- Amazon has quietly rolled out an affiliate sales program over the last two years called the Amazon Influencer Program.
- The program allows social-media influencers to earn commission by recommending products to their followers.
- People enrolled in the program get their own “storefront” on the site where they can display their favorite products, as well as a custom URL to provide to shoppers.
- According to an email Business Insider obtained that Amazon sends to enrolled influencers, sales of Amazon-branded clothing and accessories earn influencers the most money.
- Clothing from Amazon has already made its mark on the fashion industry with items like the Orolay jacket, which is so popular that an Instagram account has been created in its honor.
Amazon has shaken up plenty of industries.
In November, the online retailer announced plans to open 3,000 cashier-less grocery stores, completely changing the way some people shop for food. And in February, Amazon reportedly purchased a failed Ohio shopping mall, proving that online sales are replacing brick-and-mortar stores.
The fashion industry is also feeling the effects of Amazon’s popularity, most recently through one of the company’s affiliate-sales programs.
The Amazon Influencer Program allows social-media influencers to earn commission by offering product recommendations to their followers
To share product recommendations, each enrolled influencer receives their own Amazon “storefront.” On these dedicated pages, influencers can post links to their favorite products all in one place. Whenever someone buys a product through their page, the influencer receives a percentage of the purchase.
Each page is also accessible through an individual URL, allowing influencers to share their storefronts with followers in an easy and direct manner.
The program is offered exclusively to people with large social-media followings
In order to qualify for the Amazon Influencer Program, one must have a large following on a mainstream social media platform, including YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. While the company has not released an exact number of followers needed to enroll, it’s believed that current members have follower ranges between the hundreds and thousands.
The engagement rate between followers and influencers is also important. For example, a person can have a couple thousand followers on Instagram, but unless a significant number of those users are liking, commenting, and interacting with them, the influencer may not be considered for the program.
But even with a large number of followers and strong engagement metrics, Amazon has one other way to narrow down the number of people who qualify. According to the Amazon Influencer Program website, the company also looks at “the type of content you post and the relevancy it has for Amazon customers.”
Influencers can make the most money by selling fashion and jewelry products
In January, Business Insider obtained an email sent to enrolled influencers, which details some of the terms of the Amazon Influencer Program.
According to the email, sales of products from Amazon’s private fashion line provide influencers with the most profit, offering 10% commission on each purchase made through their page. Non-Amazon clothing, shoes, and jewelry offer a slightly smaller rate of 7% per purchase.
While commission can be earned through non-apparel items, the percentage rates are much smaller. For example, influencers can add products from Amazon Fresh to their “storefronts,” however they’ll only earn 3% of each purchase.
Some influencers are making as much as $2,000 per month through the program
Business Insider spoke to four creatives and influencers, all of who were enrolled in the Amazon Influencer Program at the time of publication.
While influencers behind an Instagram page called The Whole Foods Vegan said that they only earn a “few dollars” per month through the program, a creative named Roberto Blake said he typically made between $1,500 and $2,000 per month.
Blake said that he made his money through “passive selling,” noting that “a lot of people make money on [the Amazon Influencer Program] without even really pushing the products.” Instead, he said that often they “just list what they use as an influencer.”
Amazon has already made its mark on the fashion industry
In January, a paneled puffer coat sold on Amazon went viral. Called the Orolay jacket, the coat costs $130, is sold in five different colors, and has received thousands of rave reviews.
The style has often been referred to as an inexpensive version of coats from Canada Goose, a luxury outerwear brand that sells similar jackets for upwards of $800.
The jacket from Amazon is so popular that an Instagram account has been created in its honor
With more than 1,000 followers on Instagram, a page called @theamazoncoat is proof of Amazon’s fashion influence.
An anonymous user behind the Instagram page tracks how popular the jacket is by posting everything from memes about the style to photos of celebrities wearing it.
Representatives for Amazon and The Amazon Coat Instagram account did not immediately reply to INSIDER’s request for comment.
Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more.
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