Amazon aims to make dramatic changes to commission rates for its affiliate marketing system, which enables media outlets, e-commerce firms and small and independent businesses to earn revenue changes from a sale when a buyer landes on the product page and buys the item via a connection given.
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For example, commission rates under either the categories of home improvement, furniture, lawn and garden, and pet items would see a commission rate falling to just 3 per cent from 8 per cent per sale. The commission rates would go from 6 percent down to 3 percent for headphones, beauty products and musical instruments. Many other categories — including food, sports, infant goods, and outdoor and tools — decrease from 4 percent or higher to 3 or 1 percent, CNBC notes.
The adjustments would be a significant blow to digital media companies, many of which have spent the last couple of years building up trade departments dedicated to selling goods that are mostly bought on Amazon, at least in the US. Many stores, such as Best Buy and Walmart, also operate affiliate marketing services but with almost half of all online purchases, Amazon is the leader in US e-commerce.
Digital media corporations such as BuzzFeed and Wirecutter, operated by the New York Times, are among the industry’s most influential suppliers of commerce. Vox Media is another, with alliances with distributors that include Amazon.
Yet there are dozens of other news agencies doing the same and non-news businesses that have built up small to medium-sized companies through online sales and product review. The move would affect not only blogs, but also popular YouTube channels for dealing and e-commerce, and will also deal with plug-in producers and stores such as Honey and Rakuten.
Amazon is one of very few US businesses that only became more important in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. The company employs hundreds of thousands of new employees to keep up with demand in its warehouses and distribution channels for its grocery and box.
Amazon Fresh grocery delivery can now also start selling to consumers of non-essential items, as the company has limited its warehouse deliveries to essential goods such as health and cleaning products and non-perishable food.