Whether you’re unable to use Amazon or you’re just looking for something better – there are plenty of alternatives to the Amazon affiliate program that you can take advantage of.
In fact, there are countless affiliate programs out there so all you really need to do is a Google search for companies you might want to work with and see what offers exist.
While there are clear advantages to using Amazon, it will depend entirely on the niche you set out with and your goals – Amazon is oftentimes not the best fit for many niches. Maybe you’re looking for higher commissions or you’re looking to promote products and services that you can’t just buy on Amazon.
Whatever the case may be, here is a list of affiliate platforms that are not only similar to Amazon, but you can easily get approved for!
Here are a few affiliate programs you can work with besides Amazon that are most closely related
- Commission Rates: 5% standard+ performance-based pay up to 8%. (certain categories excluded) $8 flat commission for all Target red-card and debit card approvals
- Cookie Window: 7 days
Target’s affiliate program is a great option if you’re looking for something other than Amazon. This program offers a higher base commission than Amazon across most product categories, however, some categories are lower.
Target has a performance-based commission model. Your base commission rate is 5% across the board except within certain categories.
Categories excluded from Target’s 5% base commission:
- Health and Beauty: 1% on all sales
- Baby Gear: 3%
Other categories offer a performance bonus structure – baby gear, clothing and accessories, home and outdoor living where you can make up to 8% in commissions (but you’d have to make over 10,000 sales in a month to reach 8%!)
Target also offers a 7-day cookie window that far exceeds Amazon’s 24-hour window. This means you’ll get commissions on sales that result from link clicks up to 7 days later. This could give you many more opportunities to make sales from people who don’t instantly purchase something. (How many times have you added something to your cart and waited a couple of days before buying it??)
Target is also widely recognized and trusted as a retailer, so you wouldn’t have to work very hard to earn the trust of your audience to purchase from them.
- Commission: 4% standard. 1% for electronics, video games, movies, books, photo, music
- Cookie window: 3 days
Very similar to Amazon and widely recognized, Walmart is another company that provides an affiliate program for all to use. They offer many of the same products and Walmart has been trying to compete with the Amazon giant in the web space.
Walmart’s affiliate commission rates are as follows:
- 4% base commission
- 1% on electronics, video games, movies, music, books, and photo
- 0% on excluded categories
Walmart’s base commission rates are 4%, but for electronics and a few other categories, the commission rates are only 1%. This makes it pretty comparable to Amazon’s rate (many categories there are also at 4%).
One aspect that makes Walmart better than the Amazon affiliate program is it has a 3-day cookie window. While it’s not as great as Target’s 7-day cookie, it’s still much better than Amazon’s.
Affiliate Networks like Rakuten, CJ, ShareASale, and Clickbank
- Commission: Varies
- Cookie window: Varies
If you’ve spent any time trying to sign up for affiliate programs, you may have noticed some direct you to sign up for larger networks first.
Rather than an individual affiliate program, these serve to house thousands of affiliate programs all under a single roof.
Some of the most popular are Rakuten Network, Commission Junction, ShareASale, and Clickbank (digital products). (Although there are many more)
Now, you still have to join each individual affiliate program and each one has its set commission structure, cookie length, and terms. However, you can search for and join from within the platform.
Many will automatically approve your account if you apply, but others will make you wait for manual approval. Many will send you offers to join their affiliate programs, but you’d want to check and see if any of them are worth promoting.
Some might reject you, but that’s normal.
There are several advantages to affiliate programs within larger networks:
- Once you sign up for a network, you’ll be able to access and search for any affiliate program within the network. There will literally be THOUSANDS.
- It creates a centralized affiliate base for you to manage your links and affiliate relationships
- Fewer login credentials to remember
- All your affiliate commissions are paid out and managed by the affiliate network, so if you are earning commissions from 10 different platforms, you’ll get paid 1 check.
- Commission: Varies by company
- Cookie window: Varies by company
This isn’t exactly an affiliate program, but it’s a platform that connects you to nearly 50,000 companies that you’ll have access to earn commissions from.
This is different from the affiliate networks because you don’t have to join each individual affiliate program, only Skimlinks.
You also don’t have to bother placing affiliate links on your site at all! You install the code on your site (or use a plugin) and you will earn commissions. Another cool part is Skimlinks will track all your link data including the link and page purchases were made from.
You actually can promote Amazon products with Skimlinks, however, the commission rates are lower.
They also take a 25% chunk of your commissions for performing this service for you so you have to factor that in.
You simply place links on your site to the products you want to promote, and Skimlinks takes care of the rest! You can read more within this Skimlinks review.
Something to consider: TRUST
One point I’d like to make is when you’re choosing affiliate programs for your website, especially places that sell physical products like Amazon, trust is a huge thing to take into consideration.
What I mean by that is, does the visitor know this company? Do they offer good customer service, are they reliable? Do they offer good prices?
If your website visitor goes to click a link to purchase, say, a baby stroller, is there a good chance they’ll want to purchase it there?
For example, there’s a relatively high chance someone will buy stuff from Amazon because they KNOW Amazon. They’ve probably purchased stuff from Amazon before!
If you take them somewhere like Jet.com to buy that same baby stroller, what are the chances they’ll purchase it? Have you even heard of Jet? Maybe, but I actually hadn’t before I did some research for this!
People like to find the best deals and buy from companies they trust. If you take them to a site like Jet, they might just Google search the same product, end up on Amazon, or Target, or Walmart, and buy the same stroller there instead.
If the commission rates are good it might be worth promoting anyway, but just know that the platform you promote will have an impact on conversions.
If you can’t promote Amazon for whatever reason, or you just don’t want to, it’s totally OK! There are so many affiliate programs out there that your options are endless.
Just keep in mind factors like commission rates, cookie length, and trust, when you decide which companies to affiliate with!