In the constantly evolving ecommerce landscape, partnerships with influencers on various channels empower brands to reach new audiences and ultimately boost sales. Amazon’s very own Influencer Program aims to connect brands with influencer stores to benefit both sides.
What Is the Amazon Influencer Program?
The Amazon Influencer Program allows influencers to recommend products to their followers and earn a commission.
Amazon influencers are often bloggers, YouTubers, and social media influencers who already have a large number of followers. They can set up their own personalized storefront on Amazon that links out to their recommended products.
Brands then have the opportunity to partner with well-established influencers who can share their products with an engaged following.
The program isn’t open to everyone, though. Brands can be safe in the knowledge that influencers have to pass a strict set of criteria to join the Amazon Influencer Program.
Amazon influencers need to:
- Have an active Instagram, YouTube, or Facebook account;
- Have an established following (there is no minimum);
- Regularly engage with their followers and viewers; and
- Create content that’s relevant to the products they’re promoting on Amazon.
The Amazon Influencer Program isn’t to be confused with Amazon Associates. Both get a commission through affiliate links, but associates send traffic to the original product pages on Amazon from other platforms, while influencers can generate a unique storefront URL that displays all of their chosen products in one place.
The commission varies from category to category. Amazon’s commission chart shows that Amazon Games can net influencers a huge 20% in commission, while beauty products can generate 10%. At the other end of the scale, influencers can get a 2% commission for digital video games and 2.5% for PC components.
What Is an Amazon Influencer Storefront, and How Does it Work?
Amazon influencers have the chance to create their very own personalized storefront on Amazon where they can curate their chosen products.
As well as generating lists of similar products, influencers can publish livestreams, shoppable photos, videos, and other social commerce elements on their storefront to create an engaging landing page.
Influencers that take the time to put together an intuitive and attractive storefront have a higher chance of getting featured across Amazon. Brands should cherry-pick influencers who have a well-thought-out page for this reason. More visibility means more sales.
Image Source: Teresa Caruso’s Amazon Page
For example, Tessa Caruso’s storefront features a personalized header, livestreams, videos, and popular product categories for shoppers to browse.
The Rising Popularity of Amazon Influencers
The Amazon Influencer Program has been around since 2016, but its popularity has only begun to skyrocket over the last couple of years. TikTok has been a huge driver of its growth thanks to hundreds of TikTok stars who promote their Amazon finds or share “what I bought vs. what I got” videos that link to their storefront.
While both brands and creators benefit from the program, Amazon is making it increasingly attractive for influencers to come aboard. CNBC reports on the “Amazon Resort,” where the marketplace flew dozens of Amazon influencers out to a resort in Mexico.
While there, they could attend sessions about optimizing their storefront, meet other creators, and enjoy the luxury beach resort.
The emphasis on nurturing influencer relationships and helping them bolster their storefronts hints at how important influencers are for Amazon.
With the rise of TikTok and the all-important trust factor in ecommerce, there’s a good chance the Amazon Influencer Program will become increasingly powerful.
The Benefits of Amazon’s Influencer Program for Brands
While there are plenty of benefits of the Influencer Program for influencers (not least of which is the possibility of an all-expenses paid luxury trip to Mexico), there are a number of benefits for brands too.
Influencers have already primed their audiences and do all the selling for you. It’s far easier to convert customers from a trusted source like an influencer than it is from pay-per-click (PPC) ads.
More traffic to your product pages indicates to Amazon that your brand is popular. As a result, it will bump you up in the search results and improve your organic traffic from other sources.
Credibility is critical in ecommerce today, and the pre-built trust from influencers is automatically transferred to your brand.
Increased Brand Awareness
More mentions of your brand on social media and other platforms will expose you to new audiences who might not have found your products through Amazon search.
Ongoing Lead Generation
Influencer storefronts are available and searchable year-round, unlike social media ads that immediately stop running when you turn them off.
Comparing the Return on Investment (ROI) of Influencer Storefronts With Influencer Partnerships on Other Platforms
Influencer marketing has huge ROI potential. “The State of Influencer Marketing 2020: Benchmark Report” found that the average earned media value per every $1 spent on influencer marketing is $5.78.
Instagram has long been the favorite influencer platform, but TikTok is quickly catching up. In fact, “The State of Influencer Marketing 2021” report states that the interest in using TikTok in influencer marketing campaigns rose 325% in just one year.
The benefit of Amazon’s Influencer Program is that brands can track direct sales from each partner. Tracking influencer marketing success on other platforms is still tricky due to unreliable tracking links and huge data gaps, but Amazon’s refreshing take on the game could change all of that.
Seeing increased ROI from working with Amazon influencers will depend on:
- Who you’re partnering with and their leverage over their audience;
- The type of products you’re selling and how big the market is for them; and
- How many influencers you partner with and their account size.
Brands that partner with 20 niche influencers with highly engaged followings are likely to see a bigger ROI than brands that partner with one or two generic influencers who have very few followers or very little engagement on their accounts.
Is the Amazon Influencer Program Worth the Investment?
In short: Yes, it’s worth a try.
Influencer marketing is one of the most effective ways to promote ecommerce products since consumers rely heavily on word-of-mouth recommendations and reviews.
Buffer says that partnering with micro-influencers (influencers with less than 10,000 followers) is one of the best investments your brand can make, while Think With Google found that over 90% of people discover new brands or products through YouTube videos.
Shoppers find products through their favorite creators on a regular basis. Get in on the action by seeking out relevant influencers and partnering with them to increase your reach, unlock new audiences, and maximize visibility for your brand and products.
Want to learn more about the winning strategies top brands are using on Amazon to stand out? Check out Salsify’s on-demand webinar, “Winning Expert Strategies To Compete on Amazon.”