Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) It lowers the commissions it pays to affiliates that advertise and link to the e-commerce giant’s products on their websites.
The program, known as Amazon Associates, has been around for years and is a useful source of income for affiliates, including publishers.
In a note obtained by CNBCAmazon.com said it is lowering its commission rates effective April 21. A spokesperson for the tech giant did not say if the move was motivated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the memo, commission rates for many categories of affiliate products are significantly reduced. For example, rates for furniture and home improvement products have been reduced to 3% from 8% while commission rates for grocery products have been reduced to 1% from 5%. Commission for advertisements for headphones, beauty products, musical instruments, and commercial and industrial supplies has been reduced to 3% from 6%.
The commission cuts are a huge blow to some Amazon affiliates that rely on commissions as a major part of their income. Websites like BuzzFeed publish purchase lists that direct readers to Amazon products in exchange for a portion of those sales. An Amazon spokesperson said the cuts apply to US affiliates, noting that it regularly evaluates its programs and that changing commission rates is standard industry practice.
The move to reduce the percentage that affiliates get for sales of Amazon products comes just days after the e-commerce giant began accepting shipments of non-essential items from third-party sellers that make up more than 50% of its revenue. Amazon has been prioritizing essential orders in the midst of the pandemic but will now accept products outside of that in its US warehouses
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