Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 58
  1. #1
    Member jrb16915's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    156
    This may not be politically correct, but I do think as affiliates, its worth analysing the possibilty that the Onecause toolbar does add incremental value for the merchants.

    One person earlier hypothesized that the donation concept might increase the revenue per purchase from toolbar users. Merchants should be able to analyse if the Onecause customers are in fact purchasing more on average. Its possible that they might. There is no way for me to know, but the merchants can figure that out.

    But I think there are other more signicant potential benefits to a merchant. A Onecause member maybe committed to only buying from Onecause merchants. So, for examplie, if a customer is on a comparison shopping site and clicks on several merchant links, he may end up picking the merchant who is a Onecause merchant and not one of that merchants competitors. The toolbar assists in that decision. (so did the comparison shopping site). Its hard for me to know exactly if the customer who clicks on the merchant link on my website and who also has the Onecause toolbar installed would have actually bought anything if they were not a Onecause merchant. Conversion percentages are such that most people don't buy something after a click through. In fact on my best converting websites maybe 10% actually purcase on a clickthrough. So maybe the Onecause toolbar converts one of those 90% more often than taking away from the 10% who do buy after a click on my website.

    A merchant may also be able to conclude that the repeat business rate for Onecause toolbar users is much greater than for the average customer, and that the incremental repeat business is worth paying the extra commission each time, even if the customer were to go directly to the merchants website each time. I think this is the gist of the general concept of loyalty programs. I don't know for certain if one can conclude that the reason the customer made a purchase from a particular merchant is because he most recently clicked on your website link, or if its because of the prior existing relationship that customer had with Onecause.

    I don't think that Onecause or anyone else should be allowed to violate the terms and conditions that Linkshare or another network provides for anyone else. But if they are in compliance, I am not sure as an affiliate I am in a position to say with surety that the toolbar "adds no value". I think its hypothetical possible that from the merchants perspective it does add value.

    As a result I think the focus of this discussion thread should be narrowed to whether or not the networks terms and conditions are being followed by Onecause (I don't know either way myself) and not just a general attack on the Onecause business model.

    There may even be a possible compromise financial solution. Maybe the networks could increase the level of sophistication of commission calculation and split the commission among all affiliates, including Onecause, who drove a visit to the merchant during the commission period rather than simply crediting the last click with the sale.

  2. #2
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    21,609
    Admin Note: Thread split, no "narrowing" of a 14 page thread into some deraiing post.

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    England
    Posts
    4,327
    "Does the OneCause toolbar add value for the merchants"

    NO!

  4. #4
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    21,609
    Admin Note: Moved to Newly created OneCause Parasiteware Sub Forum.

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    2,420
    Good to see the PROBLEM in its own forum.

  6. #6
    Outsourced Program Manager Jorge - SHOPiMAR's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    3,550
    Quote Originally Posted by jrb16915
    So, for examplie, if a customer is on a comparison shopping site and clicks on several merchant links, he may end up picking the merchant who is a Onecause merchant and not one of that merchants competitors.
    No value in what this toolbar is doing for the merchant or the customer.

    Could be true for one or two members or customers, but the overall majority of customers are looking for to compare their purchase or get a better deal, not to what charity they are giving to at that monent. When the lady is looking for a pair of shoes don't think she is caring at that moment how much money she will also donate.

    Besides all that, don't think that the point here is whether customers are looking for where to shop and who to donate at same time, even if 100% of shoppers did like to donate part of their shopping or even send a pair of shoes to another person in another country as a gift at the same time, the point is that affiliates and even merchants are getting their cookies overwritten by a conflicting affiliate which is also by the same network under same corporation.

    If you can find a charity toolbar owned by an affiliate that does not overwrite cookies and that is not also owned or part of the same network then your hypothesis might work for some merchants and even some affiliates to feel great in having such a partner or member of the affiliate community and perhaps be accepted.

