Amazon’s affiliate program members are getting less money starting on April 21st. According to CNBC, the e-commerce giant has notified Amazon Associates — affiliates that link to products on its website in exchange for a percentage of the sales — that it’s slashing commission rates across various categories. The changes are quite significant in some cases: The furniture and home improvement category’s affiliate cut fell from 8 percent to 3 percent, for instance, while grocery items’ commission rate is now down to 1 percent from 5 percent.
As you can tell, it could have a huge impact on websites, including media outlets, that rely heavily on Amazon’s affiliate program to make money. The company spokesperson CNBC talked to wouldn’t say whether the changes were made in response to COVID-19. But as the publication notes, there have been quite a few changes to Amazon’s operations due to the pandemic.
The company had to focus on shipping medical and cleaning supplies due to the outbreak. It also had to hire 100,000 warehouse and delivery workers to keep up with the demand now that people are turning to online shopping while stuck at home. More recently, it extended its return policy window for shoppers and improved its safety measures after workers protested about the lack of adequate protective gear against the disease.