Why you MUST be an Amazon Associate if you are Promoting Products

I’m at 130 Squidoo lenses and counting, and the majority of my pages are promoting products. I started out as a CJ affiliate and had stars in my eyes when I reviewed the commission strictures of many of the merchants on their platform.

So away I plugged, linking to everything I could. Traffic came, some clicks…but not the conversions I was hoping for. Many of the same products were available at Amazon, but I resisted changing over to Amazon Affiliate links – deterred by the lower commission structure and 24-hour cookie vs. up to 120-day cookie some of the CJ affiliates were offering.

But as time went on I realized something – those same items on Amazon were priced lower. When I search for a product to buy online when do I stop searching and make my purchase? When I have found the reputable seller with the lowest price. Usually, that happens at Amazon.com. So even if I am directing my visitors to the product they need – if I am not pointing them to the site with the lowest price, I can’t be surprised that the sale is not happening. And I am not creating value for my lens readers.

After changing the majority of my product links to Amazon.com this is what happened:

  • Unit Sales on Amazon Affiliates skyrocketed
  • Overall Affiliate program conversion went up
  • I jumped from the 4% Amazon Affiliates tier to hitting the 7 to 7.5% tier each month

Here’s the funny part. 45% of the 477 units I sold on Amazon.com last month were for items completely unrelated to the items I was promoting. These items only accounted for 17% of my commissions, but since Amazon commission rates are determined by volume (units sold) rather than dollar amount, if it were not for those units I would not have made it into the 7.5% commission tier last month.

Another 10% of my units sold last month were on items related to the items I promoted but not the exact items promoted. This only accounted for 5% of my revenue, but I consider this small group of related items my most important sales.

These related items inform me of what is happening on my pages and with my shoppers. Am I promoting items that are out of stock, so shoppers are finding alternatives? Is there a newer model released that I need to update my page to promote? Are negative reviews coming in on an item I am promoting driving shoppers to other alternatives?

Seeing related items in my Amazon sales feed drives my revision and update process on my older lenses, and often inspires new lenses as I begin to spot new trends. Like this.

Plus…I just love to see the crazy things some people buy on Amazon.com. Don’t you?

Are you an Amazon Affiliate? Share what you love – or hate – about the program.

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