Affiliate Marketing

Amazon Influencer Program Review 2024: Is It Worth It?

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The Amazon Influencer Program is a great way to monetize your social media channels and earn money from onsite product reviews.

Amazon’s high brand trust, massive product selection, and killer conversion rates make it a useful program for most influencers.

And if you’re persistent, you can earn a lot of money.

Amazon Influencer Program Success

However, it’s not perfect for everyone. Here are the biggest pros and cons:

🤩 PROS:

Simple affiliate link creation

Huge product range

Simple affiliate link creation

Multiple income streams

High buyer intent

😐 CONS:

Short cookie duration

Comparatively low commissions

Requires product in hand

Excludes some product categories

No PayPal payments

Want to learn if this program is right for you? Read on for our in-depth review of the Amazon influencer program, covering eligibility requirements, promotional methods, earning potential, and more.

What Is the Amazon Influencer Program

Amazon Influencer Program Homepage

The Amazon Influencer program is similar to Amazon’s affiliate program, Amazon Associates.

It offers a way for social media influencers to earn commissions by referring sales on Amazon, much like Amazon Associates gives website owners a way to earn commissions by promoting Amazon products.

Both programs let you get affiliate links to specific products and share them with your audience.

The big difference is that the Influencer program offers more onsite integrations for members to take advantage of. Here are some examples:

  • Amazon Influencers can create their own Amazon storefront, where they can share all of their favorite products in one convenient place on the Amazon website.  
  • Videos and images of products taken by influencers can be added directly to Amazon product pages for Amazon shoppers to view.

Essentially, the Influencer program is a more advanced version of the Associates program that caters to social media channels.

Requirements For Joining

To join the program, you must have “influence” on one of four social media platforms:

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • TikTok
  • YouTube

When creating an Amazon influencer account, you’ll be asked to connect your most influential social media profile so Amazon can see if you’re a good fit:

amazon influencer program social account sign up

Amazon instantly vets influencer applications based on your follower count and social media engagement. So, if you don’t have an engaged audience on any of those platforms, this isn’t the program for you.

How Do Amazon Influencers Make Money

Let’s explore the ways Amazon influencers make money.

Prioritize Onsite Earnings

The most successful Amazon influencers are leveraging onsite earnings to earn significant revenue.

For example, Thomas Smith and Matt Donley are making a killing with the Amazon Influencer Program, and they say that onsite video reviews — also called shoppable videos — are where the real money is made.

This interview with Thomas shares his insider tactics for earning $8,000 per month:

And Matt shares his strategies here:

These video reviews can be added to product pages, allowing you to reach Amazon customers who will likely buy the product.

Amazon video review

In addition to general video reviews, there are three other types of videos that perform well on product pages:

  • Unboxing videos. Film yourself opening the product.
  • Comparison videos. Compare the product with a close competitor.
  • “1 Year Later” videos. Share your thoughts after you’ve owned the product for a while.

You earn a commission if someone buys after watching at least 30 seconds of your video.

While the commissions aren’t fantastic — they range from 0.5% to 5% depending on the product — you’re targeting people already considering buying the product you’re reviewing, so they’re far more likely to convert.

Amazon on site commission rates

These rates are subject to change; check Amazon’s onsite commissions page for the most up-to-date rates.

However, not all Amazon influencers get to add review videos to product pages: there’s a separate approval process even after you’re accepted into the main program.

You have to submit three videos for consideration, and only after a thorough check from Amazon can you get clearance to upload onsite review videos.

Here are some tips from the Amazon Influencer subreddit for getting approved:

  • Follow Amazon’s Video Content Guidelines. This will ensure you don’t make any mistakes that doom an otherwise great video.
  • Review products you’ve used often. The unique insights you have from long-term use will improve your review.
  • Show yourself using the product. Don’t stand around holding the product for the entire video.
  • Talk about the product. Don’t make a voiceless video with music.
  • Use good lighting and keep the length short. 1-2 minutes is ideal.
  • Review simple products. A can opener is easier to review than a laptop.

