Even before the pandemic, almost half of Millenials preferred the Amazon shopping experience over one year of active sex life. It would seem crazy for advertisers to leave a platform with such devoted users and advertise on an Amazon Affiliate program alternative (otherwise known as the Amazon Associates program). However, that fateful day came, and Amazon slashed its commission rates by almost two thirds. This made many advertisers rethink their participation in the Amazon affiliate program.
If you are wondering if you, the advertiser, should stick with it, we have the article about advertising with Amazon post-commission rates reduction. And all the alternative affiliate programs available.
This article is for those in the affiliate marketing world that have decided to jump ship and try their chances with Amazon affiliate program alternatives.
What Made the Amazon Affiliate Program Appealing?
It’s a mistake to think of Amazon as a really big e-store. It is a giant technological platform that uses its powers to sell people products. That’s why it is so good: it didn’t try to beat other stores playing their game, it invented its own game.
An average store or online retailer will rely on the owner’s guesswork about what to sell. Or on traditional market analysis. They can’t be selling everything – the storage costs and logistics would kill them. They only deal with specific merchandise, physical and digital products, and hope that it will be attractive enough to fund their further development.
Amazon decided it wanted to learn from its customers. This allowed it to pick its fights and propose the best prices for the most popular products. Or even make its own, cheaper alternative of a given product.
Again, as an online business, Amazon is primarily technology, not commerce. Commerce is rather its side activity. Right now, its cloud operations bring more profit than its commerce business.
Part of this tech that powers selling stuff is available for a marketer. They can search for popular products on Amazon, related products, frequently bought together products. This is a powerful argument for the Amazon affiliate program. Because Amazon converts.
Amazon also gives its affiliates a vast legion of loyal customers and some insights into what works. With this comes the almost uncountable numbers of product categories and products ready to be advertised. No matter what niche you aim for, Amazon has got you covered. No need to consider niche affiliate programs, alternative programs or other affiliate networks because you have so much in one place.
Another advantage for Amazon Associates: reliable affiliate income payouts and clear commission structure. Overall, you can be confident in Amazon as it isn’t some sketchy, no-name network. Your affiliate revenue can be transferred to your bank account by direct deposit with a 60 day cycle.
Outlooks for Amazon Affiliates for 2023
Sticking with Amazon comes with several caveats though. In the beginning of the COVID-19 panedmic, Amazon slashed affiliate commissions, since there was a surge in online shopping and there was no need for paying so much to affiliates if the job was done for them.
Recently, Amazon restored higher commission rates for selected groups of products (the rates are still lower than in pre-pandemic times). Accorsing to Amazon, this is for limited time only.
It is clear that relying solely on Amazon comes with certain risks. Like having your livelihood at risk because some high-ranking manager decided to lwoer commission rates just because they can. Hence the below collection of viable alternatives.
This is what made and still makes the Amazon affiliate program so appealing to others.
Amazon Affiliate Program Alternatives
Amazon & Amazon Associates is bigger than ever, however, it is far from being the only ecommerce Mekka in the world. There are other affiliate programs and platforms that may be a better fit for you.
Check out the Amazon affiliate program alternatives below to know your options.
Onward we go!
ClickBank is widely recognized because it’s been a part of the affiliate world since the dawn of time. Established in 1998, it’s been slowly evolving and growing to become the go-to place for newbie affiliates that it is today.
Why should you go with them?
ClickBank’s main advantage is low barrier of entry, there is no vetting process. Just sign up, provide some basic information and you are good to go. You don’t have to wait for any account approval.
The second notable thing about ClickBank is its high number of affiliate offers. ClickBank mainly deals with digital offers, however, there is a substantial number of physical products as well that all fit under the ‘lifestyle’ category. If you like dealing with digital products, ClickBank is among the best alternatives for current Amazon affiliates.
This is an affiliate network just slightly younger than ClickBank. Established in 2000 and acquired by Awin in 2017, ShareASale hosts over 4,500 offers from various categories. The main difference between it and ClickBank is that these offers are mainly physical ones.
Physical products usually offer lower commissions, as reproduction, storing and shipping of physical products takes money, unlike with digital offers. However, a digital product’s value is harder to estimate for a prospective consumer. People still tend to have objections when spending money on digital offers. This makes physical products have higher purchasability.
What are these offers that ShareASale has? They are mainly from smaller, lesser-known brands that offer a variety of products from all main categories. The upside is that you can find genuine and unique offers. The downside is that you will have to do a fair share of persuading your prospective customers before they buy a product from a brand they do not know.
These mostly unknown brands and abundance of products make ShareASale one of the best Amazon affiliate alternatives.
Ebay is even older than Amazon and another trusted brand that evolved substantially from the first purchase made through this platform in 1995.
The number of listings on the Ebay partner network is a whopping 1.3 billion. It’s like every seventh person on this planet is selling something on Ebay.