  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    1,744
    No value at all to the merchants or anyone, except OneCause:

    1. Affiliates are losing honest earned commissions.
    2. Merchants are paying commissions to OneCause when they shouldn't be.
    3. Customers are being mislead. Their donations are being made in good faith with no idea that the above 2 are even happening. I believe customers would be outraged if they understood what was taking place. I know I would.

    3 wrongs = no value

  8. #8
    ABW Ambassador Greg Rice's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    4,889
    I think these toolbar affiliates see the lack of value add hence the toolbar. If their service was so great they wouldn't need the toolbar. Like I said in the other thread, I've yet to talk to a prospective merchant who thinks these parasitic affiliates would add value. The usual reaction is "Why would I want those types of affiliates anyway?" Of those who fully know and accept it anyway are doing a disservice to the company IMO.

    If the user types the merchant site in their browser and Onecause sets their cookie, where is the value? I bet the number of sales lost due to not being a part of Onecause is minuscule and that Onecause knows this. If the merchant were to ask their visitors if they would buy even if a part of their purchase did not go to a charity, I think they would see how little value these types of affiliates add. And for this tiny amount of sales, the merchant pays on every contact with the user/customer since Onecause sets their cookie.

    I also don't think you can separate this out from the whole picture though. It's like asking if a donation is a good thing and disregarding that the donor stole the money from someone else. Add to this that it's Rakutan offering this just makes it all worse.
    Greg Rice Affiliate Program Management
    www.gocmc.com info(AT)gocmc.com | 330-259-1223

    Join us! - MiNeeds.com | DiscountCandleShop/CheeseSupply | Feng Shui Plaza

  9. #9
    Member jrb16915's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    156
    I am not affiliated with any company with a toolbar, and I have no axe to grind to defend them.

    My original post was trying to suggest that merchants can do a statistical analysis to determine if the Onecause toolbar adds value (or not). My goal wasn't to speak to philosophical considerations.

    For instance lets say the average customer who shops at Walmart spends $500 per year, and Walmart makes a 20% profit on that customer for a profit of $100. And lets say the average Onecause toolbar user spends $2000 per year and Walmart earns 15% on that customer for a total profit of $300. If that were the situation, a reasonable person might conclude that the "loyalty" factor the toolbar builds in contributed to some part of the extra $200 per year of profit. I am not saying I believe that the situation is likely. I am saying that it is calculable. On the other hand if the average Onecause customer also spends $500 per year, but the margin is only 15% because of the extra commissions, clearly the toolbar is of negative value. My point is that merchants don't have to guess. They can statistically determine what if any value the toolbar adds or detracts.

    Its possible the numbers would demonstrate a clear positive correlation between merchant profits and toolbar use. Since I don't have the data, I can't dismiss the possibility.

  10. #10
    http and a telephoto
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    NYC
    Posts
    17,708
    I think that you are confusing loyalty traffic with a toolbar, or assuming that people that are "loyalty" shoppers only will use a toolbar. In a true loyalty site people will return to that site to go shopping, if they really care about where their money is donated to or if they are prompted by that site to shop at a specific merchant. Getting a shopper to a site and then getting them to install a toolbar, that they later forget about and use just because it pops up, or it sets a cookie without them even clicking, isn't adding value. Building a loyalty site that people return to and shop from IS adding value.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  11. #11
    Member
    Join Date
    October 11th, 2008
    Posts
    69
    As a Merchant I can universally state that a toolbar like one cause actually subtracts value for the merchant.

    I could easily create an incentive promotion through the existing affiliate network that would not only help us stand out from our competitors in how we give back to the community, but also involve the affiliates as well and build value throughout the chain. A toolbar can only damage affiliate relations and lump my firm in "with the crowd" while at the same time costing us money.

    I don't get how the toolbar can possibly add value, increase loyalty, or assist in sales. It makes no business sense at all.

