Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) has just expanded its Associates program  with a new addition called Local Associates. With this initiative, small local businesses and individuals can increase their revenue by making recommendations of items sold on Amazon.
Amazon Local Associates Program
With the vast majority of small businesses already having a website or another digital presence, they can take advantage of Local Associates  to recommend products on these channels. This not only allows the businesses to better engage with their customers but also earn extra income when customers make a qualifying purchase.
Local Associates goes on the premise you already help your customers. And it wants to extend this help whether you have a particular item a customer is looking for or not. You can do this by getting a personalized page on Amazon to highlight the recommendations you have made.
All you have to do to join is have a registered business, which won’t cost you a single penny. To get started, you click the ‘Join Now for Free’ button and complete the registration form (by the way it is only one page).
After the registration process, you customize your page with your company logo or other content. You then start driving customers to your Associates page with a unique URL as well as e-mail, text and more. And if you are in the real world, you can use downloadable QR codes and post them on marketing materials, in-store displays, other products or promotional objects, and even your website.
A Local Associate
The policy for the program says you will market Local Associates Products to Amazon customers only at Local Associates Facilities registered on the Local Associates Portal. These products will be available to customers through a specific page on Amazon.com assigned to each Local Associate.
It is important to remember Amazon reserves the right to modify the products included in the Local Associates products on any recommendations page. So make sure the modification Amazon makes is just as good as or better than the product you recommended
As an Associate you will be responsible to direct all Local Associates Program marketing to the recommendations page to be eligible for qualified purchases.
How Can it Help Small Businesses?
Amazon Associates  is one of the largest affiliate programs in the world. Being a reputable global brand ensures your payouts will be guaranteed, which can be a problem with smaller affiliate programs. Another way it helps is by having one of the largest inventories anywhere, with more than 1M products on its site, you can get almost anything your customers need. But having the inventory is not enough, the orders have to be fulfilled. Amazon says it is solely responsible relating to the Local Associates products, including fulfillment, delivery, customer service, and any returns.
With all the systems in place, all you have to do is drive the sales with your recommendations and you can earn up to 10 percent of each purchase.
The program was designed for small businesses and entrepreneurs with limited or no inventory. With Local Associates, these types of small companies can compete with large organizations by offering their customers products in the Amazon catalog.
Using the pages on Associates, you can make recommendations with curated content based on your expertise. This increases the value of your brand as more customers rely on the products you vouch for.
If you have a small business, you can start the Local Associates program without investing any money and warehousing inventory. The time you spend on setting up our page and promoting it can be a learning experience you can use for future ventures. In the meantime, it can be another revenue stream you can count on when things are slow. And best of all, it means not turning your customers away because you don’t carry a particular product.