Brand registered sellers now have another reason to level up their external traffic game. Not only will brands receive a profit from the sales generated by your off-Amazon marketing activities, but they’ll also be rewarded with a bonus (a 10% discount in referral fees). Learn more about Amazon’s new program, know if it’s right for your brand and find the opportunities it can provide if you choose to participate in it.
What is the Brand Referral Bonus program?
Brand Referral Bonus program, or BRB as we call it, gives brand registered sellers the opportunity to earn a bonus for sales driven by your off Amazon marketing efforts.
Launched on: July 15th, 2021
Eligibility criteria: Brand registry
Q1: How much bonus do brands get?
Brands will be rewarded an average of 10% of sales from traffic they have driven to Amazon. The bonus rate changes depending on the category of each product.
Q2: What purchases qualify for the Brand Referral Bonus program?
The bonus applies to all the sales with an Amazon Attribution tag that originates from a non-Amazon marketing effort. This includes sales generated from the same brand up to 14 days after clicking on the ad.
Important: Any sales that do not come through an attribution tags won’t be credits toward your eventual bonus. So you must register for the Amazon Attribution program before you start bumping up your off-Amazon marketing efforts.
Q3: If I am an existing Amazon Attribution user, do I get a bonus from sales from previously created Amazon Attribution tags?
Yes. Amazon calculates bonus from all qualifying sales attributed by Amazon Attribution starting the day you enroll for the program.
Q4: What if I, a non-US resident, am selling in the United States? Am I still eligible for the program?
If you are a non-US person and performing services within the United States, Amazon won’t pay your bonus.
Q5: When will brands receive a bonus?
From August 10th, 2021, all the eligible brands will get a bonus on the 10th day of the month. The bonus will be utilized to pay future referral fees. So instead of paying 15% to Amazon as a referral, you only pay 5%. However, there will be a 2-month waiting time before the amount is credited to your account. For example, the bonus for the sales generated in august will be credited to your account on October 10th. The 2 months waiting window is to accommodate order cancellation and customer returns. Smart move, Amazon.
Q6: Is the bonus applicable only for paid campaigns?
Both paid and organic campaigns across any non-Amazon channel, including paid search, social ads and posts, affiliate and influencer campaigns, and owned marketing across your blog, website, and email list, are eligible.
Q7: How to get started with BRB?
Step 1: Join the Brand Referral Bonus program
Step 2: Log in to the Amazon Attribution console to generate tags and apply them to your off-Amazon ads campaigns. If you have not yet registered for Amazon Attribution, you must. It’s a powerful tool that allows brand-registered sellers to measure the impact of their off-Amazon marketing and advertising campaigns on their Amazon sales. Sign up here.
Step 3: Set up Amazon Attribution measurement across your non-Amazon marketing campaigns.
Step 4: Visit the Amazon Attribution report center to review your campaign results.
Q8: How can brands know the exact bonus amount they’re entitled to?
Brands can view their earned bonus on a monthly basis on the Transaction Details page of their Seller account. Or, they can download the weekly Brand Referral Bonus Report in Seller Central.
While the BRB program is exclusively built for brands, sellers have their own program called the Amazon Associates program that helps content creators, publishers and bloggers monetize their traffic. To learn more about Amazon Associates, click here.
Is there a catch?
A few sellers in the comment section of the official announcement pointed out that this initiative is Amazon’s attempt to stop brands from investing in direct-to-consumer websites. In short, as per them, the retail giant wants to incentivize brands that invest in marketing platforms like Facebook & Google but bring that traffic to its own platform instead of their e-commerce website.
According to Marketplace Pulse, the launch of the BRB program aligns Amazon’s fees structure closely to Shopify’s. The article also points out that the program is mostly going to benefit Amazon. Brands driving external traffic to Amazon are forgetting that they are renting shoppers from Amazon. Brands will get a 10% discount for the first time, but the second time shoppers order a brand’s product, they’ll be back to paying 15%.
Here’s our take on the BRB program
For sellers who have been executing strategies centered around off Amazon marketing activities, the bonus earned from the BRB program is like icing on the cake. Sellers who were hesitant to route external traffic to their listing because of the additional costs and the referral fees can now get a financial boost.
Even if you feel like you are renting Amazon’s traffic, there are several benefits of using Amazon’s brand name. Because of Amazon’s reputation as the world’s largest eCommerce platform, you are likely to see better conversion rates on your campaigns. And we do have a solution to get about the limitations to driving traffic to Amazon and not on your website. Just make a landing page, ask shoppers to submit their contact information and then send them to Amazon to complete the sale. This way, you maintain a happy relationship with your conversion rates and you can also build a customer base for your website.
If you ask us, enrolling in the BRB program and making strategies to drive external traffic on your Amazon detail page is a no-brainer. All the eligible brands should definitely go for it.
Best practices for running successful off Amazon campaigns
1) Make your product listing ready for traffic.
Your detail page is the landing page of your campaign, so it should be informative and engaging. If your detail page is not competitively positioned with adequate reviews, scannable copy and enticing images, you are throwing your marketing dollars down the drain. You should always check the below-mentioned things before kick-starting your campaigns:
- Images – All 9 images including product-in-white, Amazon infographic images and lifestyle images)
- On-page content – Informative, scannable and SEO friendly
- Buy box – Your product should ALWAYS have the buy box, that is Add to Cart button
- Reviews and rating – At least 15+ reviews with a rating of 3.5 and above
- Stock Availability – Always stay on stock
Invest in professional Amazon listing optimization services to make sure your listing is retail-ready.
2) Choose the right channel
The right channel for your campaign depends on the products, market and obviously your budget. Here is a list of few channels marketers most often use:
- Email marketing
- Organic social media (Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest)
- Influencer and affiliate marketing
- Google Adwords
3) DO NOT send the traffic directly to your product detail page
Shoppers on Amazon already have a purchase intent; because of this, the conversion rate of Amazon ad campaigns is a lot higher than ANY other platform. The average conversion rate of Prime members on Amazon is 74%, the non-Prime members have a conversion rate of 13%, while the average conversion rate across all other retail platforms is just 3.32%. If you send the traffic directly to your detail page, your conversion rates will drop drastically and consecutively; your ranking will drop too.
Instead, divert your traffic to a landing page or similar sales funnel to filter out the shoppers with purchase intent. So first, you get in front of your potential audience through external sources and send them to a landing page. Collect their contact information and send them a promo code they can use while shopping on Amazon. This way, only the interested buyers will actually bother to visit the detail page.
So, if you are still on the fence about ramping your off Amazon traffic efforts, this is your sign to go for it. Yes, driving external traffic to your listing is complex, not something you’ll likely have the time to do it yourself, but you can always hire our Amazon marketing consultants to help you with crafting and executing strategies. Schedule a meeting with our Amazon consultant now.
The costs of running ads on platforms like Google & Facebook and the referral fees imposed by Amazon can limit a brand’s ability to invest in off Amazon marketing campaigns.