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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador kse's Avatar
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    Question Groupon Affiliate Program ??
    First let me say this is a question and not a negative comment about Groupon Affiliate Program (and other like them).

    Alot of affiliate here appear to like "Groupon Affiliate Program" they appears to have some very good people working for them. One person I really respect.

    So my question / concern is that Groupon is promoting some of the same merchants that I am promoting. They pay 10% if the person in not in their email database and only 2% if they are already in their database. With a 30 day cookie so after that affiliate will not get paid anything.

    So the way I see it is that affiliate are sending their shoppers to another affiliate site so they can collect our shoppers email address and then Groupon will send email out directly to our visitors and take our sales.

    Am I missing something??
    Last edited by kse; October 15th, 2010 at 11:21 AM. Reason: spelling
    MERCHANTS: Start showing your coupons directly on your site, that way your shoppers will stop leaving your site looking for them!! If not then remove your Coupon Box!!

  2. #2
    Affiliate Manager CTanK's Avatar
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    Hm, yes, we do have retailers on Groupon that have affiliate programs, but whether or not the consumer uses a Groupon when they complete a purchase on that retailer's website has no impact on whether or not you get commission. We actually don't make any money off the eventual purchase, all our revenue comes from the actual sale of the Groupon.

    Plus, the 30-day cookie is actually a good thing. Most folks buy more than one Groupon in a 30-day period because if they signed up for our daily email, we're sending them their daily deal. So you could actually get credit for more than one sale.

    Okay let's use an example. Let's say Gap is running a deal with us. You drive someone to that deal, they buy the Groupon, you get commission from us. Later, that same consumer goes to Gap and makes a purchase using the Groupon. Groupon does not get commission on that sale, and actually, neither do you unless you've got a Gap cookie on their machine. If you do have a Gap cookie on their machine, you'll still get commission. We don't have anything that would override that.

    Did I get that right?
    Last edited by CTanK; October 15th, 2010 at 11:38 AM.

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador kse's Avatar
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    Several merchants are now adding this to their terms and I expect other to follow.

    "Affiliates are not permitted to benefit from sales due to daily group buying deals including but not limited to Groupon and Living Social"

    So alot of affiliate will be losing commisions if more merchants start adding this.

    I now understant that you are not an affiliate of these merchants but I am interestes if other affiliates also have concerns.

    Thank you for your reply.
    Last edited by kse; October 15th, 2010 at 12:03 PM.
    MERCHANTS: Start showing your coupons directly on your site, that way your shoppers will stop leaving your site looking for them!! If not then remove your Coupon Box!!

  4. #4
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    No disrepect intended CTank but Groupon.X just looks like huge competition to my little coupon site. I would love to be proven wrong but I just don't see the "upside" to promoting the program on my coupon site. Something tells me that it may be a good fit for other niches but just not the coupon variety.

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador CathyM's Avatar
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    "I am interested if other affiliates also have concerns."

    Yes, I have already seen a couple of sales come in with $0 commission because they were groupon sales. I was referred to new terms,

    "Affiliates are not permitted to benefit from sales due to daily group buying deals including but not limited to Groupon and Living Social"

    IMO, groupon is a competitor of affiliates for at least some merchants.

  6. #6
    Affiliate Manager CTanK's Avatar
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    I think this is a good discussion, and I can certainly see the potential conundrum, but I do want to point out that Groupon's main focus is on local brick-and-mortar businesses...maybe it makes more sense for coupon affiliates to not promote any of our online deals?

  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador kse's Avatar
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    When I first learned about Groupon was when you joined them so I got interested.

    When I started to see Groupon Ads all over adsense ads I decided to have a look. The local brick-and-mortar businesses as you stated sounded like a good way to make some extra income from these local merchants. However when I stated looking at the site I saw the "Today's Side Deal" on every pages that are showing my merchants. Also the fact that I had to enter an email address to look at Groupon pages makes me think that Groupon will be using these address to pull my visitors maybe daily to the Groupon site via direct mailing and only have to pay me a commision on the first 30 days.

    And now that added fact that several merchants will not honor my affiliate cookie it they are refered by Groupon, and I sure their will be alot more merchants adding these terms.