  12. #12
    Super Dawg Member Phil Kaufman aka AffiliateHound's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 22nd, 2007
    Location
    West Covina, CA
    Posts
    8,443
    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Rice
    I also don't think you can separate this out from the whole picture though. It's like asking if a donation is a good thing and disregarding that the donor stole the money from someone else. Add to this that it's Rakutan offering this just makes it all worse.
    Agree completely. This is the same as the actions of people like the late Roland Arnall, founder of Ameriquest - he gave a fortune to charities, but that all came from the ill-gotten gains of Ameriquest, money stolen by treachery and deceit, from hard-working American homeowners. Sound familiar?
    Since June 10, 2012 a vegan aarf but still writing the Hound Dawg Sports Blog
    "If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?" -John Wooden;
    "Raj, there’s no place for truth on the internet." -Howard Wolowitz[/SIZE]

  13. #13
    Member jrb16915's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    156
    Loxley, I do understand the difference and presumably merchants can track traffic from toolbar users vs. those who just return to the website and others. If the toolbar were to drive up traffic rates for a particular merchant, then it arguably adds value to that merchant. I still believe the impact of the toolbar itself can be isolated and calculated for better or worse.

    Openrsm, merchant feedback on this point is the most valuable. Thanks for your response. I would think merchants who have not independently evaluated the impact of this would appreciate other merchants experience and feedback, more than those of affiliates whose clear self-interest (I am an affiliate, not a merchant) is clearly served by having the toolbar go away.

  14. #14
    Newbie
    Join Date
    November 19th, 2008
    Posts
    7
    Thumbs down
    Hi jrb, I just joined ABW after I ran across this thread (and the other thread it came from) on Yahoo. I am also curious about the value add of the tool bar to merchants, but how would you propose to study this?

    It seems to me that it's in most affiliates' self interest to have not only the toolbar disappear, but also to have loyalty sites disappear/recede, because they are - sort of - a competing business model. If a study can prove that loyalty doesn't increase conversions much, then there may be less incentive for merchants to work with loyalty networks.

    One example... if I am a member of a cash back site, and I go to a merchant through an affiliate link on a normal site, but it is my desire to earn cash back on my purchase, should I be able to? What are the ethics in that transaction? Does the affiliate commission ultimately belong to the user (which seems to be the premise of the cash back sites I have studied) or should it be "split" in some way as someone suggested?

    MOXY
    Last edited by miss_moxy; November 19th, 2008 at 05:57 PM.

  15. #15
    http and a telephoto
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    NYC
    Posts
    17,708
    Quote Originally Posted by jrb16915
    Openrsm, merchant feedback on this point is the most valuable. Thanks for your response. I would think merchants who have not independently evaluated the impact of this would appreciate other merchants experience and feedback, more than those of affiliates whose clear self-interest (I am an affiliate, not a merchant) is clearly served by having the toolbar go away.
    Downplaying the significance of the discussion to date by stating it is only from affiliates is hogwash. There are affiliates, merhants, networks and affiliate managers that are all participating in this discussion. Networks and affiliate managers make money off the sales generated by such toolbars, and they are speaking out against them. Well, not all the networks are, but there are those that do.

    BTW, I am also a merchant, and have been involved in some very large affiliate programs and we have consistently removed or denied applications from any toolbar affiliates. Removal was after numbers were crunched. There are threads here at ABW that detail the impact of toolbar and reminder software affiliates on the companies bottom lines, before and after removal.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  16. #16
    Member
    Join Date
    October 11th, 2008
    Posts
    69
    To quote Hyman Richover "It's a stupid question, here's the question you should ask"...

    Toolbars bring no value to any individual merchant. Even if conversion would be greater I'm certain that if I decided to put together a charity donation / loyalty / promotion that I could engineer it such that the affiliates participate and promote.

    That would cost me as a merchant way less money due to stolen clicks, would additionally instill greater loyalty from my affiliates, and be a more direct pipeline with my customers.

    Or does adding a third party with no particular incentive to help my company and affiliates in any way but to take a piece of the pie make more sense...

    I think the answer is very obvious.

  17. #17
    Affiliate Manager sunnypi's Avatar
    Join Date
    September 24th, 2007
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    135
    Jrb -
    I can tell you from personal experience that the merchant has more benefits when they drop the toolbar publishers as opposed to keeping them. When we cleaned up the previous program I was working with, our affiliate revenue *increased* - and we removed 4 out of our top 10 publishers.

