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How To Use Amazon Attribution & Brand Referral Bonus Programs

Learn how to drive external traffic to boost your product rankings and increase your sales on Amazon with Attribution & Brand Referral Bonus.

Perhaps you’ve heard of the Amazon Attribution and Amazon Brand Referral Bonus programs and are wondering how they can help build your business.

As the cost per click (CPC) on Amazon rises, and the platform takes a stronger stance against black hat ranking tactics, more sellers have been looking at ways to drive external traffic to their Amazon product detail page.

Additionally, some brands – particularly those without a Direct to Consumer (DTC) website or those wanting to use sales from external traffic sources to help the organic rankings on the ecommerce giant – will turn to advertise off Amazon to help drive the conversions needed to get those rankings.

In the past, the disadvantage of sending external traffic to Amazon was that there wasn’t a way to track that traffic’s results and conversion rates.

Amazon does not allow adding pixels to their product detail pages, so it was difficult to determine the effectiveness of external campaigns driven to Amazon.

On top of the lack of transparency into how your external traffic was performing, you also had to consider the cost of Amazon’s fees on top of the cost of ads in your profitability calculations.

To address this issue, Amazon has introduced two programs that work together to help you see how external traffic is performing and get credit back on the fees for products you sent to Amazon.

These programs are the Amazon Attribution and the Amazon Brand Referral Bonus.

Why Drive External Traffic To Amazon?

In general, it is best to drive traffic to your product detail page from within the Amazon Advertising platform because of the increased visibility of campaign performance and the lower cost for many products.

However, there are times where it does make sense to drive external traffic to Amazon.

Amazon’s Top of Funnel advertising products are still in their infancy, and some of the targeting is not as advanced as what you can find on other platforms.

There are instances where there are more opportunities to advertise effectively to specific demographics or targeting sets outside of Amazon, such as Facebook, Google, or Instagram.

Additionally, most of Amazon’s advertising products severely limit the amount of creative you can include in your ads.

For many Amazon advertising ad types, primary creatives are from the listing itself. Therefore, it can be difficult to craft ads customized for different audiences or provide education or brand awareness for products.

Ads created off of Amazon generally allow for more freedom in creative images and text.

In general, sending external traffic to Amazon can be more expensive because, in addition to paying the external costs of the ads, you’re also paying the Amazon fees.

This additional cost means you’ll need a higher return on ads spent to be profitable.

This will not be an option for every seller or every type of product. But if your margin allows for it, we have seen an increase in overall sales and profitability when done right.

Amazon Attribution With Brand Referral Bonus Program

For those cases where it makes sense to send traffic from outside Amazon, there are two programs that can help you increase visibility on your campaigns and reduce the overall cost.

The Amazon Attribution program has been available for a couple of years. It enables you to drive external traffic and see specific data on the traffic results that you send to Amazon.

On July 2021, Amazon introduced the Brand Referral Bonus program.

With this program, when you drive external traffic, Amazon will discount the referral fees you pay for the products you sell with the traffic you sent to your product detail page on Amazon.

Remember that to use the Brand Referral Bonus program, you must first be involved in the Amazon Attribution program and Brand Registry.

Below are the details of both programs.

Amazon Attribution Program

This program allows you to track specific metrics of traffic sent with an Amazon attribution link.

As part of the program, Amazon creates the custom link that tracks specific metrics generated because of the traffic you sent to your product detail page.

Amazon states that:

“Attribution Reports include clicks, as well as Amazon conversion metrics, such as detail page views, Add to Cart, and purchases. Reporting is available via downloadable reports and within the console.”

To participate in this program, you have to enroll in Amazon’s Brand Registry program. If you do not have a live trademark, you can participate in the Amazon IP Accelerator program.

The way the Amazon Attribution works is you are assigned a custom link and given a 14-day last-touch, cross-device attribution model.

Amazon Attribution dashboardScreenshot by author, January 2022

Amazon Brand Referral Bonus Program

The Amazon Brand Referral Bonus is actually a subset of Amazon Attribution. Amazon states that, on average, brands earn 10% from their qualifying sales.

The way that the program works is when you send external traffic through this program in conjunction with the Amazon Attribution, you will receive a credit back on referral fees that you would incur as your products sell on the Amazon platform.

The amount of referral fee credit you receive will be based on the category of your product, the same way that the referral fees themselves are calculated on the platform.

There’s up to a 14-day attribution window depending on the type of ad.

Keep in mind that after the sale has occurred on Amazon, there’s a two-month wait period before the bonus is allotted to your account.

For example, if your sale occurred in December, you would not receive the compensation into your Seller Central disbursement until February.

This allows for customer returns and cancellations.

How To Sign Up For Amazon Attribution

The first step to signing up for these two programs is to make sure that you are enrolled in the Brand Registry program or IP Accelerator program, depending on your specific situation.

You will need a live trademark to participate in the Amazon IP Accelerator to potentially expedite the trademark for your brand or product.

Then, you need to have an active Amazon account and enroll in the Amazon Attribution. Once you have completed these steps, you can register for the Brand Referral Bonus program.

If you are looking for more detailed instructions on how the Amazon Attribution and its metrics work, you can take the free course located in the Amazon Learning Console.

This will walk you through the program, set up, and interpret the data.

Working together with internal Amazon ads, external ads can be a strong strategy for products in competitive categories or new-to-category products to increase overall sales and/or product adoption.

More resources:

Featured Image: DavigGyung/Shutterstock

VIP CONTRIBUTOR Robyn Johnson Founder and CEO at Marketplace Blueprint

Robyn is the owner of both Best From The Nest and Marketplace Blueprint is an Amazon expert. Robyn has been ...

How To Use Amazon Attribution & Brand Referral Bonus Programs

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