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  1. #1
    Newbie
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    Shareasale merchant offline notification
    Is there any way to get an email when a merchant goes offline on Shareasale? It kinda sucks when it takes you hours or days to figure out a merchant you are promoting goes offline due to low funds. This happens usually when a merchant goes temporarily offline. Would be nice to get an email stating so, so I could switch links. I know this is standard with most cpa networks they simply send you an email when offers go down or pause.

  2. #2
    ShareASale President/CEO and ABW Veteran Brian - ShareASale's Avatar
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    At this moment, there is not an email that ShareASale sends out.

    However, there are lots of options here to get notification...even a very quick script you can setup on your site to email yourself in the case of an offline situation.

    Things to use:


    1. The custom offline redirect. This is a setting on ShareASale that allows you to have any offline traffic redirected to a URL of your choice. As an example, Merchant A - let's give them the MerchantID of 414900411 for the time being.

    If they go offline, instead of us showing "Sorry Offline" messages to web visitors who hit that link... you can have traffic sent to ...

    http://www.yoursite.com/offlinemerch...ntID=414900411 ... or whatever page you wanted.

    If, on that .php page you had the following code:



    PHP Code:
    <?

     $theMerchantID 
    $_GET['MerchantID'];

        
    $To  'myself@mydomainname.com';
        
    $Subject 'An Offline Merchant!';
        
    $Message 'The following MerchantID is offline: ' $theMerchantID ' at ShareASale';


         
    mail($To$Subject$Message);

         
    sendTrafficTo($whereverIWant.com);

    ?>



    **Please note that the above code is not necessarily 100% accurate and is for example purposes only... pseudo-code.... ***

    The code would not only email you - but would then redirect the traffic wherever you wanted (for example a different Merchant, or back to your Deals page/ProductPage, or even to a custom error page of your own.




    2. Offline Notification via RSS and API - both available through the interface you can receive notification of offline Merchants via our RSS feed, or by utilizing the API which is a little more advanced.




    Any questions on any of this, just shoot me an email brian@shareasale.com or feel free to post here as well.
    Thanks,

    Brian Littleton
    President/CEO - ShareASale.com, Inc.

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  4. #3
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    Thank you very much Brian this is indeed helpful!

  5. #4
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    Thanks Brian, is there an option to handle the temporary offline as well ?

    I am having a hard time with those who go offline because of their low funds.

  6. #5
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    I am pretty sure they are for both!

  7. #6
    The affiliate formerly known as ojmoo
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    But I have brought this up before and the reverse question is just as important. How do when a merchant that has gone offline is back on line in a automatic seamless fashion?

    i.e. I could use the above code to remove the products of the offline merchant from my site so that only one person gets that message. But how do I know when to put those products back?

    I asked you at the last TT and you know how I hate to be a bother to have a mechanism for letting us know when the merchants come back. You have the needs attention merchants offline, but where is the needs attention merchants back. I have 150+ merchants at SAS and I'm sure there are people with 10 times that we can't go through the list to see hmmm, he was offline and now he's back.
    Expert who says Moo

    a.k.a. OJMOO

    Cow Dance


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  9. #7
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    I can't believe I actually missed this feature from the account.

    You need to create a page on your website for offline merchandise. There are settings on your account at SaS allow you to redirect user as long as the store is offline.

  10. #8
    ShareASale President/CEO and ABW Veteran Brian - ShareASale's Avatar
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    oranges,

    The script above would only activate if a Merchant were offline, at least that is how it is intended to be used.

    When the Merchant came back online - the link would just work as intended and go off to the Merchant.


    For Affiliates with things like datafeeds, databases, etc... I highly recommend the use of the API which can alert you to offline/online status with any of your Merchants. A lower-tech solution is the RSS feed which contains the same information.
    Thanks,

    Brian Littleton
    President/CEO - ShareASale.com, Inc.

  11. #9
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    It works for both temporary offline and closed stores.

    I can't thanks Brian enough, this function saved me a lot of time turning on and off these stores.

  12. #10
    ABW Ambassador kse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OneGoodMan View Post

    I can't thanks Brian enough, this function saved me a lot of time turning on and off these stores.
    My question to you is: Why would you work with merchants who keep going off line??? They do not care about affiliates so why do you care about them and keep promoting them??
    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!!


  13. #11
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    hi kse,

    That was my first thought, however, as a cash back website, the more stores is always the better.

    Let us say you want to buy an item for $100, from store X, our website help you save e.g. 10% through their program.

    From a customer point of view, you don't know how their affiliate program works, nor care to know. All you care about is the store available on our website or not ?

    Most of my competitor wouldn't care to join because of the hassle involved ( I wasn't aware how often some of the stores go offline (some stores has down time way more than up time), I decided to stop joining any store that wouldn't offer auto deposit. However, there are many sites that seemed to be popular and wouldn't go for auto deposit feature.

    I rather having the store, and notify my user that the store affiliate program is down than not having it at all.

    As of the affiliate program that don't have auto deposit, I believe they are making a big mistake, and I am sure it is costing them a lot of affiliates.

