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  1. #1
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    Forced sign-up, what do you think?
    I just signed up with a merchant (no names, this is a general question), and have just implemented the datafeed.

    For each product, you see the pretty picture, but when you click, instead of going to the product landing page, you are redirected to their own sign-up/login page (to "start shopping"). Frankly I don't know how I feel about this.

    From a reader's perspective, I think it's annoying. But even more so, as a site owner, I'm annoyed - readers don't get to see what I've shown them.

    I've contacted the AM already to discuss in more detail, but looking at my competitors who profile the same merchant, their links follow the same behavior.

    My gut feeling is to not promote this merchant in the long run.. product links should go to product pages. Signing up to "join" the merchant's site should be optional, not mandatory.

    Am I just being cranky this evening?? I'm quite annoyed by this... is it more common than I realize..?

  2. #2
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by teezone

    ... product links should go to product pages. Signing up to "join" the merchant's site should be optional, not mandatory.
    True.


    What happens after the sign-up? Do customers then go directly to the product links or are the customers left to find the desired products themselves?
    ~Rhia7 -- Remember the 7
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  3. #3
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    As a customer, I'd hit the back button pretty quickly. Why would I want to provide any information to a merchant when I haven't yet decided that I want to do business with them? It just presents another opportunity to be spammed. My guess is that a lot of visitors to their site never get past the sign up screen.

    As an affiliate I'd be pissed. I send visitors to a merchants site to complete a transaction, and I would think that completing the transaction would be their primary goal also, and building a mailing list would be secondary.

    -rematt
    "I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant." - Richard Nixon

  4. #4
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    Oh wow.. I just completed the sign-up myself, this is what I got:

    "Sadly this item is not currently available to purchase online.. simply add this item, etc etc...".. and you complete an online form, indicating this is your "wishlist"

    I'm definitely going to ask the AM for more info - interestingly, these products are flagged as "in stock" in the datafeed. But do I still earn the commission if the sale isn't completed online? I wonder. And I'm not sure if my competitors realize they have the same problem.

    Maybe I wasn't being cranky after all..

    And yes, rematt, I would hit "back" immediately too - I have to seriously reconsider this for my readers.

  5. #5
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    My gut feeling is that the store is down right now - it doesn't look right, even when I visit directly. This could be their version of "maintenance" as no products seem to be available.

    I'm going to give them the benefit of the doubt, but pull all links until I receive word...

    And nothing beats venting here, thanks for listening! My friends/family have no clue what I'm on about when these things happen...

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador Daniel M. Clark's Avatar
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    I can only echo what rematt said. That's exactly what I was thinking. Just so I'm not posting a "me too" message, I'll add that I'm very, very curious who this merchant is - after you figure out if it's on the up-and-up, maybe you could tell us? Or not. Up to you
    Daniel M. Clark
    Tech Manager
    Greg Hoffman Consulting

  7. #7
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    If they force a sign-up, I will definitely share!

    If this is just a maintenance/timing issue, it serves me right for working after midnight on a Saturday night. Although in my defense, I was excited about the new merchant & implemented the datafeed today.

    AND January was a record month, actually doubled the previous record. Who can blame me for working on a Sat night..? I sound very defensive tho...

  8. #8
    No Longer Banned!
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    Step On My Brand ?.....
    Quote Originally Posted by teezone
    If they force a sign-up, I will definitely share!

    If this is just a maintenance/timing issue, it serves me right for working after midnight on a Saturday night. Although in my defense, I was excited about the new merchant & implemented the datafeed today.

    AND January was a record month, actually doubled the previous record. Who can blame me for working on a Sat night..? I sound very defensive tho...
    Teezone

    You actually did not sound defensive to me. I though it came across pretty well.

    My question I guess, is does it in anyway affect your brand ?

    Steve

  9. #9
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    That would have a very negative impact on conversions, and it's always good to review perspective merchants to get a feel for what conversion ratio you should expect.

    Conversion ratio is just as important as commission rate. If you're promoting a $100 item, you'll do better with a merchant who pays 10% and converts at 5% than you will with a merchant who pays 25% and only converts at 1%.

    With some of the best-converting merchants, it's even optional to sign up for an account during checkout. A streamlined checkout converts better.
    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
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  10. #10
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    Update: Merchant was unaware there was a problem, i.e. no products available & have contacted their tech company. Hopefully this is a one-off - it would be a shame as the products are a perfect fit. Do I actually need this merchant? Nope.

    I've become protective of reader experience on my site, which has been good for conversions.

    The 'defensive' comment was just a joke.. I meant I was justifying working on a Saturday night

  11. #11
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    Glad to hear it was just a glitch. You just don't know the thoughts of evil deeds that went through my mind.

    And hey, affiliates never need to justify their work hours. That's the beauty of the beast .
    "I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant." - Richard Nixon

  12. #12
    ABW Ambassador Daniel M. Clark's Avatar
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    That accounts for the product not being available, but does it account for the forced signup as well?
    Daniel M. Clark
    Tech Manager
    Greg Hoffman Consulting

  13. #13
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    I'll know when the products are fixed, as it's the first thing I'm going to test!

    If there IS a forced sign-up, this new relationship is over, it's just not something I would accept on behalf of my readers.

    Will post when I have the answer..

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