Commexis Cast – July 20, 2018: The Hidden Significance of Amazon’s Influencer Program

Today’s Commexis Cast discusses Amazon’s Influencer Program, a feature that hasn’t gotten as much publicity as you’d expect from an Amazon service.

The program quietly launched in March 2017 in an invite-only beta test for influencers with a high follower count, then shortly opened to submissions for approval. Influencers chosen for the program were able to have a vanity URL that linked to a storefront allowing users to purchase Amazon product curated by the influencer, who received a small percentage. Influencers can customize their storefronts and include YouTube videos and Instagram pictures of the products.

This may remind you of Amazon’s affiliate program, which allows individuals who sign up to link to products on Amazon and receive a small percentage when someone purchases using that link. The additions to the program, such as the vanity URL, are certainly a bonus for participants, but not revolutionary. Do they need to be?

Nikki Baird, vice president of retail innovation at Aptos, penned a piece for Forbes analyzing how the influencer program has done for Amazon. The answer: it has neither succeeded spectacularly, nor failed abysmally. It simply is. Liz Gottbrecht at MAVRCK believes that incredible success isn’t a necessary component for the program, but rather that the influencer program is but one more piece of Amazon’s marketing ecosystem.

Amazon’s Influencer Marketing Ecosystem Graph by MAVRCK

The program’s continued existence as an expanded affiliate link still helps Amazon form relationships with influencers while creating and maintaining direct links to commerce. Both are fantastic for the ecommerce site, even if it’s not a smash hit.

Today’s cast: Phillip Brooks (Commexis Lead Strategist), Rebekah Milsted (Commexis Social Media Manager) and Matthew McGrorty (Commexis Videographer/Podcaster).

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