You get three attempts to apply for onsite earnings, and each attempt requires three videos — if you’re rejected three times, you’ll be permanently banned from applying again.

If you’re accepted for onsite earnings, use these tips from Thomas and Matt for maximizing your onsite earnings:

  • Start by reviewing products you already own. Your goal should be to keep costs as low as possible, especially in the beginning.
  • Review low-cost products everyone needs. These tend to have low competition from other reviewers. Thomas gives the example of paper towel holders.
  • Run experiments on products. For example, Thomas reviewed an air purifier by placing it in his chicken shed and showing how much dust it collected.
  • Don’t shoehorn yourself into reviewing a specific type of product. Amazon doesn’t show preference to reviewers who niche down, so you’ll make more money by reviewing whatever you can get your hands on.
  • Discuss basic product features. Thomas says that because people are there to buy the product, they want to know basic information like color, size, and durability.

If you want to make serious money with the Influencer program, this is where your focus should be.

Share Affiliate Links

Like in traditional affiliate marketing, you can earn commissions by sharing affiliate links through your YouTube videos or social posts:

Affiliate links in content descriptions

When someone clicks one of your links and makes a purchase, you get a cut of the sale. Easy!

Commissions vary by product category, ranging from 1% on things like video game consoles and groceries to 20% for Amazon Games:

Amazon Commission Rate

These rates are subject to change, so be sure to check out an up-to-date list before deciding if Amazon is a good fit for your audience and niche.

Refer Amazon Bounty Program Sales & Bonus Events

Amazon Bounty Program

Bounty sales work the same as any other type of affiliate link referral, but with two key differences:

  • You’re specifically promoting Amazon services, like Amazon Prime Video Channels and Amazon Music Unlimited.
  • You earn a fixed cash amount rather than a percentage commission (for example, you get $2 per successful Amazon Prime free trial registration).

Then there are bonus events, which reward influencers for referring first-time sales from specific Amazon stores (e.g. $3 per first-time Amazon Fresh purchase):

Amazon Bounty Commissions

There are too many bounties and bonuses to list in full here, and they change all the time, but you can find an up-to-date version here.

Create a Custom Amazon Storefront

As an Amazon Influencer, you can create your own custom Amazon storefront, where you can curate a recommended list of Amazon products:

Amazon Influencer storefront

This seems like a cool option, but top-earning influencers like Matt say the store is a complete dead end in terms of earnings, as no one visits it.

Why the Amazon Influencer Program Is Good

Still not sure about the Amazon Influencer Program? Here are a few pros to consider.

You Can Earn Money Immediately After Joining

If you’re approved for onsite product videos, you can earn a surprising amount of money in a short time.

For example, Matt earned $600 in his first month.

This is a nice change from many other online money-making strategies, like building an affiliate marketing website, where there’s a long ramp-up period before you see significant earnings.

Amazon Has Superb Brand Trust

Amazon consistently ranks as one of America’s most-trusted brands.

US most trusted brands

Broadly speaking, consumers trust Amazon to protect their payment information and deliver their products on time and in good condition.

Your audience is more likely to buy if you send them to Amazon than other retailers.

Flexibility In Choosing Products

Some influencer programs limit the types of products you can promote. But that’s not the case with Amazon, which is happy for you to promote pretty much whatever you want from its cavernous library of third-party products, Amazon products, and Amazon services.

However, some product categories are non-commissionable, like gift cards and alcoholic drinks.

High Buyer Intent

When people visit Amazon, there’s a good chance they’ll buy something.

Amazon’s sky-high conversion rate — a whopping 74% for Prime members and 13% for non-Primesters — puts other online retailers and marketplaces to shame.

That’s fantastic news for Amazon influencers, who earn onsite commissions from customers who are already browsing Amazon (and are likely in the buying mood).

If a customer buys after watching your product review video or clicking a storefront link, you get a cut of the sale.

It also helps that you earn commissions on anything your referrals purchase within the 24-hour cookie period – not just the product you referred them to. This can increase commissions considerably if you’re driving traffic from a social platform.