    Sorry I feel their are way to many negatives for all affiliate to promote Groupon but I sure some will.
    MERCHANTS: Start showing your coupons directly on your site, that way your shoppers will stop leaving your site looking for them!! If not then remove your Coupon Box!!

  8. #8
    Outsourced Program Manager Sarah Bundy's Avatar
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    I'm curious to see if anyone else has any opinions about this. I have recently taken over a program that promotes through groupon and I've seen several $0 sales, which from a stats standpoint is really driving down the EPC and average order value of my usual stats. It's making the program look like it doesn't make any money, when in fact it does.

    CTang, what do you suggest in this case? The merchant does great sales through groupon and doesn't want to give it up, but the affiliate program may be suffering. Suggestions are welcome.

  9. #9
    Affiliate Manager CTanK's Avatar
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    Yeah, it bums me out too...I personally think it's the retailer's responsibility to pay commission to the affiliate, and to take affiliate commission into account when structuring the deal with Groupon. I'd really suggest to your retailer that they reconsider their decision to not pay commission...or at least test it and see how many transactions come in from affiliates with Groupon's attached.

    Since we are not involved with the final transaction (we don't receive commission on the final sale), we don't have any of that data. Maybe if you could get that data, you and I could figure out some sort of solution? You know where to find me

  10. #10
    Outsourced Program Manager Sarah Bundy's Avatar
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    I wish you were at #thinktank10 next week cause we could hash it out there. What's the best way to contact you now? Would love a quick chat.

  11. #11
    Affiliate Manager CTanK's Avatar
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    Whoops, sorry, here's my sig Have a ton of fun at ThinkTank! I'm about to skeedaddle out of the office, but hit me up after...or maybe even shoot me an email over the weekend?
    best,
    Carolyn Tang Kmet
    AllInclusiveMarketing.com
    carolyn-at-allinclusivemarketing.com

  12. #12
    Outsourced Program Manager Sarah Bundy's Avatar
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    Sounds good love, enjoy your afternoon! I'll shoot you an email.
    Cheers ! xo

  13. #13
    The "other" left wing davidh's Avatar
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    I have already seen a couple of sales come in with $0 commission because they were groupon sales
    Affiliates are not permitted to benefit from sales due to daily group buying deals including but not limited to Groupon and Living Social
    Is this one odd isolated instance of a merchant with terms like this, or is it a growing trend?
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  14. #14
    ABW Ambassador kse's Avatar
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    I say it is a growing trend since I know of several merchants who are voiding sales coming from Groupon.

    As I see it 0% / Voided sales are just one of the problems.

    Am I the only affiliate concerned about affiliate sending them traffic and then they force the visitor to provide their email address before they allow the visitor to see the page???

    I see sites like this as a BIG treat to affiliate as a whole...
    MERCHANTS: Start showing your coupons directly on your site, that way your shoppers will stop leaving your site looking for them!! If not then remove your Coupon Box!!

  15. #15
    The "other" left wing davidh's Avatar
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    How Groupon does things is their own business. If they're a threat to affiliates, then so be it. That does not necessarily mean they are doing anything wrong; it's not is if they are poaching commissions or anything like that.

    If certain merchants want to favor one channel over the other, then perhaps we need to set up a list of merchants who have anti-affiliate policies like this, so we'll know that promoting certain ones may not be a viable proposition.
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  16. #16
    Outsourced Program Manager Sarah Bundy's Avatar
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    And there are more of them coming out everyday.

    I'm not sure the best way to manage these yet. Any other affiliate managers / OPMs have any feedback?

  17. #17
    ABW Ambassador kse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidh View Post
    How Groupon does things is their own business. If they're a threat to affiliates, then so be it. That does not necessarily mean they are doing anything wrong; it's not is if they are poaching commissions or anything like that.
    davidh, I do not beleive anyone here is saying that they are doing anything wrong, I see nothing wrong with what they are doing, what I am asking are they affiliate friendly, and should affiliates promote them??

    Personnaly as an affiliate I do not like what I see.
    MERCHANTS: Start showing your coupons directly on your site, that way your shoppers will stop leaving your site looking for them!! If not then remove your Coupon Box!!