Most of us think about Ebay as a platform for auctions. This is partly true, but there are many fixed price listings as well.
The way commission structure for the Ebay partner network works as follows:
- When you link to offers with a fixed price, a visitor clicks your link and has to make a purchase within 24 hours. After that time, the tracking cookie dies and even if the sale occurs, you won’t be granted a commission.
- When you link to an auction, a visitor clicks your link and has to bid on the product within 24 hours. Once they do so, they have 10 days (more than the average auction) to win this auction.
Commission rates vary but a noteworthy thing is that you can get 2x times a commission for every reactivated member (a member with no purchase within the last 12 months).
Newcomers are also welcomed; visitors don’t have to be a part of a paid membership program (like Amazon Prime) to enjoy the full benefits of the platform. And minimum payouts are low. What more do you need?
Formerly known as Commission Junction, the CJ affiliate network is a lot like ShareASale but with more focus on brands. This comes with several implications.
Generally, CJ Affiliate is more focused on bigger players: it’s easier for them to get accepted to affiliate programs. Unfortunately, this may mean that the number of options (luckily covered in a pleasant and modern UI) may overwhelm a small-timer. Additionally, getting accepted for their programs requires a solid background. But, once you get in, there’s a high chance of smooth sailing to making money.
Advertisers may also be interested to know that CJ Affiliate may provide them with deep links (links that lead to specific merchant pages rather than to a general product page).
AliExpress is a Chinese-owned marketing platform that offers over 100 million products to buy from virtually any category. AliExpress operates globally, so it allows its affiliates to advertise in every market.
The main draw for customers of AliExpress is the price: this platform allows manufacturers to sell their products directly, without any middleman. Consumers can find a lot of products from lesser-known brands with similar qualities of their big-branded sibling.
AliExpress is probably the most Amazon-like platform on this list. The similarities go on and on: its parent company offers cloud services. The number of products and sellers on both platforms is staggering.
The most notable thing about the AliExpress Affiliate program are its generous commission rates that range from 5% to 8% that stand in stark contrast from the affiliate rates that the Amazon Associates program now offers.
Awin is ShareASale’s parent company (after acquiring it in 2017) and an outstanding affiliate network on its own. Awin is the result of a merger of UK and Germany’s affiliate networks that brought 21 years of expierience in digital marketing to the market. As of now, Awin is a home for a quarter of a million of publishers and over 20 thousands advertisers.
For advertisers, Awin allows access to 21,000 brands from the following verticals:
- Finance & Insurance
- Retail & Shopping
- Telecommunications & Services
Awin is great if you want a truly global reach.
Rakuten advertising is one of the oldest affiliate networks around the world. It operates in the following verticals:
Rakuten advertising cooperates with mane well-known brands, such as Spotify, BP, Shell, Tesco, Rolls-Royce or Airbus. If you want a global reach and presence on world’s leading brands, Rakuten is the way to go.
There is always an alternative
Likewise with other Internet giants such as Facebook or Google, there are life and business opportunities outside the Amazon affiliate program. If you don’t like something, you can always change it. There are plenty of other networks out there.
|Established in||Number of offers||Number of advertisers||Offer types||Commission rates|
|Clickbank||1998||22,000||6 million||CPA||1% to 75%|
|ShareASale||2000||4,000||4,500||CPA, Pay-per-call, Two-tier programs||5% – 30%|
|Ebay Partner Network||1995||1.3 billion||N/A||CPA||1.5% – 4%|
|CJ Affiliate||1998||7,500||3,000||CPA, Lead||20%-35%|
|AliExpress||2009||100 million||N/A||CPA||2.4% – 7%|
|Rakuten advertising||1997||N/A||1,000||CPA||3% – 7%|
Who knows, maybe you not only will make more money with an Amazon Associates alternative, but you’ll also find working with them easier, especially knowing that none of the companies listed here have made such drastic commission rate cuts like Amazon.
The most comforting knowledge may come from the fact that whichever program you chose, you can always track it with Voluum.
Affiliate program tracking
The whole affiliate equation consists of several parts, and an awesome offer from an Amazon affiliate program alternative is only one of them.
The remaining parts are good quality traffic and a tracker that connects the remaining parts in the most efficient way.
Not every ClickBank or AliExpress offer will work with any traffic. You should use traffic source’s targeting options to your advantage. But to know how to use them, you need to have some kind of data analytical platform. Here comes Voluum.
As it was mentioned, it is already integrated with the most prominent Amazon alternative – ClickBank. This enables Voluum to get conversion data from ClickBank using API connection.
But Voluum is a versatile affiliate tracking software, so it can also be set to work with the remaining Amazon Associates alternatives. It will gather your traffic source data and data from your affiliate programs and affiliate networks to give you the best overview of how your campaigns are doing.