Affiliate marketing has long been the cornerstone of the digital economy, supporting bloggers, influencers, and creators of all sorts. The global affiliate marketing industry is currently estimated to be worth over $12 billion, with the Amazon Associates Program making up a sizable chunk of this figure with an overall market share of nearly 40%.
For better or for worse, Amazon effectively controls the taps of this thriving industry, and in the process holds enormous sway on content creation, optimization, and marketing on the internet. With no major competitor in sight, the Amazon Associates Program is known for taking advantage of its near monopoly position, with arbitrary cuts on commissions, and even banning affiliates outright.
This, however, is changing quick, with Walmart’s entrance into the ecommerce space, and its subsequent launch of an affiliate program. Even though it is much small on the digital front, Walmart is only other player that can rival Amazon in terms of reach, and product catalogue. In This article, we take an in-depth look at how Walmart stacks-up for affiliate marketers, and its viability as an alternative.
Walmart Vs Amazon Affiliate Program – Overview
Walmart’s affiliate program provides a chance to earn commissions from promoting products listed on the Walmart online stores. The program allows people with blogs or websites to become affiliates by linking back to the products. Once you are approved to join the program, you receive access to product links and banners that you can use on your blog or website. To be eligible for the program, your site must have content relevant to products, and services listed on the platform.
Amazon Associates, on the other hand, is one of the oldest and the most popular affiliate programs functioning since 1996. Through this program, you can promote products and services on your site and earn a commission from Amazon when a sale is made through your link. The mechanics are quite similar, except that the Amazon Associates program has a much stricter approval criteria off-late.
Walmart Vs Amazon Affiliate Commission Rate
The commissions paid by the Walmart affiliate program varies based on the category of product you are promoting. Commissions for most categories fall in the range of 1% to 4%. Though rates are far from compelling, the credibility of Walmart lets you earn a fair income through high conversion rates, provided you promote the right offerings to the right audience.
Amazon Associates also offers varying commission rates for different products. Commissions range from 1%, up to 20%. Rates are generally higher for luxury products than consumer goods. It offers a higher commission rate on video games as well. Amazon also gives you an opportunity to earn a commission for referring new Prime customers.
Walmart’s affiliate program works on a 3-day cookie length. If a visitor clicks on your link to Walmart, and buys something from the platform within three days, you are rewarded for that sale. However, it has a last-click credit policy, according to which you don’t get a commission if the visitor goes to another page, and clicks on someone else’s link to purchase the product. Only the last click earns the commission.
Amazon cookie, on the other hand, lasts for a day from the time the user clicks on the affiliate link. This means if a customer returns to Amazon within 24 hours to make a purchase, you receive a commission for the sale regardless of the product purchased. This is quite shorter as compared to Walmart, but if a customer adds the product to their carts, following a click-through from your link, and buys the product within 90-days of adding to the cart, you still stand to gain the commissions.
Walmart Vs Amazon Affiliate Pros and Cons
Let us compare the benefits and limitations of Walmart and Amazon affiliate programs.
Pros of Walmart Affiliate Program
Huge variety – You can find a wide variety of niches to choose your products from.
Sufficient material – Walmart provides you with a great deal of promotional material including ads, links, and banners to ensure you have what it takes to market the products.
Link cloaking – You can get your affiliate links shortened through cloaking to avoid sending long links to your customers.
Impressive cookie length – The affiliate program gives you a cookie duration of three days which increases your chances of earning a commission even if a purchase is not instantly completed.
Cons of Walmart Affiliate Program
Low payouts – The structure of payouts and commission is one of the top downsides of Walmart’s affiliate program.
Overwhelming For Beginners – There is little to no educational content like videos, ebooks, or blogs for newbies when working with Amazon, compared to nearly decades worth of content for Amazon.
Pros of Amazon Affiliate Program
Popular & trusted brand – Amazon is one of the most well-known and trusted marketplaces for online purchases.
This provides a great opportunity for affiliate marketers, as visitors are more likely to buy from places they are familiar with.
Smart tracking capability – Smart cookie tracking makes sure you can earn a commission even if a person clicks from a mobile but makes a purchase from a computer. The cookie keeps track of the customer for 24 hours after the first click.
Easy to get started – Beginners would find this platform perfect for getting started with affiliate marketing as it takes only minutes to set up, but there is a difficult vetting process instituted as off late.
High conversion rates – Amazon’s sales and marketing strategies help you increase conversions to quickly build an income stream from affiliate marketing.
Cons of Amazon Affiliate Program
Short cookie window – The 24-hour cookie length is considered to be a short time frame by many. You earn a commission only if the purchase is completed within 24 hours of clicking on the link.
No support for PayPal – Affiliates outside the United States face difficulty as Amazon doesn’t accept PayPal as a payment method. It rather supports checks, bank transfers, and gift cards.
Competition for popular niches is high – Though there are millions of products available, not many of them sell on a regular basis. This means you won’t make much money if there isn’t much demand.
Small commissions – The most common complaint with this program is the low commission rates which require you to have higher volumes, or higher values to be successful.
Final Thoughts – Walmart Vs Amazon Affiliate Program
Affiliate programs from Walmart, as well as Amazon, offer a huge variety of products affiliates can promote and earn from. However, Walmart is best suited to people living in the US while Amazon has a global presence and suits individuals based anywhere around the world.
Amazon Associates is a better choice if you are looking for higher commission rates and ease of getting started. If you have an established niche site with decent US traffic, the Walmart affiliate program is worth giving a try.