  18. #18
    ABW Ambassador Joshua's Avatar
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    Not sure what city you're from, but I can't remember the last time that I saw a national merchant as a side deal (FTD.com months and months ago?), and the only national main deal I can remember was the Gap promotion that happened nationwide. Everything I've seen on Groupon since then (and yes, I'm an email subscriber to Groupon) has been local companies in my city. I'm not even in a huge city (somewhere around the 20th largest city mark, but our suburban area is huge so it doesn't really feel like a large city...), and local merchants still fill up the inventory.

    I wouldn't be concerned as an affiliate promoting Groupon.

  19. #19
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    This parallels the coupon affiliate issue and almost lost two merchants last month over it. Here's the point, a consumer decides to buy a $9500 package but his wife says to check for best price. He clicks through an affiliate site then buys from the merchant. The affiliate gets a $950 commission but there was no coupon (since the merchant doesn't coupon). We know it happened this way because the merchant called the customer. Now the affiliate closed the sale because they showed that there was no better deal but did they deserve the commission?

    What I see is that the merchant is treating Groupon as a super affiliate and they trump the other affiliate even though the other affiliate has the last cookie. May merchants are considering shuttering affiliate programs because of all the coupon sites. But, consumers are looking for the best value so coupon sites are king right now.
    Last edited by Chuck Hamrick; October 15th, 2010 at 07:30 PM.

  20. #20
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    I'm only seeing local brick and mortar ads in my Groupon emails as well, no online deals at all.

    Groupon also only features a special on a specific product, can anyone verify if all sales in an order are voided or just the one the Groupon applies too?

    As a merchant, I would pay the affiliate commission, and as stated, would build that into my pricing for the Groupon sale. Having merchants exclude those sales from affiliate commissions is that retailer's issue, not a Groupon issue, IMO.
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  21. #21
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    I think the reality is that affiliates just need to be aware of consolidated deal websites that offer affiliate programs. There is no guarantee they won't start promoting the same deals you run on your own site - the flip side is you can offer deals on your site that weren't available to you before.

    It's a fair business model, no question about that - affiliates just need to know what they're promoting, and how it may affect them in the future.

    Personally, I don't want anything to stand between my site and the merchant - I would rather not promote a program than risk losing my own commissions. That's just me - I have a niche site, very protective of the merchants I promote.

    And it doesn't matter where I am physically located, it's all about where my readers are..

  22. #22
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    Does anyone know the affiliate network that pays the highest for Groupon?

  23. #23
    ABW Ambassador mailman's Avatar
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    Do a test yourself. When I go to Groupon.com the closest large city to me appears. I am asked to give them my email address before I can proceed. Google adsense ads appears with the same city on many of my inside pages so why would I promote them?
    "Groupon negotiates huge discounts on popular local goods, services and cultural events. Then we offer the deals to thousands of subscribers in a free daily email. The deals are activated only when a minimum number of people agree to buy. So our subscribers get a great deal and the business gets a ton of new customers. Win-win."
    Once I send over a customer they have his email and they go direct to him via email,
    where does the affilate make money?
    Like many merchants in the past they are using affilates to get traffic to their site and harvest email address's
    I mean no disrespect to Groupon as they have a great marketing program in place.

  24. #24
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    If you have a coupon/deals site, then I agree that you don't want to partner with Groupon. For other affiliates, there is no harm (in my opinon), if you chose to use them as an affiliate although their ads seems to show up on Adsense from which you might get a few cents. I don't know what their commission structure is, but you get paid for the referral. If your site caters to people who might be enticed to give out their email address to get local area bargains, then you might benefit. On the other hand, if your site, like mine, caters to older adults who might be frugal but are afraid to give out any information, then you probably won't get much from their affiliate program. I wouldn't worry about the lost commissions from sales, unless you think you get a lot of sales from cookies placed earlier. Some of us do not (again, that probably depends on the user community - I think that older people are more likely to clear their cookies regularly, even daily).

    If your site is not about deals, but about a subject other than shopping, then there is no loss if Groupon writes to your subscribers too. They write about deals, you write about ... cooking, music, travel, sports, whatever. Not much of an issue there.
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