Levanta has built an affiliate marketing platform that helps Amazon Sellers and third-party publishers, creators, and affiliates work together directly – unlocking new revenue streams for both parties.
The Current Landscape:
Traditional D2C Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing platforms facilitate the partnerships between affiliates and brands. These platforms include CJ, Impact, Rakuten, Shareasale, TUNE, PartnerStack, to name a few. Affiliates promote a brand’s ecommerce website by placing trackable links on their blogs, social media accounts, and websites, and receive a commission if a sale is generated. As a result, this method is often an attractive, pay-as-you-go option for brands. Affiliate categories range from influencers and content sites to bloggers, media owners, comparison sites, and more. Brands simply choose the type of affiliates they want to work with, provide promotional assets and codes, and establish the commission they are willing to pay. The platform then facilitates payment of the commission to the affiliate, taking a small percentage for themselves. Mhojhos Research found that in 2019, the affiliate marketing industry was estimated to have a worth of $17 billion.
Amazon Associates is the world’s largest affiliate network, with millions of active partners and billions of dollars driven per year. The service is included in the marketing fees that Sellers pay to Amazon. Any publisher, blogger, creator, or influencer can sign up to promote products listed on Amazon.com as an Associate. Amazon centrally manages the affiliate network, and all products listed on their platform are automatically made available to be promoted by Amazon Associates. There are fixed commissions for all Amazon Associates in a particular vertical, and Amazon controls the commissions amounts (as opposed to the Sellers). Sellers lack the ability to interface with their Amazon Associates, and do not have insight into performance reporting and analytics.
Limitations for Publishers on Amazon Associates
While the Amazon Associates program is a lucrative channel for publishers, there are some limitations:
- All Amazon listings pay the same commission within a product vertical, and the commission amounts are fixed. Publishers want to be able to command higher commissions from certain brands via direct negotiation.
- The attribution window is only 24 hours. In other words, publishers only get compensated for transactions they’ve influenced if the buyer clicked the link to the product within the previous 24 hours. The industry standard in the affiliate industry is between 14-30 days.
- Publishers want to maintain direct relationships with their Brands. Through interviews with current publishers, it’s become clear that publishers would prioritize promoting brands that offer higher commissions, if Sellers had the capability to offer higher commissions.
General Amazon Seller Challenges:
Amazon Sellers face an array of high-level challenges in 2023, including:
- Competition Overload: Difficult to gain an advantage with increased competition from all angles
- High-Cost CPC Advertising: Ever-increasing CPC is a barrier to building traction on Amazon
- Organic Search Rankings: Limited levers for improving organic search rankings within Amazon
Amazon Sellers are hungry for any new channels that can help alleviate the above challenges and gain a competitive advantage. Unfortunately, they cannot currently turn to Amazon Associates:
- Sellers describe Amazon Associates as a black box. While Sellers benefit from this marketing channel that Amazon manages, there is no insight into the channel – leaving them oblivious to the partners that are successfully promoting their product. The black box of the Amazon Associates program makes it very difficult for Sellers to optimize and tailor this channel to their specific products.
- Sellers cannot adjust their commissions or attribution window to incentivize publishers to promote their products over their competitors.
- Sellers cannot build, maintain, and report on the direct relationships with publishers that promote their Amazon listings
Summary of Opportunity
Our research shows that:
- There is demand from Sellers for a software platform that helps them “unlock” a new affiliate channel that operates on a cost-per-sale model. With it, the ability to manage and optimize their affiliate program, and offer higher commissions and attribution windows to their affiliates.
- There is demand from publishers for a platform that enables them to work directly with Amazon Sellers, and earn higher commissions, higher attribution windows, and better reporting
Ultimately, by allowing Sellers and publishers to work together directly to optimize their partnerships, more revenue will be generated for Sellers, for publishers, and for Amazon themselves.
What’s in it for Amazon?
Amazon indeed benefits from a solution here and they actually have a system in place to reward Sellers that engage in “non-Amazon Marketing” with their Brand Referral Bonus program. This program provides an average of a 10% kickback for revenue driven by non-Amazon marketing and incentives Amazon Sellers to get involved in marketing efforts for Amazon listings.
Not only that, Amazon rewards product listings that have high external traffic with increased organic search rankings – helping Sellers push their products above their competitors.
Building a solution here is a win-win-win, for Amazon Sellers, publishers, and Amazon.com.
