Amazon has over the years become a multi-functional platform.

Although it started as a simple platform selling various items, it has now opened up its platform to people from various backgrounds who are willing to provide their services.

Amazon started with its Seller Programme where rather than just brands or established businesses, individuals could also sign up as sellers and list their products.

This step made selling Amazon a side hustle that could be converted into a full-time hustle.

Amazon brought out two programmes for its audience to connect and reward the genuine buyers who would drop a review of every product purchased and for going with the latest social trends and onboarding influencers.

Amazon is the best example if you want to understand affiliate marketing.

Before moving forward, let's understand a few basic terms.

Influencer Marketing: It is a type of marketing where an organization uses influencers for marketing its product to a larger audience. The advent of social media has given birth to the concept of influencers who, with their mass following, hold the ability to influence public opinion regarding a product or a service. Organizations onboard these influencers so that they can make the audience aware of the product and influence them positively. Influencers also help in reaching a larger set of audience, hence, widening the customer base. Influencer marketing can either be done on a monetary basis or barter.

Affiliate Marketing: This is a marketing arrangement where an organization compensates third-party publishers, in the form of incentives, to generate traffic or leads to the company's products and services. Influencers can also create an affiliate link to any product and share it with their followers. In this case, these influencers will get a percentage of sales whenever a person uses their link to buy the product. Affiliate marketing can be done by anyone.

Now that we are clear with the two terms, let's address the elephant in the room.

What is the Amazon Vine Programme?

Amazon, to reward genuine reviewers, came up with the Amazon Vine Programme.

It's a customer review programme where genuine reviewers are hand-picked by Amazon to receive free products from participating sellers in exchange for reviews.

The reviewers or the Vine Voices, as called by Amazon, are chosen on the basis of their consistency and reviewer ranking.

Criteria such as helpfulness and quality of the review along with quantity, as rated by Amazon users, are used to assign the score.

Full-fledge criteria have not been disclosed by Amazon, but going by the commonality amongst the reviewers, these criteria fit the cause.

The Amazon Vine Program uses the concept of using Credibility as a Currency.

In a marketplace, trust and credibility are the currency, i.e, only when people trust you they will buy your products.

In the case of a physical marketplace, the buyers can check the store and the products it sells physically, thus, developing trust.

But, what about online stores and marketspaces?

As the buyer can’t inspect the store, or the products himself, he/she can only rely on reviews.

Here comes the Amazon Vine Program—creating trust in the minds of buyers through unbiased reviews.

As a seller, you would have come across the programme on Facebook or in Seller Central.

While the Amazon Vine programme provides buyers with transparent feedback about a product, it provides you, the seller, with guaranteed and early reviews.

This will you cross one of the biggest hurdles that many new sellers on Amazon tend to face.

Here is what Amazon has to say on this - 

“Voices are not paid to participate in the program and write reviews. Voices are selected to participate based on the helpfulness of reviews voted on by other Amazon customers.

All Vine products are submitted by vendors to Amazon and distributed by Amazon to Vine Voices. Vendors have no contact with the Vine Voices, and have no influence over which Vine Voices will review their products.”

As long as Vine reviewers adhere to Amazon’s posting guidelines, their feedback is encouraged to be completely objective.

“Customers who consistently write helpful reviews and develop a reputation for expertise in specific product categories are most likely to be invited into the program.”

Amazon Influencer Program

Amazon Influencer Program is a new feature added by Amazon for its shoppers and it's really exciting in order to understand and work along with Amazon. Basically, this is a tool that is given by Amazon using which one can easily promote and recommend the best products and services by Amazon to others, and earn commission out of it once availed by them. Under this program, one can inspire the shoppers to buy from the millions of products listed on Amazon using a personalised page. This is very interesting. Here, not only the customers will be using your page to buy what they want but also get the best recommendations to purchase from and with every purchase the shoppers do, you can earn commission and this is a never ending loop. More the shoppers buy, the more the commission. 

Another indulgence that this program brings to you, is the featured member rights. This allows you to get featured on the Amazon website and then you can publish your livestreams, videos and images that are shoppable. This makes your content validated and that too from Amazon which is a global brand and market. With Amazon coming on the platter, it becomes really easy for a content maker to engage with a wider audience and monetize the content with the ease of Amazon branding alongside. There are few basics for the Amazon influencer program : 

  • Storefront Building : Completely design and personalise your page with a self driven URL for a webpage that can carry recommended Amazon products and with no limit on the number of products you want to market. This can be your peers or using your social media platforms. Amazon will always help you with the potential customers. And once the URL is used to make any purchase, you move ahead with the word of mouth marketing as well. 

  • Content Creation : Once the audience is ready, all you have to do is make the proper and engaging content and put it across your page so that the people can get what they are looking for in an easier manner. This content can vary from live streaming channels to image uploading which are eventually shoppable. You can upload videos as well which will recommend people the right products and product reviews so that they go on your URL for the purchase they want. And this is verified by Amazon which is unsaid. 

  • Earnings : The ultimate part of the Amazon influencer program is that you can maximise your earnings since the conversion rates are really competitive. Lots of shoppers have been opting into the program because of the potential of earning that it offers. 

Amazon influencer program is a two way traffic. Shoppers get to earn for the efforts they put in for the recommended products on their page, and on the other hand Amazon gets to get into a wider audience with its excellence in the market and with the diversity of its millions of products. This influencer program can be used as a stepping stone as well. If qualified for the feature on Amazon, shoppers can increase their business by leaps and bounds. All and all it is really recommended and helps the organisation as well as its users.