Hey Chuck, thanks for the opportunity to explain - sorry I meant to do this last night when you posted but had left the office right about that time.
We do require the ShareASale tracking pixel to be displayed at all times. We do, however, allow a commission to be auto-voided if the Merchant determines that their Affiliate
on ShareASale should not receive commission due to a later click from an Affiliate on another Network.
The reasons are twofold: 1) To make sure that an Affiliate on ShareASale has transparency into the whole scope of a Merchant program and 2) So that a Merchant can better see how traffic and clicks relate between multiple networks.
This was not as much of a problem years ago, but has become much more prevalent as it is common for Merchants to not only have 2 Network relationships, but sometimes 3, 4 and even 7 or more.
Often, I am told that "last click" is just accepted as normal - and Affiliates are used to having their clicks trumped... This is true in a one Network scenario, where every Affiliate is forced to play by the same rulebook.
However, when introducing multiple Networks - there are now multiple rulebooks to play by - and we believe that an Affiliate on ShareASale has the right to information that could affect whether or not they wish to partner with a certain Merchant.
This is not a judgment on any other Network - this is simply a recognition that all Networks do things differently ... and that we cannot control the actions of each other. Even if there were an Affiliate that was violating the Terms of every single Network - ShareASale would still not be able to take action against that Affiliate's account on any network
other than their own.
Our second best option was to make sure that the information was available to everyone to at least alert that there may be a problem.
Take an example scenario:
- Consumer clicks on a ShareASale Affiliate's link
- Upon going to the Merchant site, the consumer receives a popup or toolbar dropdown of a coupon. (This would be against ShareASale Terms of Service, but is commonly acceptable at many other Networks)
- Consumer is thus redirected through another Network and that Affiliate will receive commission.
If we did not require our pixel to be displayed, a ShareASale Affiliate would have no idea that any of this occurred and would simply think that their traffic was not converting
With our policy in place, they are aware of the situation and can determine if the level of voids is acceptable, or indicates a problem.
When we do require the pixel to be displayed, while the commission is auto-voided as "Multi Network", the Affiliate can see and has transparency enough to be able to recognize potential problems. At the same time, a Merchant can now see which transactions may be red-flags, and which as just standard "last click".
Bottom line, we feel it is a policy that adds to more transparency. We are tweaking how it is represented so that it is more clear - as we've received word that Affiliates have been confused by some of the voids. We'll work on that to make sure the information is clear - but we feel the policy has already been a great help in recognizing problems that would have gone unmasked and unnoticed otherwise.