    There are shoppers who are loyal to shopping through the company with a toolbar, and after we removed the companies we heard the feedback from customers that they won't shop through us anymore (I think it was 2 emails).

    In the end, weighing out the pros and cons (there really aren't any pros), working with BHO's and toolbars is just not something that makes any sense for most merchants. When you don't work with companies that overwrite cookies, you get true reflections of ALL your marketing campaigns, not just affiliate marketing.

    In addition to more accurate metrics - other affiliates actually will want to work with you, and thus you can increase your revenue by running a clean program. Like I said, we dropped 4 of our top 10 and the revenue increased.

    I don't see the value as a merchant to work with sites that have downloadable reminder software, or software that in any way overwrites cookies. I also don't think that the toolbar should get credit when the customer came to the merchant through any other way.

    That's my 2 cents. I've made the change and seen the positive impact, so I have no doubt that they provide no value and will argue (along with most everyone else) that they only harm your marketing campaigns (all of them, not just affiliate campaigns), your company reputation and your program.
    [B][COLOR=Navy]Nadia Levine (van Rooyen)[/COLOR][/B]
    Senior Manager, Affiliate Practice at Vantage Media
    nlevine(at)VantageMedia.com

  18. #18
    Super Dawg Member Phil Kaufman aka AffiliateHound's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 22nd, 2007
    Location
    West Covina, CA
    Posts
    8,443
    Great post, sunnypi.

    A copy should be taped to every AM's computer.
    Since June 10, 2012 a vegan aarf but still writing the Hound Dawg Sports Blog
    "If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?" -John Wooden;
    "Raj, there’s no place for truth on the internet." -Howard Wolowitz[/SIZE]

  19. #19
    Affiliate Manager sunnypi's Avatar
    Join Date
    September 24th, 2007
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    135
    I can't take credit - I didn't know anything about parasites until I learned about it here on ABW - I read, learned, fought for months with management and then cleaned house. The results speak for themselves.

    If there isn't enough evidence that BHO's / parasites are bad on ABW - call me, I'll tell you exactly what happened in my old program.

    ABW is saving merchants one at a time
    [B][COLOR=Navy]Nadia Levine (van Rooyen)[/COLOR][/B]
    Senior Manager, Affiliate Practice at Vantage Media
    nlevine(at)VantageMedia.com

  20. #20
    AM Navigator Geno Prussakov's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 10th, 2005
    Location
    Washington D.C. Metro Area
    Posts
    11,798
    Quote Originally Posted by sunnypi
    ...working with BHO's and toolbars is just not something that makes any sense for most merchants. When you don't work with companies that overwrite cookies, you get true reflections of ALL your marketing campaigns, not just affiliate marketing.
    100%

    Quote Originally Posted by sunnypi
    In addition to more accurate metrics - other affiliates actually will want to work with you, and thus you can increase your revenue by running a clean program. Like I said, we dropped 4 of our top 10 and the revenue increased.
    Because super affiliates that everyone is after are not the toolbar affiliates. Those are the pseudo super affiliates. When a merchant drops them, the real super affiliates give their program a closer look.

    As AffiliateHound said, great conclusions, Nadia!

    Quote Originally Posted by sunnypi
    If there isn't enough evidence that BHO's / parasites are bad on ABW - call me, I'll tell you exactly what happened in my old program.
    If you start a thread on this - either in the ParasiteWare forum or in the Merchants Best Practices Forum - and share your experience/testimonial, I am sure many would benefit from it. The industry as a whole undoubtedly will.

    Geno

  21. #21
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    21,609
    Savalone - do NOT dup post
    Continued Success,

    Haiko
    The secret of success is constancy of purpose ~ Disraeli

  22. #22
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    21,609
    Quote Originally Posted by sunnypi
    I can't take credit - I didn't know anything about parasites until I learned about it here on ABW - I read, learned, fought for months with management and then cleaned house. The results speak for themselves.

    If there isn't enough evidence that BHO's / parasites are bad on ABW - call me, I'll tell you exactly what happened in my old program.

