Understanding the International Amazon Associates Programs

Submitted by: Geniuslink | http://geni.us/geotarget on November 3, 2015 | Amazon Amazon Amazon Amazon

The Global Amazon Landscape

Many Amazon Associates are unaware of the full scale of Amazon’s global footprint. To cater to their global audience and because of differences like currency, language, shipping, and digital rights restrictions, Amazon has created 14 different storefronts around the world. 11 of these offer both physical and digital goods in countless categories. 12 of these have their own affiliate programs that support earning commissions in their respective Amazon storefront.

These are:

Amazon Map

Note: The Amazon Associates programs for China, India, Japan, Brazil, and Mexico all require a local bank account for payment, meaning you won’t be able to get paid from those country’s programs unless you have a bank account there. Amazon Japan can pay with Amazon Japan gift cards. The rest of the programs listed above do not require a local bank account to receive payment.

The Netherlands and Australia also have digital Amazon storefronts, but do not have Associates programs.

Why does this matter to Associates?

If you are promoting products in an Amazon storefront and have people from all over the world clicking on your Amazon links, you want to guarantee two things:

A good user experience

When people click on a link to purchase a product on Amazon, they want to be brought to an Amazon storefront where they can easily carry through with the purchase. Their “local” Amazon storefront is likely where they have an account, can see prices in their local currency, and have reasonable (if not free) shipping costs. For example, a user in the UK wants to purchase from Amazon.co.uk, where a user in Germany wants to purchase from Amazon.de.

Making the purchase process easier and more satisfying for the end user not only increases the chances of them following through with the purchase (earning you those affiliate commissions), but also improves chances of them returning to your site for future purchases.

The ability to earn commissions

As an Amazon Associate, the ability to monetise is extremely important. You want your appropriate Amazon Associate tag embedded in every link that is driving traffic into the Amazon ecosystem. This is what attributes sales to you, allowing Amazon to pay you the commissions you deserve. However - since each Associates program is storefront specific, those tags only work in the Associates program they belong to. This means you can’t use your amazon.co.uk tag on products in the amazon.de store because you won’t receive credit for those sales.

Ensuring a good user experience and the ability to monetise is pretty straightforward when all of your traffic and clicks are coming from a single country. However, when you combine the variables of international traffic, 14 different Amazon storefronts, and 12 different Associates programs, it starts to get much more complicated.

Thankfully, there is a way around this.

Link Translation

Call it intelligent links, link localization, global linking, universal linking or link globalization. It all essentially means the same thing in regards to the Amazon ecosystem: the ability to use a single Amazon affiliate link that will work seamlessly for all of the different Amazon storefronts and Associates programs.

By making all of your Amazon Associates links “intelligent”, you’re ensuring that every user is being brought to the optimal storefront for them to purchase, and that your appropriate Associates tag is being added for whichever Amazon store they are being sent. With intelligent Amazon Associates links you can earn more commissions with the same amount of clicks.

Are Intelligent Links Right for me?

The primary piece of information you’re looking for is how international your audience is. Generally, if you see ten percent or more of your traffic coming from international sources, you can benefit from intelligent links.

Alexa.com and Google Analytics are excellent resources for checking your international traffic stats. If you’re promoting Amazon products via social media channels, you will also want to check those to see your international stats for your various social media accounts.

How do I make my links smarter?

An easy way around this may seem like just publishing individual links for each Amazon storefront, but there are a number of drawbacks to this:

  • It’s extremely time consuming.
  • Listing out many links tends to look unattractive on your site.
  • If you’re links are embedded in images or content, it’s not really possible without a lot of extra coding.
  • If you have Amazon links already published throughout your site or sites, it can be incredibly tedious to go through and add all of the extra links.
  • It won’t work on social media channels where you have limited space.

A far more appealing option for most Amazon Associates is to use a third party intelligent link management service, like Geniuslink, Amazon Link Engine or SkimLinks. There are a number of things to consider when trying to find the best fit for your needs.

  • Make sure the service allows you to add all of your Amazon Associates IDs so you can collect commissions from the different programs.
  • For automatically converting the links already on your site, look for services that have a WordPress plugin or piece of JavaScript that will automatically enhance all your Amazon links. This will save you loads of time.
  • If you’re using these links for social media, look for services that can incorporate link intelligence inside a shortened link.

Now you have a full understanding of the breadth of the Amazon ecosystem. For most Amazon Associates with any kind of international audience, intelligent links are one of the easiest ways to get a nice boost in commissions, and improve the experience for your international users.


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