon Prime after they went thru mu links they must have over looked paying me a commission on it.

      John
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      • Profile picture of the author kilgore
        Originally Posted by JChilds View Post

        I am most certainly just speaking for myself , I had a retail store for 30 years with lots of employees so I know a little something about customers and loyalty and most buyers are a loyal as the best price they find that day...
        That's true to some extent, though at the same time a lot of people are lazy and won't bother to do a whole bunch of comparison shopping -- as long as they think the price is reasonable. This is where working with Amazon -- and not trying to compete with them -- is actually an advantage. Moreover, there's no way I could offer an inventory of 5,000 products on my site and offer the prices and shipment options Amazon does. So why not just use them instead?

        Originally Posted by JChilds View Post

        If you think that Amazon is not out take traffic away from you then you are just not being honest with yourself..
        Of course Amazon wants to cut me out, to some extent. But with my business model it's hard to cut me out, because people don't really know what they want to buy -- or often even that they want to buy anything -- before they visit my site. They might go to my site because they're looking for a gift, but aren't sure what to get, or because we've just posted a blog with a really cool list of products to our nearly 2 million member Facebook page, and so on. Obviously if it's just some random person looking to buy the best toaster oven, Amazon is going to win that battle. But that's why we don't cater to that sort of user (and why we don't sell toaster ovens!)



        Originally Posted by JChilds View Post

        I try to keep my content fresh but I do not and will not write or hire someone to write phony reviews about a product I have never seen or used.
        Why do you assume you need phony reviews -- or reviews at all? We don't write product reviews, though we sometimes do product summaries in a blog or when posting to social media. People can already get great reviews on Amazon, so we just pull the reviews iFrame using the Amazon Product API and if people want to read reviews they can get them there (and if they click over to Amazon we get the cookie...)


        I'm not trying to convince you to do things my way. But it does seem to me that you have a narrow concept of what an Amazon site is. Here are just a few models you might learn from:
        My guess is that the first example, the toaster oven site, is the kind of site you (and most people on the WF) are thinking of when they think "Amazon Affiliate". But here's thing: those sorts of sites suck. And you're exactly right that they suffer from all the problems you've identified. But the good news is that's not the only option. And as I said before, the other good news is you don't have to rely on Amazon at all if you don't want to. Just be creative.
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        • Profile picture of the author JChilds
          Kilgore,
          lol,
          I just noticed your by line, "conceited know it all "

          I must say you sound very knowledgeable about online business and I thank you for your input.

          I think I will check out your link!

          John
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  • Profile picture of the author Alex July
    Originally Posted by JChilds View Post

    Home delivery is a big deal and growing everyday, see Google Express new delivery direct from the stores, I think all this is the beginning of the demise of the Amazon Affiliate. A new study shows that 44% of shoppers now bypass the web and log in direct to Amazon compared to 34% who still use the top search engines.
    I have several Amazon web sites and it is getting harder and harder to get a conversion.
    Amazon Affiliates have been growing Amazon customer base for years and it is now hurting us as affiliates.

    I am an old brick and mortar retailer, now out of business , but we depended on repeat customers which you don't get on your affiliate store, once they go to Amazon and open an account they don't need you anymore.

    Just ranting folks , the babbling of an old retailer.

    How do we overcome this?
    Why not to think about demand creation instead of demand satisfaction?

    Example: you are depressed, your life sucks.. you go to YouTube and find my video where I am talking about getting rid of depression through changing your eating habits. I recommend that you start drinking wheatgrass juice every morning and provide you with my Amazon affiliate link below video.

    Would you click it and buy that frozen wheatgrass juice from Amazon? Chances are, you would.

    But why? Because in the beginning of your research you didn't want to buy from Amazon. I didn't satisfy the demand, I created it, and then satisfied.
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    • Originally Posted by Alex July View Post

      Why not to think about demand creation instead of demand satisfaction?

