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How Brands Can Earn an Amazon Referral Bonus from External Marketing Efforts

Ryan Faist

Ryan Faist, Channel Key

March 29, 2022

Amazon’s Brand Referral Bonus program is a free opportunity for brands to earn bonuses on traffic they drive to their Amazon Store and product detail pages. As a brand owner, you likely operate a business website, manage social media accounts, run email marketing campaigns, and advertise on digital channels. These marketing efforts can represent a sizable investment in both time and money. The Brand Referral Bonus program helps improve your return on these efforts in the following ways:

  • Accelerate Growth
    Improve the efficiency of your non-Amazon marketing efforts that drive your referral traffic to Amazon.
  • Save You Money
    Earn bonuses that average 10% of sales from traffic you’ve driven to Amazon.
  • Increase Advertising Efficiency
    Receive the same bonus for customer purchases of additional products from your brand up to 14 days after clicking on the ad.

How Much Can I Earn from the Amazon Brand Referral Bonus Program?

Once you are enrolled in the Bonus Referral Program, you will receive a bonus on brand-owned products with an Amazon Attribution tag that originates from a non-Amazon marketing effort. This includes promoted products and additional products purchased from your brand up to 14 days after clicking on the ad.

The Brand Referral Bonus program credits brands an average of 10% of the sale price. The bonus rate varies by category. For example, products in the Amazon Device Accessories category qualify for a 30% bonus, while products categorized as Books qualify for a 10% bonus.

To estimate your bonus, multiply your qualifying sales by the minimum bonus rate in the corresponding product category. Your actual bonus rate may vary based on inputs such as additional shipping and gift-wrapping charges. The actual bonus applied to your sales can be viewed in your weekly bonus report.

How Do I Receive the Amazon Referral Bonus?

There is a two-month waiting period before the bonus is credited to your account. This accounts for order cancellations and customer returns. For example, if a qualified sale occurred in July, the bonus will be credited to your account in September. The bonus will be used to deduct the referral fees in transactions for September and going forward until the bonus gets exhausted.

There are two ways to track bonus payments in transaction details:

  • Scenario A: When the bonus partially or fully covers the referral fee and there is a tax on the fee, bonus payments will show up in the discount on referral fee line.

Seller Central screenshot of referral bonus scenario 1.

 

  • Scenario B: If bonus payments cover the entire referral fee and there is no tax on the fee, the bonus will be applied in the background and the Referral Fee section will not be shown in the transaction.

Seller Central screenshot of referral bonus scenario 2.

How Do I Enroll in the Brand Referral Bonus Program?

Brand owners selling in Amazon’s U.S. store that are enrolled in Brand Registry are eligible to participate in the Brand Referral Program. To register, follow these simple steps:

  1. Log in to Seller Central and click BRAND REFERRAL BONUS under the BRANDS menu tab.
  2. Click ENROLL.
  3. Follow the steps to generate referral tags. Note: you will need to enroll if enroll in Amazon Attribution if you aren’t already. All traffic must have an Amazon Attribution tag in order to qualify for the bonus.
  4. Launch your advertising effort.

Does Amazon’s Brand Referral Bonus Program Involve Tax Obligations?

Depending on your local law, opting for this program may subject you to tax and invoicing obligations. The Brand Referral Bonus earned from the program will be reported to both you and the IRS if reporting thresholds are exceeded. You should consult your tax advisor if you have any questions about your tax obligations as a result of the program.

Channel Key Takeaway

When it comes to selling on Amazon, many brands focus on harnessing the purchasing power of Amazon’s massive customer base. While this is a necessary component to generating sales on Amazon’s competitive marketplace, driving external traffic to your product listings is also important. At the end of the day, Amazon wants you to sell as many products as possible. The company launched the Brand Referral Bonus Program to reward businesses for their off-Amazon marketing efforts that lead to increased sales on Amazon. The more traffic you bring, the more bonuses you can earn. When considering the many costs associated with selling on Amazon, there is no reason not to take advantage of an easy opportunity to save money.

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