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  1. #1
    Newbie
    Join Date
    June 5th, 2009
    Posts
    1
    Logistical Problem with Coupons
    I want to offer coupons on our site, each with uniquely identifying promotional codes per user, which can be redeemed on a participating (linked) merchant's site. I understand that this is not the “classical” affiliate / merchant relationship.

    How would this be configured? Conceptually, I'm struggling with the architecture. For the participating merchant’s back end configuration, can confirmation of a promotional code be established by pointing back to our database? How difficult of an assignment would this be from the merchant’s perspective (we don’t expect them to reinvent our wheel). From our perspective, we would like to maintain a level of control for the redemptions. Assuming the above example of a shared database, the merchant would need to view (for approval) and write to the DB in order to close the unique promotion. There must be a better approach! Any ideas?

  2. #2
    Full Member iolaire's Avatar
    Join Date
    October 3rd, 2006
    Location
    Arlington, VA
    Posts
    229
    Unless your site has a huge user base and you can demonstrate a good return upfront to the merchants I doubt they would get into one off coupons for you.

    Most major affiliate networks have a mechanism were you can put tracking ID's in your affiliate links so you can track clicks by unique user - sort of like an eBates would do - all urls would have your eBates ID in them so they can track your purchases.

    That would allow you to track links, but would not give you unique coupons.

  3. #3
    http and a telephoto
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    NYC
    Posts
    17,708
    I don't know of any merchant that can do this. Coupons have to be created and added to the merchant database for the shopping cart to recognize, it isn't an easy or automated process for most shopping carts.

    You would track your own users using a parameter as noted above that gets passed from your site to the network.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  4. #4
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
    Join Date
    November 19th, 2006
    Location
    The Windy City
    Posts
    4,140
    Not to rain on your parade, but I'd strongly suggest you consider a different model. Coupon sites are one of the most competitive affiliate models today (search Google for coupon and you'll see what I mean). I really wouldn't recommend it for a novice.

    In addition, your proposed model is seriously flawed. In order to be a successful coupon site you would need to promote hundreds of merchants in order to be competitive with the established sites and be able to offer something different in order to attract a user base. I would be very surprised if you could convince a single merchant to access your database to confirm promotional codes much less several hundred and frankly I'm not sure that there would be any benefit to you, your visitors or the merchant. Certainly not enough to justify the additional overhead that would be required.

    I'd strongly recommend a more traditional site or blog until you learn the ropes. Once you get a little more experience then you can start looking for ways to innovate. Remember, learn the rules and then break them, not the other way around.

    -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

  5. #5
    Affiliate Network Rep Ryan Gilbert's Avatar
    Join Date
    July 6th, 2005
    Posts
    297
    send me your site details and we'll see if I can help

    Webgains has a unique coupon management tool which saves both you and the merchant the trouble of monitoring coupon use. merchants on the WBG network can set up a bespoke coupon branded for your site and then enter it in the Webgains system to ensure you get the commission for each sale... Even if another affiliate steals it or consumer uses it after going through another marketing channel.
    Ryan Gilbert
    Webgains USA
    www.webgains.com
    AIM: WGrgilbert
    MSN/e: ryan{at}webgains.com
    Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/webgains
    Blog: http://usablog.webgains.com
    Twitter: http://twitter.com/WebgainsUSA

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