      Example: you are depressed, your life sucks.. you go to YouTube and find my video where I am talking about getting rid of depression through changing your eating habits. I recommend that you start drinking wheatgrass juice every morning and provide you with my Amazon affiliate link below video.

      Would you click it and buy that frozen wheatgrass juice from Amazon? Chances are, you would.

      But why? Because in the beginning of your research you didn't want to buy from Amazon. I didn't satisfy the demand, I created it, and then satisfied.
      1. 5 people found your video.
      2. You made 1 sale.
      3. You collected $1.95 from Amazon.
      4. The buyer failed to make his rent in July.
      5. He remains depressed.

      Now, if only you had made your video about hand guns ....
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  • Profile picture of the author blackli0n
    I agree with Kilgore.

    Amazon affiliate will always be a viable money-maker. It's far better than adsense. For as long as you're actually making sales and conversions for somebody out there, there will always be a piece of the pie waiting for you. Keep up your relationships with your customers...and you'll always be ready for the next monetization strategy coming around the corner.
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  • Profile picture of the author johnben1444
    All these depends on your approach, traffic and keywords.

    I don't think it's realistic for anyone to assume that repeated customers
    can keep one going in affiliate marketing. Because once they get
    to Amazon through an affiliate link, the chances of using your site again is less except if
    they get to you via your traffic source again.

    With affiliate marketing, it's all new traffic every month that's why you need to learn
    the ropes.
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    • Profile picture of the author JChilds
      johnben1444

      Exactly the point I was making, repeat customers to amazon affiliate site are rare but we are all fighters or we would not be in the retail type business.

      Like Darrell Royal Texas Football coach always said the " Big ones will always eat the little one", LOL

      Thanks everyone for your comments, I am 80 years old and the retail business is still in my blood.

      John
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  • Profile picture of the author Steve B
    Originally Posted by JChilds View Post

    How do we overcome this?

    One huge advantage the small business operator has online is that he can carve out his/her own niche and position his business as he prefers.

    My answer to you is to take advantage of this principle and don't try to compete with the 900 lb. gorilla that Amazon is.

    Sell a unique product. Create a product that has no competition. Said a different way . . .

    Pick your battles! Choose to do business in a way that gives you the best advantage and probability for success. Don't go head to head with a competitor that is going to eat your lunch!

    It's all about adapting to your strengths, finding a way to position your business to be unique and exploiting the advantages the small business operator has online.

    Get creative. Figure a way to stand apart from the competition.

    Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author Manoj V
    A buyer who is quite sure about what he wants to buy is the one who clicks on the Amazon app on his smartphone and buys what he/ she wants immediately. This stands true of for example, groceries or daily need products, items over which the buyer really does not want any opinions.

    As an Amazon affiliate, you are supposed to identify a niche that will convert well for you. This could be a niche that you are an authority in, or one in which you can provide extensive product reviews on the basis of which a prospective buyer can make a good buying decision.

    If you are getting poor conversions, it is either because you are not in the right niche or probably because your content does not convert. Tweak your website or improve your content so that visitors stay as well as return to your site.
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  • Profile picture of the author Devilfish168
    hmmm I not sure.

    I more want to boast my Adsense

    amazon and clickbank is my bonus as their profits is more than adsense provided how many sales can get each day

    for me I like amazon is cookie ...if I not mistaken the cookie stay 24 hours ? one day

    the trick is make the buyer click your affiliate link and the cookie will be there.

    even he/she don't buy the things you review , but he/she happen to see another product and buy you earn commission.

    I heard rumours there are " some black hat way to make cookies for 30 days " which I doubt so ..next even if yes will get yourself ban from Amazon association
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  • Profile picture of the author JChilds
    Thanks everyone, this conversation started because I read a report in my business section of newspaper that said a study showed that 44% of Amazon shoppers, and it is growing, now bypass the search engines and log straight into Amazon to search for a product.

    That was my point as this number increases the Amazon affiliate as well as Google will lose business.

