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Making The Merchant-Affiliate Relationship Work

I spoke to Amazon Product Manager Zahid Khan at their booth in the halls at the sidelines of Affiliate Summit West.

Internet marketer Steve Schaffer who was also at the booth mentioned that Amazon’s lack of analytics was hampering the efforts of affiliates.

Amazon affiliates will realized that tracking is limited to a maximum of 200 tracking IDs (which need to be created through the affiliate panel), preventing the insertion of tracking IDs.

PPC affiliates or other affiliates which dynanimically insert tracking data within the Sub ID field will find their marketing efforts seriously hampered by this.

The feedback from Zahid was that “affiliates have not requested this”.


I’m not sure if Amazon is seriously listening to this, but I don’t think they are actively soliciting affiliate feedback to enhance their systems. The end result is that a growth in affiliate revenue will benefit the company.

Routinely conducting affiliate polls or focused interviews would seem to be the basis for a quality improvement program. And if it is in place, it certainly needs to be overhauled.


Another insight: There are no plans for an increase to the 24 hour duration of affiliate tracking cookies. And if it gives you any consolation, eBay’s 7-day cookie was cited as a comparable benchmark.

So, if you’re conducting any element of follow up marketing, via email or other means, there is a chance you’ll not be renumerated for your efforts.


If you’re already an Amazon affiliate, this will not really be news to you.

With affiliates contributing 25% towards Amazon’s sales, I’d consider it a viable sales channel and would think that they would put more into the equation to make it an attractive program for affiliates.

1 comment on Making The Merchant-Affiliate Relationship Work

  1. Daniel M. Clark
    January 13, 2009 at 10:03 am (4277 days ago)

    All the things you listed are the exact reasons why I only ever promote products on Amazon when I’m too lazy to go somewhere else. The one thing Amazon’s got now that gives them an advantage to us lazy affiliates is the stripe. They made it super easy to get a simple link to a product.

    If I were doing sites that focused heavily on music or books though, I’d definitely *not* be using Amazon as my anchor merchant.

    24-hour cookies? Puh-leeze.

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