Amazon banned Commission Junction and Skimlinks from Amazon starting in April from running Amazon’s affiliate program. These affiliates will not earn a commission on purchases made as a result of traffic they sent to Amazon. Previously, select vendors received a cut of the total order amount, not just the percentage of the item that they added to their cart from the affiliate it seems.
Many in the industry are saying that high levels of fraud or over-collection of commission on the actual sale caused them to re-evaluate their relationship.
Amazon appears to be tightening up this business model to keep more profits from its sales, especially as consumers search the platform for new products after clicking links from external sources. By cutting off these third-party affiliates, Amazon could increase its own profit margins and potentially increase returns for publishers that send traffic directly to the e-commerce giant.
The move follows news last week that Walmart cut its influencer affiliate programs with social commerce site MagicLinks and e-commerce giant Rakuten. Additionally, retailers Macy’s, Patagonia and Victoria’s Secret have taken similar steps, per a recent Business Insider report.
Publishers without direct relationships to Amazon will likely take a hit if the pullback on affiliate marketing continues. These developments come as publishers are already hammered on the revenue side as marketers cut ad spend and block ads from running on coronavirus-related stories.