Video Reviews Don’t Require High Production Value

While Amazon has watertight guidelines around what you can and can’t say and do in product review videos, it certainly doesn’t expect you to create studio-quality content.

Most Amazon review videos are 30 – 60 seconds long and are shot and edited on a phone camera.

In fact, successful Amazon influencers say that less polished reviews perform better because they appear more authentic.

Once you’ve got your head around Amazon’s rules and mastered the formula for producing review videos, you can churn them out fast, making it easy to scale content production.

Videos Can Be Repurposed for Other Platforms

Amazon doesn’t want influencers to mention their social media accounts and other external platforms in video reviews.

But there’s nothing to stop you from sharing videos created for Amazon via other channels, like this example posted on TikTok:

The video review format is perfect for Instagram and TikTok, so it’s worth republishing them on other social media platforms to steer followers toward product pages or your Amazon storefront.

Simple Influencer Link Creation, Codes & Reporting

Some influencer programs require influencers to work closely with the brands they’re collaborating with, giving them little flexibility in which products to promote and how to promote them. And they don’t always give influencers access to campaign data, making it hard to understand what strategies are working.

That’s not the case with Amazon.

It’s simple for Amazon influencers to create affiliate links and find discount codes.

Amazon Promo Codes

The Amazon Associates dashboard also gives you access to all the earnings reports you need to optimize your campaigns.

Where the Amazon Influencer Program Is Lacking

There are a few downsides to the program. Let’s check out the biggest pitfalls.

Requires Having Product In Hand

To review Amazon products, you need to physically have access to them.

Realistically, if you’re just starting out as an Amazon influencer and haven’t yet grown your storefront, you’ll have to buy them first.

Warning: Don’t purchase and return your review products. Amazon will likely ban you from the influencer program.

To recoup some costs, you can still sell your products second-hand to recover at least some of the expense.

As you grow your Amazon influencer store, brands will start offering you gifted products in return for a review, saving you the upfront purchase cost.

Excludes Some Products & Categories

As we’ve already noted, there are some restrictions around the types of products you can promote (albeit fewer than most influencer marketing programs). Check out all these products that aren’t eligible for Amazon’s standard commission income rates:

Amazon Influencer restrictions

Similar restrictions apply to onsite earnings, while bounty sales and bonus events only pay out for highly specific actions:

restrictive eligibility criteria

Don’t fulfill the exact criteria? Sorry, you’re not getting paid.

Also, not all Amazon sellers allow video reviews to be published on their product pages, removing another potential revenue stream for certain products.

Still, there are so many products and services to promote that most influencers won’t be short of options.

Low Commission Rates

Amazon offers lower commission rates than a lot of influencer programs.

Sure, you get a 20% cut on sales of Amazon Games, but most product categories pay 3% – 4%, while some pay nothing at all. And rates are even lower for onsite earnings (around 2% – 3% for most categories).

On the flip side, Amazon’s conversion rate is so high that you’ll likely refer more sales as an Amazon influencer than through any other program. Not to mention that you earn commissions on any items purchased by the people you refer.

Considering our testing shows that additional products can account for 50% of your revenue, this is a huge deal!

Short Cookie Duration

Amazon influencers get a measly 24-hour cookie duration. In other words, if someone clicks your influencer link and buys after 24 hours, you don’t earn a commission.

However, there’s a small loophole — if people click your Amazon links and add-to-cart within a day, you’ll still earn a commission even if they don’t buy for up to 90 more days.

Lots of Rules & Guidelines

Amazon influencers have to abide by a ton of rules.

Take video content as an example. There’s a whole page dedicated to Amazon’s video guidelines…

Amazon Video Content Guidelines

…plus video content also has to comply with Amazon’s Community Guidelines, Conditions of Use, Privacy Policy, and the Associates Program Operating Agreement.

And that’s just for creating videos —there are many other rules covering the rest of Amazon’s influencer program.

