For Amazon sellers, external traffic – meaning traffic you send to your products from sources outside Amazon – has been a powerful tool for some time now. Off-Amazon traffic offers a range of powerful benefits, including increased ranking power, more brand recognition, and the ability to own your traffic source and build a customer list.
The issue stopping many sellers from driving their own traffic, however, is cost. It’s true that many of the most powerful external traffic channels, such as Facebook Ads and Google Ads, can be expensive, particularly when you’re first starting out. As such, a lot of sellers can’t afford to invest in the long-term benefits of external traffic, and decide to stick with Amazon PPC, which is more profitable up front.
Now, Amazon is introducing a new program that is going to totally change the game. It’s the Brand Referral Bonus program, which incentivizes sellers to drive their own traffic, and makes it much easier to be profitable when you’re running paid ads or any other kind of external traffic.
In simpler terms, Amazon is essentially going to pay you to drive traffic.
Read on to learn more about the Brand Referral Bonus program, and how to start using it.
The Brand Referral Bonus Program
The new Brand Referral Bonus program (launched July 15 2021), gives brand-registered Amazon sellers a rebate on seller fees for traffic they drive from outside Amazon.
The bonus is an average of 10% on product sales that sellers drive themselves. This 10% is taken off the referral fee for that sale – so instead of paying 15% to Amazon as a referral, you only pay 5%.
You’ll also receive the same bonus when customers you send to Amazon make additional purchases from your brand within the next 14 days – it’s not only their initial purchase that gets credited back to you.
To join the program, go to https://sellercentral.amazon.com/brand-referral-bonus
Brand Referral Bonus Program Eligibility Requirements
This program does not apply across the board for any sale coming from external traffic. There are two requirements to earn the 10% Brand Referral Bonus.
First, you need to have a brand that’s part of Amazon Brand Registry. Resellers, or sellers that don’t have an officially registered brand will not be able to benefit from this program.
Second, you need to send traffic using Amazon Attribution. This is a tool that’s offered to brand registered sellers to allow tracking and reporting on external traffic – essentially, Google Analytics but for Amazon external traffic.
Amazon Attribution is how Amazon identifies traffic you have driven yourself. If you get sales from external traffic that don’t come through an attribution link, you won’t get the referral bonus.
How to Register Your Brand with Brand Registry
The first step to start getting referral bonuses is to register your brand.
This is a must these days if you’re selling branded products on Amazon, as it allows access to all the powerful tools on offer from Amazon, including Amazon Attribution (which we’ll move on to in the next section), Amazon Stores, Sponsored Brands, A+ Content, and Amazon Brand Analytics.
Go here to view Amazon’s official documentation on brand registry, and to apply for entry. To register your brand you’ll first need a trademark, which can take some time, so you’ll want to begin the process of getting your trademark as soon as possible.
How to Start Using Amazon Attribution
Once you’re brand registered, you can start using Amazon Attribution.
Even without the Brand Referral Bonus program, Amazon Attribution is incredibly powerful for the data it gives you on your external traffic campaigns. It’s the only way you can get clear data on how many sales came from your external traffic, which is crucial information for understanding whether your ad campaigns are successful or not.
You can register for Amazon Attribution here. At the time of writing, Attribution is available for Amazon US, CA, DE, ES, FR, IT and UK.
Once registered and accepted, you can create tracking links for all your external traffic channels (Facebook Ads, Google Ads, email, website, etc). If you’re sending traffic through a landing page first – for example, a Facebook Ads funnel that leads to a landing page with an email optin, then to Amazon – you’ll want to make sure that the last link leading to the Amazon listing is the link with the Amazon Attribution tag, to ensure that the tracking data is not lost and you get the 10% bonus from Amazon.
What’s the Catch? Will Amazon Really Pay Me to Drive Traffic?
There is no catch. Amazon is actually paying you – not in straight cash, but discounts on referral fees, which are valuable all the same – to drive your own traffic.
Why are they doing this? It’s simple, really.
When you drive your own traffic, you’re doing marketing for Amazon. They benefit from the traffic you send to Amazon even more than you do, since people who buy things on Amazon usually come back and buy more. In fact, Amazon shoppers spend an average of $600-$1400 on the site per year.
As we mentioned earlier, a lot of sellers don’t like to drive their own traffic to Amazon, because of the double cost – first, the cost of ads on Facebook/Google, and second, the referral fees. Amazon reducing these fees will mean a lot more sellers sending traffic, which means Amazon benefits.
It’s a win-win: sellers pay less in the short term, and Amazon gets more customers which will benefit them in the long run.
Is the Brand Referral Bonus Program Worth It?
The big question – is it worth it to drive traffic to Amazon and earn referral fee bonuses?
For the most part, yes. It offsets a lot the cost of running ads, and you’re likely to see compounding benefits for your product on Amazon, through greater rankings and visibility when you drive more sales from external traffic.
You are, however, still renting your traffic on Amazon, which means there are long-term advantages to sending people to your own site instead of to Amazon.
Here are some pros and cons of driving traffic to Amazon, compared to making sales outside of Amazon.
Driving traffic to Amazon
- Traffic converts at a higher rate
- Huge long-term value of higher rankings and visibility on Amazon
- More hands-off process (if you’re using FBA)
Driving traffic to your website
- Slightly lower fees
- You own your customers
- More flexibility for branding
As the difference in fees is now not so large, you can benefit from both options by running traffic through a landing page, capturing contact information from your customers first, then sending them to Amazon to complete the sale.
This way, you can own your customers, build an email list and display your own unique brand identity through the ad and landing page stages of your funnel, then send them to Amazon, where you benefit from the boost in rankings and referral fee bonuses.
This is a great way to run your business, taking advantage of the profile of being on Amazon, while retaining more control and ownership of your brand and your customer base than many sellers who are exclusively on Amazon.
Amazon’s Brand Referral Bonus Program – In Summary
External traffic has been a sneakily powerful tool for Amazon sellers for some time now. But we may now see many more sellers using traffic channels such as Facebook Ads, Google Ads, influencer marketing, and even driving traffic from email marketing or their own website, with the newly added bonus program from Amazon.
If you’re brand registered, check out the Brand Referral Bonus program, and start getting paid for the traffic you send to Amazon.
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