    Now the report said this was effecting Google search income and Bing etc. So you can bet Google is going to do something to turn that around as in this new Google Express delivery business they are promoting of course they are trying to compete with the Amazon 2 hour delivery or same day.

    I don't care if you have the greatest web site and content that will win a prize , if they are going direct they won't even see our sites.

    I have never tried paid traffic for Amazon products , anyone had success with that?

    John
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    • Profile picture of the author discrat
      Originally Posted by JChilds View Post

      I have never tried paid traffic for Amazon products , anyone had success with that?

      John
      I am not Amazon expert but I know there are some who purport this as being effective. The low Commission rate with Amzon would seem to contradict this.

      But maybe going to an Affiliate Site with not just Amazon offers but also offers for digital Products ??
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      • Profile picture of the author sophiecal
        I am using Amazon product on my blog posts and they are helping me too, but The way I was expecting traffic was not achieved till yet, can anyone tell me the reason what is wrong, or am I targeting wrong Amazon products.
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  • Profile picture of the author frankie856ni901
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    • Profile picture of the author JChilds
      Originally Posted by frankie856ni901 View Post

      Google Express can better Amazon Affiliate?
      I don't think I understand your question.

      As I understand from the article here in the Dallas paper Google Express is a delivery service Google now offers thru various stores.

      The article said they were competing with the Amazon Prime free delivery service for where Amazon offers for a annual flat fee etc.

      I don't know how this effects the Google search Engine traffic but that is what had them stirred up right now.

      The search traffic is declining, per the article, so that also effect the sale of Google affiliate product they advertise
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  • Profile picture of the author DWaters
    Why would a consumer use a search engine search to go to an affiliate site which then sends them to Amazon where they make a purchase?


    Most people know by now that if you want to buy something you can go straight to Amazon and the product will probably be available there. It is also no secret that Amazon has huge amounts of buyer traffic because that is where you can buy what you need.
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    • Profile picture of the author kilgore
      Originally Posted by DWaters View Post

      Why would a consumer use a search engine search to go to an affiliate site which then sends them to Amazon where they make a purchase?
      I think it depends on what the user is looking for and at what stage she's at in the buying process.

      If she's shoppping for a specific item, say a package of 12 cans of Crown Prince Skinless & Boneless SardinesCrown Prince Skinless & Boneless Sardines , then yes, most users will probably go directly to Amazon (or their vendor of choice) and make their purchases without an affiliate. On the other hand, if she's not shopping for a specific item and perhaps is not exactly sure what she wants, going directly to Amazon might not be the best shopping experience.

      For instance, what if instead of knowing she wants a specific brand of sardines, all she knows is that she's looking for a Father's Day gift for her dad who trains dolphins as a hobby? Perhaps a bunch of cans of fish would make a great gift (rewards for good jumps!), but maybe a hula hoop would be a better present (gotta have something for those swift cetaceans to jump through!) or maybe a new bathing suit or a pair of sunglasses would be even better!

      Obviously, this is a silly example. But the principle isn't really that far fetched. One of the great things about Amazon from a customer's perspective is that they sell just about everything -- but that's also a weakness. Amazon's categories, its navigation, and the products it highlights in its own marketing are necessarily trying to appeal to a least common denominator -- they can't overfocus on one niche or other because that would likely screw up the navigation, categories and marketing messages for the vast majority of their customers.

      The end result is that you can't just click a few buttons and see a list of all the products from every category that might be of interest to dolphin trainers. And the categories that they do have don't differentiate between the cans of fish that are better rewards for bottlenose dolphins and those that are best for spinner dolphins. And they don't write blog articles to help daughters of dolphin trainers find Father's Day gifts. And all of that means there's a hole on Amazon's site -- a niche -- that can potentially be filled by some enterprising affiliate marketer.

      Still, that's just one business model. If you look at my previous post, there are other models out there too. But the thing that all successful Amazon affiliates have in common is that they offer something that Amazon on its own does not. They have a reason for being other than just trying to intercept traffic before it goes to Amazon. The offer value to their customers that Amazon cannot or does not provide.

