The notice to Associates on the UK sites said: Based on customer demand, we are making changes to aStore starting 31st August 2015. Although your existing aStore will continue to operate, you will not be able to create new aStores or modify existing aStores after 31st August 2015. Please note that no customer support will be available for aStore after 31st August.
Now, the aStore is gone for good on Amazon.com as well, so new associates can no longer be drawn to it like moths to a flame. The aStore is an easy to use giant-sized widget that is notoriously poor at generating sales.
aStore users must confirm that they’re sure they want to buy something before transferring items from the local shopping cart to the secure check-out page at Amazon. Many carts are abandoned at that point, perhaps because it looks hinky to have what appears to be two carts. The associate cookie that gives you credit for the sale is not set until the cart is actually transferred to Amazon.com. So, unlike regular Amazon links that set the associate cookie when clicked, customers can click around all day on an aStore without ever setting the cookie.
If the store look is appropriate for your niche, consider using Amazon’s Native Ads option for associates instead of investing time building an aStore. They’re ugly ineffective, blocked by AdBlock plugins, and not mobile responsive! Amazon is (wisely) not going to invest any more resources in making the aStore mobile-responsive or compatible with SSL websites.
I’ve deleted all posts about the aStore from this site. While it’s possible to make them look much better with CSS, it’s putting lipstick on a pig and a complete waste of time. They were fun to build, but the fact is that plain text links or image links in context convert to sales much, much better.