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Amazon Lets Visitors ‘Shop Now’ on Sites Across the Web

Perhaps you’ve seen images with a special “Shop Now” button on some of the blogs and websites you visit. Affiliate marketing is alive and well, and Amazon.com has launched a new feature to make it easier for its affiliate publishers to advertise its products to their readers and visitors.

With Amazon Publisher Studio, affiliate publishers insert a small piece of code on their website. Once they’ve added the code, they can easily create links to any product on Amazon in seconds – without having to visit and log in to Amazon Associates Central to get the link.

Amazon Publisher Studio also lets affiliates monetize the images on their sites. When the publisher adds an affiliate link to images, the program places a small “Shop Now” button on the lower right-hand corner of the tagged images. In a video demonstrating the feature, Amazon shows an example of a website article written about perfume. It shows how easily the publisher can add a Shop Now button to the accompanying images (in this case, photos of perfume) that links to the product for sale on Amazon – the Shop Now button includes that publisher’s affiliate code embedded in the link.

Visitors to affiliate websites can also share products on Facebook and Twitter, which Amazon said drives additional advertising fees for products that go viral since the affiliate tag is embedded each time the link is shared.

Some affiliates are reluctant to add more code to their site, such as Lisa Irby writing on her blog 2 Create a Website. She worries a bit about load time, and writes, “Call me paranoid, but I don’t like that the overlay technology is hosted elsewhere. Granted that’s how some other tools work online, but this product is still in Beta, so I’m going to wait on this.”

But Cynthia Boris was more optimistic, writing on Marketing Pilgrim, “As much as I dislike the toolbar fuss, this is far easier than creating text links by hand. I know there are plugins to help with that but I’ve never had much luck with those. The big story here isn’t the affiliate linking – that’s old news. What’s newish is the concept of converting your images into ads. Images are the trend nowadays, so why not squeeze everything you can out of them? They make your text pages more inviting. There are SEO benefits if you label them correctly and now they can act as mini-salesmen.”

You can find more information about the new program on Amazon Publisher Studio.

Worth noting from the FAQs, “Publisher Studio JavaScript can be installed on popular CMS platforms like Blogger, WordPress CMS, Drupal, etc. The tool is currently not being offered as a CMS plugin, but as a JavaScript that can be added to any CMS platform. Some online platforms do not allow users to add any third party JavaScript, and Publisher Studio will not work on these.”

And Amazon warns affiliates to use the new program responsibly, writing, “For example, do not add Special Links to an image of a celebrity that violates that person’s rights, such as by implying an endorsement or other association.”

Amazon’s Affiliate program also welcomed North Carolina back into the fold, updating its operating agreement this month now that it has begun collecting North Carolina sales tax.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.