      As mentioned above, Ken Rockwell has amazingly detailed and honest reviews catering to a specific type of photography. This Is Why I'm Broke pulls together a list of fun or funny products that you might not even know exist let alone know you want to buy (at least before visiting that site). Good Reads provides a community of book lovers to talk about and learn about all sorts of books you might want to read. CNET is an old and respected source for technology news. Amazon does none of that -- or at least not as well -- and that's why a customer might find them on a seach engine or better yet go to them directly rather than immediately clicking over to Amazon.
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      • Profile picture of the author myob
        Consider also that Amazon has their own internal marketing division, which aggressively promotes additional products directly to your buyers by email and offline marketing venues.

        To counter this exploitation, what I always do is build a list of buyers, and the funnel system continually offers relevant product recommendations and/or reorder reminders.

        Quite often, my long-time customers will call my office staff to ask about our opnion on a particular product or special offer. We'll do the research and usually can find them a better deal or more applicable product for their needs, which usually does result in a commission sale.

        In addition, I send out "loyalty cards" (Amazon gift cards) on a quarterly basis to my best customers based on sales from the previous quarter. Resulting commissions almost always exceeds the value of the gift cards. (Be careful, however, to never even hint that gift cards are an incentive to buy.)

        The Amazon affiliate program is alive and well, especially for those affiliates who can leverage the genius of Amazon's powerful marketing algorithym and aggressive customer retention approach.
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  • Profile picture of the author MarkAse
    44% of people go to Amazon and 34% go to a search engine?

    I can't take that quite at face value. If so, Amazon's sales would dwarf other ecommerce and while they're certainly good-plenty of other companies are competitive with them in certain verticals. Wayfair in furniture as an example.

    Overall, there's some truth that Google considers Amazon their biggest long term competitor.....but bigger than all other ecommerce in their niche's combined? Doesn't seem likely to me
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  • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
    There are two things I've been noticing that have a bearing on this year old, but still relevant, thread.

    A lot of AA want to go for the 'hot' general audience items - electronics, exercise equipment, etc, - where they can't out-Amazon Amazon.

    For example, recently we bought a small table top ice maker. I could have tried to search through the myriad "review sites" until I found one with real information. Or I could go straight to Amazon, run a search, sort it by reviews, and start reading relevant information without having to wade through the "fake news" review sites. I went with the second option, spent about 30 minutes on reading specs and reviews, and placed my order. Two days later (I'm a Prime member), the unit showed up on my doorstep (even though it was Sunday).

    To compete with that, you have to offer something beyond product selection info. Which leads to my second observation.

    A lot of AA want to go for the "buyer keywords", whether trying to do SEO or paid ads. In other words, they try to enter the sales funnel at the very end. They ry to outwrestle the 900# gorilla in its own jungle.

    As I see it, the trick is to capture attention a few steps further up the funnel. It takes more patience, but if you teach someone how to do something, they are more likely to follow your recommendations on specific items related to the topic. Let's take something offbeat - urban farming. Raising chickens, to niche it down. While delivering education about what equipment is needed, what to look for and how to select it, and so on, you can use Amazon products (with link and photo) as examples.

    Yes, some people will still go straight to Amazon. But some people will figure that you know your stuff, and they'll save time by just buying the stuff you link to.And if someone does this on just one item, the cookie gets set. Even if they find something they like better, you're still cookied for the commission.

    There's one catch, though. This only works as described for web-based content. Amazon's TOS forbids affiliate links in other media like email or ebooks (even Kindle books, though they often seem to wink at this. I still don't take chances.) You can get around this by having a blog or website with pages/posts containing the link/image and a redirect with the affiliate link. At least, this was so the last time I looked.

    Amazon has done several things to make it harder to prosper as an associate, like shaking up the commission structure, but I don't think home delivery is the threat some see it as. Amazon Prime is a much bigger threat to Amazon's competitors than it is to affiliates.
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