If you’re new to the Amazon Associates program, you might be wondering how long cookies last. Cookies are small text files placed on your computer by websites you visit. They are used to remember certain information about your browsing session.
In the case of Amazon Associates, cookies track the products that you view and purchase on Amazon.com. If you click on an affiliate link and then purchase within a particular time, the affiliate who placed the cookie on your computer will earn a commission on the sale. So, how long do these cookies last? Let’s take a look.
How Long Until Amazon Affiliate Cookie Expire?
The lifespan of an Amazon Associate’s cookie depends on two factors: The type of product viewed/purchased and the customer’s country of residence.
Suppose a customer views/purchases a physical product; the cookie will last 24 hours. If the customer views/purchases a digital product, the cookie will last for 90 days.
As far as the country of residence goes, customers in the United States have a longer cookie lifespan than customers in any other country. The cookies last for US-based customers for 24 hours (physical product) or 365 days (digital product).
What Is Cookie Duration In Affiliate Program?
The cookie duration is the length of time that an affiliate cookie remains active on a customer’s device. Cookie duration is essential for affiliates because it determines how much time they have to make a sale. The longer the cookie duration, the better. That’s why US-based customers have such a long cookie lifespan.
The Standard 24-hour Cookie
The vast majority of affiliate programs use the standard 24-hour cookie duration. If a customer clicks on an affiliate link and then makes a purchase within 24 hours, the affiliate will earn a commission on the sale.
However, some programs have shorter or longer cookie durations. For example, some programs only last for seven days while others last for 120 days. It depends on the program.
This means, Longer Cookie Durations = More Money for Affiliates
Generally speaking, affiliates prefer programs with longer cookie durations because they have a better chance of earning a commission. After all, it’s much easier to make a sale within 90 days than it is to make a sale within 24 hours.
Pros of 24-hour Cookie Duration
The main advantage of the standard 24-hour cookie duration is that it’s the industry norm. This means that most affiliates are familiar with it and know how to work within its parameters.
Another advantage of the 24-hour cookie duration is that it gives affiliates a reasonable amount of time to make a sale. In most cases, 24 hours is plenty of time for a companion to get credit for a sale.
Cons of 24-hour Cookie Duration
The main disadvantage of the standard 24-hour cookie duration is that it doesn’t give affiliates much time to make a sale. In some cases, an affiliate might not know that a customer has clicked on their link until after the sale is completed.
This can be frustrating for affiliates because they put in the work to drive traffic to a merchant’s site but don’t get credit for the sale.
90 Day Cookie Duration
The 90-day cookie duration is the most common cookie duration in the affiliate marketing world. This is because it offers a good balance between the affiliate and the merchant.
On the one hand, the merchant doesn’t have to worry about losing sales to last-minute shoppers. And on the other hand, the affiliate has a decent amount of time to make a sale.
It’s important to note that not all programs offer a 90-day cookie duration. Some programs only offer a 30-day cookie duration. So, if you’re an affiliate, you should always check each program’s terms before promoting it.
Pros of 90 Day Cookie Duration
There are a few reasons why 90-day cookie duration is so popular among affiliates. They include;
- It gives the affiliate more time to make a sale. This is especially important for affiliates who promote products with a long sales cycle (e.g. expensive items that require research).
- The cookie is easier to convert first-time visitors into buyers within 90 days than 24 hours. This is because most people need time to think about a purchase before making it.
- 90-day cookie duration provides affiliates with a nice buffer if something goes wrong (e.g. the customer’s credit card expires or the product goes out of stock).
Cons of 90 Day Cookie Duration
There are a few downsides to the 90-day cookie duration as well. These are;
- It’s more difficult to track sales when the cookie duration is longer. This is because more variables are at play (e.g. the customer’s credit card expiration date).
- Second, long cookie durations can incentivize affiliates to engage in spammy behavior (e.g. sending unsolicited email messages or creating fake websites).
Can Affiliate Marketing Work Without Cookies?
For example, some programs use IP addresses to track sales. This means that the affiliate gets credit for the sale as long as the customer’s IP address matches the one on file for the affiliate.
Other programs use “phantom links.” This means that the affiliate’s link is embedded in the merchant’s website code. So, even if the customer doesn’t click on the link, the affiliate still gets credit for the sale.
While these methods are less common, they’re not necessarily better or worse than cookie-based tracking.
What Is An Affiliate Tracking Cookie?
An affiliate tracking cookie is a small piece of data stored on a customer’s computer when they click on an affiliate link. The cookie contains information about the affiliate who referred the customer and the merchant’s website.
When the customer makes a purchase, the cookie mainly credits the sale to the proper affiliate. This is how affiliates earn commissions for sales they generate.
There are two main types of cookies: first-party cookies and third-party cookies.
The website that you’re visiting defines First-party cookies. So, if you click on an Amazon affiliate link, a first-party cookie will be placed on your computer by Amazon.com.
Third-party cookies are defined by a domain other than the one you’re visiting. So, if you click on an Amazon affiliate link that takes you to a third-party website, a third-party cookie will be set on your computer by that website.
Most affiliate programs use third-party cookies because they’re more accurate than first-party cookies. This is because it’s easier for affiliates to spoof first-party cookies than spoof third-party cookies.
To sum things up, Amazon Associates uses two different types of cookies: physical and digital. The lifespan of these cookies depends on the kind of product viewed/purchased and the customer’s country of residence. In most cases, the cookie will last for 24 hours. Hopefully, you have learnt enough about affiliate link duration from this comprehensive blog.