    ABW is saving merchants one at a time
    Nadia,

    I love it!

    TY for being one of the AMs who really get it!!!

    All, we need to support merchants who not only get it, but spread the word and help others keep their programs clean!!
    Continued Success,

    Haiko
    The secret of success is constancy of purpose ~ Disraeli

  23. #23
    ABW Veteran Mr. Sal's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    6,795
    Originally Posted by 2PraiseToolBar
    ... 3094 characters
    ... 7 paragraphs
    ... 14 to the toolbar "Keyword"
    What a load of !

  24. #24
    ABW Ambassador 2busy's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 17th, 2005
    Location
    Tropical Mountaintop
    Posts
    5,636
    Welcome to ABW Miss Moxy. You don't mention whether you are a merchant, an affiliate or neither, but your questions show a little lack of understanding of what affiliates are and what we do, what toolbars are and what they do.
    Affiliates thrive quite nicely on competition and although I do not run a loyalty shopping site, I have no problems whatever with their existence any more than PPC advertisers or price comparison sites. Each of these business models is a business model that the affiliate chose to put their own efforts into building. If a toolbar was nothing more than a "shopping reminder" bringing you back to the loyalty site to shop then no one has much argument with them. The problem is that the toolbar sites only offer a toolbar that rides along as you shop (our sites) and only shows up once you have decided to buy something. Obviously you are shopping on someone's site in order to find products to buy, special features or benefits of those products and the link that takes you to the merchant. The toolbar "reminder" only shows up when you have decided to buy. Now if it was reminding you to return to the loyalty site to shop, that's bad enough, but they don't bother to offer you that service- that takes work. Why should they maintain and build sites and links and make things easy to find when they can just piggyback along with you while you spend time on other people's sites, reading all about products and features, designed to be helpful and informative -taking advantage of the work of other people until the wallet comes out. We all spend most of our working days researching, building, tweaking and adding more information and although the shopper benefits from our work, we never get paid. How does that sound to you? The entity that benefits from all our hard work is the toolbar, not the merchant. The merchant would benefit from our work anyway. We aren't volunteers here, we have a legal agreement with the merchants that we promote and the actions of the toolbar negate that agreement by stealing our hard earned commissions.
    One example... if I am a member of a cash back site, and I go to a merchant through an affiliate link on a normal site, but it is my desire to earn cash back on my purchase, should I be able to? What are the ethics in that transaction? Does the affiliate commission ultimately belong to the user (which seems to be the premise of the cash back sites I have studied) or should it be "split" in some way as someone suggested?
    The commission of the cash back sites belongs to the builder of that site. They have agreed to share it with you as long as you shop on their site. The commission share ONLY is due to you if you shop on their site. They have no way to offer you a share of my commissions, my work. Toolbar affiliates have half of the equation right, they are offering to be a loyalty site, but don't bother to do the work involved to actually create all the links that would be required to send folks to the merchant from their own sites. So they encourage you to use other people's work to 'earn' your share. I put it a different way in another thread here that makes it clearer in case you have doubts:
    If a farmer plants a field, the grain is his to sell. If you open the fence so you can fatten up your cattle in his fields, how do you justify selling the fattened cattle and keeping the money, having fattened them at the expense of someone else's work? Is this ethical? Would you be surprised if the farmer sued you to recover what is rightfully his that your actions have deprived him of?

  25. #25
    ABW Ambassador
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    2,420
    We need to REMEMBER this as the "fattened cattle" post!
    It is important to this industry.

+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Amazon Toolbar/Add-on Referral?
    By missmelon in forum Amazon
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: February 2nd, 2010, 09:04 PM
  2. Replies: 0
    Last Post: May 6th, 2009, 12:43 AM
  3. ExactSeek to add spyware remover to toolbar
    By Catwoman in forum Midnight Cafe'
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: July 1st, 2004, 04:20 AM
  4. Value Add of Software application for merchants
    By josephmonuit in forum Midnight Cafe'
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: May 22nd, 2003, 01:31 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •