New Commission Rates for Amazon Affiliates in Europe — Is US Marketplace next?

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New European Commission Rates – Foreshadowing US Changes?

Amazon is making some changes in Europe. Often these find there way into the US marketplace.

In European marketplaces, Amazon is going to a hybrid commission schedule. Products that you direct customers to and other products in that department will now typically pay more than those sales by your lead in other departments. In many cases, the related sales commissions have gone up while the unrelated sales commissions have gone down to 1.5%. What is the impact of this?

If you have been sending customers to Amazon’s home page or other generic pages you should stop doing that! These sales are only going to generate 1.5%. Now more than ever it is important to send topical leads to related products/categories. You want your traffic to line up with the products you are linking to.

The new Amazon Associates rate schedule applies to purchases referred to Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.fr, Amazon.it, Amazon.es and Amazon.de and will go into effect on 1 March 2019. You can compare it to the current US Amazon commission rates.

Amazon Europe Rate Card

Amazon presents a number of example scenarios to clarify the new commission structure …

Scenario 1: A fashion-focused bloggers send all of their affiliate links to specific fashion pages. Your commissions will likely go up as the Fashion category went from 10-11%. If you are a high volume seller you make out even better as the rates go from 11-12% after 2,500 GBP of revenue.

Scenario 2: You are a generalist and have a high traffic blog. But you send all of your Amazon traffic to Amazon’s home page. Your commissions will likely go down as your sales will be at the 1.5% rate. You would be well advised to modify your linking and content marketing strategy to a more targeted approach.

Amazon Europe Commission Rukes

Will these changes come to Amazon.com? Of course, no one knows, but change is already underway in the US Associates program  …

I would see no reason for the apparent trend to reverse as Amazon refocuses their affiliate program to leverage more mature sites and sites that send them targeted not general traffic

New US Amazon Product Advertising Rules

Amazon has recently tightened access to the Product Advertising API.

First, they no longer allow new Associates to have access to the API. You are essentially in a probation period until you have three sales and a site review by Amazon. For existing Amazon affiliates who had API access, it has been revoked if you have not made minimum monthly sales volumes.  And finally, they have started enforcing quotas for API calls based on your sales volumes. It is now more common to receive the error message “.. you are making API calls to quickly” In these cases, your API access has been throttled and you will need to wait for a new quota allotment.

What are the Implications

For many though this is not bad news. Most niche affiliate sites are focused on specific products. They often have a small percentage of unrelated sales that will be considered un-qualifying if the new rules are adopted. Some sites like those focused on holidays and calendar events driving generic traffic will likely see commissions decline.

The new focus will require you to send targeted traffic to niche specific products to maximize your commissions. There will be winners and losers in this change…

Winners

The winners are those who have few unrelated sales, have a good sales volume and get most of your sales from the product category that you linked to. Your rates are going up.

Losers

High traffic blog linking to the Amazon homepage. Also bloggers and other sites who got most of their revenue from holiday sales and other general purchases.