  14. #12
    The affiliate formerly known as ojmoo
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    OK Brian, I have implemented a system using the API to deal with merchants on and off line. But I still don't know why you resist a listing of which merchants return to online status just like you have the listing of the newly offline for those who deal with this sort of thing manually.
    Expert who says Moo

    a.k.a. OJMOO

    Cow Dance


  15. #13
    ShareASale President/CEO and ABW Veteran Brian - ShareASale's Avatar
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    You are saying in the "To Do List" area, that type of listing? I'm not against it ...
    Thanks,

    Brian Littleton
    President/CEO - ShareASale.com, Inc.

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  17. #14
    The affiliate formerly known as ojmoo
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    OK, I'll list it there. It's no longer necessary for me as I did take your advice above. But I do think that the only reason for it to be important to get its own listing (offline merchants) is for affiliates who deal with this thing manually and for them they should also have a list of their merchants who return to online status because its too much of a pain to have to check through the merchants that have gone down and check them every day to find if they are back up.
    Expert who says Moo

    a.k.a. OJMOO

    Cow Dance


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  19. #15
    Full Member
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    This is redundant and UNACEPTABLE
    The whole issue if merchants going offline due to lack of funds is TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE!

    Shareasale FAILS at this over and over again - It simply SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED.

    THIS DOES NOT HAPPEN WITH OTHER AFFILIATE NETWORKS!

    Merchants should HAVE TO BE ON AUTODEPOSIT - PERIOD!!!!

    The redirection is Virtually USELESS!

    For example If I have a shoe merchant and a jewelry merchant and they both go offline REDIRECTING them to a generic page or a Furniture merchant is USELESS!!!

    If you could set up an individual redirect FOR EACH merchant that would at least be better. You could at least then redirect a Shoe merchant to another Shoe merchant!

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  21. #16
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by janew View Post
    If you could set up an individual redirect FOR EACH merchant that would at least be better. You could at least then redirect a Shoe merchant to another Shoe merchant!
    You can - in .htaccess. However, would only do so if you have a love/hate relationship with the merchant...
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...

  22. #17
    ShareASale President/CEO and ABW Veteran Brian - ShareASale's Avatar
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    Janew,

    The example script that I gave can redirect differently - I should have written it a little differently I was just pseudo-coding it but the code could go as follows - as we do send back the MerchantID with every offline click.


    PHP Code:

     <?

     $theMerchantID 
    $_GET['MerchantID'];

        
    $To  'myself@mydomainname.com';
        
    $Subject 'An Offline Merchant!';
        
    $Message 'The following MerchantID is offline: ' $theMerchantID ' at ShareASale';


         
    mail($To$Subject$Message);

         
    if 
    $theMerchantID == 12345 {
                 
    sendTrafficTo($ThisISMyShoesWebsite.com);
         }

    elseif 
    $theMerchantID == 23456 {
                  
    sendTrafficTo($ThisIsMyElectronicsWebsite.com);
         }
    ?>
    Remembering that that is just an example, you could really do anything you wanted to with the traffic depending on what MerchantID you have.


    I completely understand your point about auto-deposit and certainly it is something that we push for but even in cases where a program is totally closed - the script above would help you.
    Thanks,

    Brian Littleton
    President/CEO - ShareASale.com, Inc.

  23. #18
    OPM/Moderator Hectic GHC's Avatar
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    Just my two cents here. I wanted to let you know even good merchants go offline for a few minutes every once in a while. If you look at the program uptime history of any given merchant, make sure you look at the Temporary Offline to the Online difference in minutes.

    If a big order comes through, a merchant could be offline for two minutes but it still looks like a red flag for affiliates.

    If its offline for hours or days or weeks, then obviously there is a problem with the merchant.
    Greg Hoffman
    Affiliate Marketing Advocate of the Year 2016; Best OPM/Agency - 2014; Best OPM/Agency, Five Years in a Row - ABestWeb.
    Visit Greg Hoffman Consulting


  24. #19
    Affiliate Manager Kush@VMInnovations's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by akagorilla View Post
    Just my two cents here. I wanted to let you know even good merchants go offline for a few minutes every once in a while. If you look at the program uptime history of any given merchant, make sure you look at the Temporary Offline to the Online difference in minutes.

    If a big order comes through, a merchant could be offline for two minutes but it still looks like a red flag for affiliates.

    If its offline for hours or days or weeks, then obviously there is a problem with the merchant.
    Worth quoting again. A few larger orders ($2K+) in a short amount of time can do that pretty quick.

    Here is how it looks and how the auto deposit works (note it's only offline for 2 minutes, the time it takes for auto-deposit to process):



    I believe this SAS feature actually protects affiliates from sending free traffic to merchants. Merchants who care about the program would enable the auto-deposit.

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  26. #20
    ABW Ambassador kse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kush@VMInnovations View Post
    ...........

    I believe this SAS feature actually protects affiliates from sending free traffic to merchants. Merchants who care about the program would enable the auto-deposit.
    As An affiliate I would like to have a override so the shoppers still gets directed to the merchants site!! As an affiliate I willing to take the risk that the merchants will top up their account and I will get the commision if a sale happens while they are offline. That is what happens on every other network!!
    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!!

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