A partner marketing platform that integrates with Amazon’s Attribution API to allow sellers and publishers to partner directly, enabling the ability to increase commissions, provide a 14-day attribution window, and unlock custom performance reporting.
Levanta empowers publishers to take ownership of their commerce content monetization and connect directly with the Amazon Sellers they promote. With better reporting on affiliate revenue, they can learn where to best focus their promotional efforts. Most importantly, brands are willing to pay higher commissions and offer higher attribution windows to publishers that work with them directly.
Levanta enables brands to manage their affiliate program to drive more sales, build direct relationships with their partners, and get insight into channel performance. With Amazon’s Brand Referral Bonus, given to brands who take more ownership of their Amazon marketing, Amazon Sellers will earn an average of a 10% bonus kickback on sales driven by publishers that work directly with them via Levanta.
In summary, this solution builds better transparency, relationships, and data collection for both publishers and Amazon sellers. Both parties have the opportunity to increase their revenue and uncover opportunities to optimize this channel.
Levanta integrates with Amazon’s Attribution API to track seller conversions driven by publishers, establishing a third party attribution network.
Seller Feature Overview:
- Product Manager: Automatically sync all of your Amazon products into Levanta in a couple clicks, and customize commissions on a per product basis
- Affiliate Manager: Review publisher applications, manage active affiliates, and track performance on a per partner basis
- Performance Dashboard & Reporting: Track, measure, and filter performance reports across multiple brands, Amazon Ads accounts, and products in a single integrated pane.
Publisher Feature Overview:
- Product Catalog: Explore active Amazon products ready to promote and apply to new Seller affiliate programs
- Product Manager: Manage active products and grab attribution tags to add to your links
- Performance Dashboard & Reporting: Track, measure, and filter performance reports across multiple brands and products in a single integrated pane.
Our technical advantages:
- Tag-driven attribution: Levanta does not require “link rebrokering” – meaning we do not require links to redirect to Levanta for our system to track a conversion. Publishers simply need to add their attribution tag to an Amazon link, and our system will track conversions.
- Payments & 1099 automation: Levanta makes payments easy for sellers and publishers. Brands are sent a single bill each month and Levanta distributes payments to the attributed publishers. We also handle 1099 tax reporting and filing on behalf of our users.
- API-driven: No need for manual Amazon product uploads or conversion reports, Levanta connects directly to Amazon to pull in product and conversion data.
We believe that this combination of unique value pushes Levanta past the few alternatives on the market today.
Ian Brodie, Rob Schab, and Spencer McKenney were the C-Level team at Grovia.io, a partner marketing software and services company focused on partner recruitment, that was acquired in 2022 by Acceleration Partners. Grovia.io was the team’s second partner marketing startup together, after previously building an ethereum-based affiliate network in college at the University of Washington. Now they have come together again for their third startup together in the space.
Ian Brodie – Co-founder and CEO
Ian is recognized as one of the leading young MarTech entrepreneurs, and has been awarded Forbes 30 under 30 and Puget Sound Business Journal 40 under 40. Alongside his leadership team, he scaled Grovia to 25 employees over 2 years and ultimately led the acquisition to Acceleration Partners. At his role prior to Grovia, he was the Product Marketing Manager for Apptio’s Cloud Financial Management suite, which integrated with Amazon Web Services (AWS).
Spencer McKenney – Co-founder and CTO
Spencer was Grovia’s first technical hire and built the entire Grovia application that was ultimately acquired by Acceleration Partners. At Grovia, Spencer converted product requirements into a highly scalable, resilient software platform at incredible speed – launching a production ready MVP in ~2 months after he started developing his code from scratch. Previously, Spencer worked full-time at AWS in their IoT department where he built AWS IoT Fleet Management, an AWS service which makes the provisioning of new IoT devices easy and scalable.
Rob Schab – Co-founder and Chief Growth Officer
Rob Schab was the Co-founder, CRO, and original visionary for Grovia.io. At Grovia, he personally closed over $3M in sales, built the services solution and team from the ground up, and led strategic partnerships. He has significant expertise in the partner marketing industry, and an expansive professional network in the space. As recognized by his Forbes 30 under 30 award, his expertise in startup growth strategy, digital marketing, business development, process development, automation, and product ideation make him a leading trendsetter in the marketing industry.