Realistically, there are far too many terms and conditions to remember. And while Amazon probably won’t terminate you for a minor infringement or two, it’s worryingly easy to get on their bad side.

Minimal Video Performance Data

While Amazon makes it easy to access earnings data, it tells you next to nothing about video performance other than how much commission you’ve earned from videos.

That’s right: no viewing numbers, engagement metrics, or click data.

All of which makes it hard to understand whether your videos resonate with your audience.

Amazon Can Cut Commissions

Sure, this is true of any influencer program, but Amazon has cut commission rates in the past, tanking many influencers’ earnings overnight. No doubt it’ll happen again at some point.

To be clear, we’re not saying you should avoid the Amazon Influencer program altogether, but you should be wary about only promoting a single product category.

You should also sign up for multiple influencer programs, so you’re not completely reliant on Amazon’s commissions.

No Paypal Payments

Unusually for such a massive and tech-forward company, Amazon only offers three distinctly old-fashioned ways to receive your commissions:

  • Direct deposit
  • Amazon gift certificate
  • Check

It’s not a major problem, but seeing a few other options like PayPal would be nice.

Amazon Influencer Program vs Amazon Affiliate Program

Both the Amazon Affiliate program and the Amazon Influencer program pay members commissions for referring sales.

But while they’re part of the same environment and have similar goals, there are some key differences between the two programs:

CriteriaAmazon Influencer ProgramAmazon affiliate program
Target audienceInfluencersWebsite and app owners
EligibilityOnly open to influencers with accounts on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, or YouTubeOpen to anyone with a website or mobile app
Promotion methodsPromote products through affiliate links, Amazon storefront pages, and onsite video reviewsPromote products via affiliate links
Account approvalApplications vetted based on follower count, engagement, and three example review videosAffiliates must make three qualifying sales in the first 180 days
Post-approvalMust retain high social follower count and engagementOnce approved, you’re in (unless you breach Amazon’s rules)

Should You Use the Amazon Influencer Program?

The Amazon influencer program is a good fit for you if you have:

A large social media presence on an eligible platform. Amazon only approves influencers with a public Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, or YouTube account, and it takes your number of followers into consideration.

An engaged following. As well as follower count, Amazon considers engagement metrics — like the number of likes, shares, and comments you receive — when assessing your application.

Time and energy to build your Amazon storefront. Don’t expect results overnight.

A passion for video content. Onsite video reviews are the best way to earn money as an Amazon influencer, so you must be comfortable on camera.

Cash to pay for products upfront. Short-term, you might spend more than you earn on buying review products.

An audience interested in commissionable product categories. If your followers are only interested in booze and gift cards, this program isn’t for you!

Followers who are ready to buy. The 24-hour cookie duration means your audience needs to be in the buying mood.

If these don’t apply to you, you should consider alternate monetization methods for your social media account.

Our guide to social media affiliate marketing can help you monetize your following and make the most of your social accounts.

FAQs

Yes! You can definitely make money as an Amazon influencer, with multiple ways to earn:

– Adding affiliate links to social posts
– Promoting bounty and bonus events
– Creating a custom storefront featuring products you love
– Uploading video reviews to your storefront

Amazon doesn’t specify a minimum follower account for influencers. It simply says: “When reviewing your application, we look at the number of followers you have in addition to other engagement metrics.”

We’ve seen reports of influencers being rejected despite having thousands of followers, and also occasions when tiny accounts with only a few hundred followers have been approved.

The Amazon influencer program works by paying members a commission for referring sales of products and services on the marketplace.

When someone clicks your unique referral link and buys a product within the next 24 hours, you earn a cut of the sale. Commissions vary by product type, with most categories paying 4% – 5% per sale.

about the author

Phil Norris is a freelance writer who specializes in digital marketing, SaaS, and e-commerce. Before becoming a freelancer, he worked in various content roles at marketing agencies for nine years, most recently as head of content. Since branching out on his own in 2018, Phil has worked with and written for the likes of Neil Patel, AWeber, Drip, and the Social Media Strategies Summit.

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