Amazon has recently announced a temporary hike in commission rates for select product categories. This increase comes two years after Amazon reduced fees during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic when consumers shifted their buying habits online.

While these new rates represent an improvement, it’s important to note that some product categories still fall short of the pre-Covid affiliate commission percentages.

Amazon Affiliate Program Explained:

Amazon compensates affiliate publishers for directing visitors who ultimately make purchases. Amazon’s trusted brand reputation historically made it an attractive affiliate partner, offering higher conversion rates compared to less-known brands.

However, the affiliate landscape changed in April 2020 as the pandemic reshaped consumer behavior. With more people opting to purchase directly from Amazon to comply with lockdowns and minimize Covid-19 exposure, the urgency to pay affiliates diminished. Amazon responded sensibly by reducing its affiliate commission rates.

Luxury and beauty product categories witnessed a significant drop, with commissions plummeting from 10% to 4%. Furniture commission rates fell from 8% to 3%, while grocery commissions declined from 5% to 1%.

Amazon’s Commission Rate Increase:

Amazon has recently sent out emails to Amazon associates (its affiliate partners) announcing promotional commission rates that are effective until May 4th, 2022. While there is a modest increase in Amazon’s affiliate commission rates, it’s important to note that these rates vary by category.

Amazon has raised the commission rates for specific categories, including:

  • Shoes, Handbags & Accessories
  • Office Products
  • Kitchen
  • Home
  • Home Improvement
  • Beauty
  • Business & Industrial Supplies
  • Health & Personal Care

However, despite the increase, these new rates still fall one to three percentage points below the pre-Covid commission rates. For instance, Home and Home Improvement affiliate rates have risen from 3% to 5%, but they are still three percentage points lower than the previous 8% commission rate for products in these categories.

Business & Industrial Supplies commission rates have increased from 3% to 5%, which is just below the pre-Covid rate of 6%. Meanwhile, Health & Personal Care commission rates have gone up from 1% to 2%, although they remain significantly lower than the pre-Covid rate of 4.5%.

Amazon has introduced new promotional commission rates for affiliates. Here’s a breakdown of the updated rates:

  • Shoes, Handbags & Accessories: Old Rate – 4.00%, New Rate – 6.00%
  • Office Products: Old Rate – 4.00%, New Rate – 6.00%
  • Kitchen: Old Rate – 4.50%, New Rate – 5.50%
  • Home: Old Rate – 3.00%, New Rate – 5.00%
  • Home Improvement: Old Rate – 3.00%, New Rate – 5.00%
  • Beauty: Old Rate – 3.00%, New Rate – 5.00%
  • Business & Industrial Supplies: Old Rate – 3.00%, New Rate – 5.00%
  • Health & Personal Care: Old Rate – 1.00%, New Rate – 2.00%

These changes represent Amazon’s effort to adjust affiliate commission rates in response to evolving market dynamics and consumer preferences, particularly in light of the Covid-19 pandemic’s impact on online shopping habits. While some rates have seen improvements, they are still working their way back to the levels seen before the pandemic.

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