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Amazon introduces affiliate marketing programme in India; what it offers

Screen Shot 2013-07-08 at 1.38.46 PMAmazon.in, the marketplace launched in India by Amazon Seller Services Pvt Ltd, part of the world's largest e-commerce firm Amazon.com, has introduced its affiliate marketing programme called Amazon Associates Program in India. The new programme is essentially a marketing tool that will enable online publishers (of all sizes) monetise their content by advertising contextually relevant products and referring visitors to the Amazon.in site.

The company is providing a cost-per-action advertising model where all associates, ranging from large and small businesses to bloggers, authors and others, can create links to contextually relevant products in the Amazon.in catalogue. An associate earns a percentage-based referral fee when a customer clicks the product link (created by that associate) and makes a purchase on Amazon.in. Note that the commission extends to all products the visitor buys on the site and not just the product which was advertised by the associate.

For creating an ad, publishers can select from over 17 million books, tens of thousands of DVDs and audio CDs, a range of products in the consumer electronics segment, as well as the entire Kindle range of devices. One can become an associate for free and as part of an introductory offer, associates will get commissions ranging from 5 per cent (for the consumer electronics segment) to 10 per cent (for all other categories).

In comparison, other leading e-commerce players like Jabong are offering 8 per cent in commission to their affiliates while some offer a fixed amount for each sale. Interestingly, Flipkart has recently hiked its affiliate fee from 6 per cent to 10 per cent for most of its categories (probably because Amazon is offering that much). The only categories for which the company is offering less than 10 per cent commission are mobiles & tablets, laptops & accessories and cameras. For these, affiliates get 5 per cent commission (again, similar to Amazon).

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"It is a win-win proposition. Your visitors see contextually relevant products and you have a new source of income. Associates in India will have access to the same tools and tracking capability that millions of associates worldwide have had over the past 17 years," said Amit Agarwal, vice-president and country manager of Amazon India.

Website owners signing in for the programme get access to Associates Central, a dedicated portal for associates where they have the option to build links, view traffic & earnings reports, and read about the latest news and opportunities available through the programme. The portal also offers access to a library of widgets and linking tools (including text links and rich banners).

In addition, the associates also have access to Associates Site Stripe, which enables them to quickly link to any page on Amazon. The Site Stripe lets signed-in Associates build links as they browse the Amazon.in website and associates with development resources can also use the Product Advertising API and XML data feeds to integrate Amazon's catalogue with their content.

Amazon launched its marketplace in India, Amazon.in, as well as two new seller programmes – Selling on Amazon and Fulfilment by Amazon – early last month. At that time, the company was only offering two product sections – books and movies & TV shows (video products). In the books' section, it was offering over 7 million printed books across 200-plus categories. Post that, it launched its Kindle tablets and e-book readers in India (note that the e-book readers have already been available in a number of offline stores for a while). The devices launched in the country include Kindle, Kindle Paperwhite, both e-book readers, as well as Kindle Fire HD 7 and Kindle Fire HD 8.9 tablets.

As of now, the site is offering products across six categories including books & e-books, movies & TV shows, the Kindle family of e-readers & Kindle Fire tablets, mobiles and accessories, camera & photography and portable media players.

(Edited by Sanghamitra Mandal)

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