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June 5th, 2008, 10:21 AM #1AvantLink's "Sale Hit Tracking Trail" Report; Durk's BeautyTrends
Was playing around with the AvantLink reports this morning, stumbled onto the "Sale Hit Tracking Trail" report. It shows the click transaction and the sales transaction data, paired up together for purchases, and is filterable by merchant, date and other criteria. It's a detailed way to look at your return days (click versus sale timing), but it also includes more information about what link was used and it's source and more.
Fun data to review if you're an existing AvantLink affiliate with some sales.
I was analyzing my sales for Beauty Trends (managed by Durk Price of eAccountable.com), a wig store. I was looking at just sales from my coupon site, marrying that back with my traffic sources and their timing. Often (and I use the term loosely, it varies considerably), coupon sites come along at the end of a sale, where the consumer bops open a new window and grabs a coupon. But my wig sales don't have a short return day results, hardly ever. It's amazing how long the return days are for the vast majority of my sales here.
The report doesn't show average aggregate return days, but because the clicks and sale events are lined up adjacent to each other, you can "see" the returns days easily in the report. Gary, you might add avg return days as a report feature (or tell me where I can find it if it already exists) - so if I pull a filtered report for a merchant, for a certian time frame, I can see aggregate averages of the time span between click and sale (return days), assuming there's no batching date interference (meaning the sale date is accurate and not the batch date).
Anyhow, this nice little niche merchant of Durk's converts wonderfully for me, has a very long return day stretch for couponing activity (most sales are between 6 and 35 return days) and pays well. Several sales were much longer than a month as well.
In looking at this report, besides just enjoying crunching the data and lovign this tool AvantLink provides, a couple of other things please me:
+Long return days (not code searching at the last second of the sale, in fact, this isn't happening at all for this merchant for me) and my referral urls (people searching for discount wigs and wig coupons, not searching for this merchant by name) tell me I'm adding pretty decent value as a couponer here, an activity I frequently criticize for it's inherent (no argument intended here, your opinion may differ, no bother here) lesser value than non-couponing type marketing.
+AvantLink's tracking is working beautifully - long return days remind me that cookie blocking (aka Norton) talk is mainly for the chicken little types when it comes to a clean network's cookies, like AvantLink's.
+Even though this merchant is at both CJ and AvantLink (I think), it seems to me that Durk's running a very clean program here (CJ often mucks this up!). Parasites take return days from real affiliate marketers and I've got plenty of return days, in fact, tons of them. I hope to see Durk in Boston at Summit and have a beer together, he told me a while ago that this merchant was a real gem! He was right.
+People who buy wigs from my site, as gleaned by IP address alone (which isn't an accurate methodology, but enough of it being there suffiices to form some conclusions), often come back a week or two or three later and buy another wig, through my coupon site again, and in some cases, the same wig (a guess on my part, the transactions were the exact same price and they have quite a variety of prices).
+Using the click date and time, I can discern which of these clicks are from PPC, SEO and other sources on my website - this is a low volume merchant for me, so the cross-checking of time versus source, using AvantLink data and my site's logs leaves little guessing in figuring out what caused what. I can see Google PPC is getting me some sales, but MSN SEO is getting me more - as someone with a large budget, I really dig the SEO sales, especially when I can see the consumer was searching for discount wigs and wig coupons, meaning I brought the merchant true incremental sales (they weren't searching for this merchant by their name). To a PPC-minded person (though I do plenty more than PPC), SEO sales are "free", there's no monetary cost basis, all profit! Yep, I'm looking forward to enjoying that beer with Durk! Hope he's coming to Boston. Hope Gary's coming too.
Anyhow, this post was meant to just be about highlighting AvantLink's cool report, Durk's sweet little merchant and a day in the life of Donuts' crunching data. Insights, comments, attaboys, accusations and arguments are welcomed, as always, but I do want to make the point clearly that I'm grateful for AvantLink / GaryM, Durk Price, Beauty Trends and so much more this morning - it's a fine day to be selling wigs thanks to these partners of mine who are working together like a finely-tuned, well-oiled machine.
June 5th, 2008, 10:43 AM #2
WOW! Great post D.
I've already sent the thread URL to the support team to analyze your suggestion for avg return days.
As far as Boston, unfortunately I won't be there. Our family is heading off to Germany to visit my sister/brother n law (who is stationed in Germany in the Air Force band. He plays the stand up bass and guitar!). Our daughter Ellie will be spending her first birthday in Europe.
Just FYI for others reading..Here's a blog article on the Hit Trail Tracking:
Hit Trail Affiliate Sale Tracking
June 5th, 2008, 10:45 AM #3
June 5th, 2008, 10:48 AM #4
A high percentage of the referrals are for "exact+product+name-to-the-sku " for me with this merchant that makes me think I get more hits from affs than shoppers. I had some sales when I first added this shop but nothing recently. Part of that may be due to recently overhauling the whole site. It is just about time to go in and do some 'redecorating' for that shop, it is on the older template and it is the first one I ever set up so adjustments could help.
June 7th, 2008, 12:24 PM #5Thanks for the great comments about the Beauty Trends program at AvantLink
Thank you for your kind words about the Beauty Trends program we are running at AvantLink. AvantLink is such a great tool and so advanced compared to all of the other networks in both affiliate and merchant tools.
We will have some more exciting news about the Beauty Trends program on AvantLink for you soon!
Thanks again! Durk Price- Affiliate Manager for Beauty Trends
June 18th, 2008, 03:28 PM #6
Donuts, Looks like David added the functionality you were looking for
Recently, there was an ABW post that discussed this functionality and how to derive some useful statistics from the information. With that in mind, we’ve added a summary section to the “Sales Hit Tracking Trail” report that displays those very statistics!
June 18th, 2008, 05:13 PM #7
Looking at the data again, my Beauty Trends average return days figure is higher than I expected it to be (the calculations are correct, I mean the consumer behavior). People might think carefully about buying something as personal as a wig, perhaps more so than other products.
In the max column, I found a Moosejaw sale that was 105 return days... usually the humidity here in Florida ruins a cookie after just a few days, maybe a week... 3 and a half months, whew, that's wonderful. A slow, simmering close I must have baked into that one. :-)
My account wide minimum this year so far was 32 seconds - that's a fast ass shopper! Quicky VonQuickquick must have visited my site, grabbed a coupon, clicked through with the stuff already in their cart - I don't see how they could have done otherwise in just 32 seconds.
Personally, I'm glad not many of those are happening though, my average is roughly a week. It wouldn't take too many quickies to drop the average duration (insert sex joke here).
Thanks for the new feature, I think it's insightful and also a bit fun to use.
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