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  1. #1
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    Google Analytics Trumps SAS Affiliate Links?
    What "I" see is a referral from my page that sells a $24 crystal Christmas ornament, followed by a $24 sale.

    Then it says:
    Based on Google Analytics, this was Direct sale and this customer has ordered before. VOIDED This order was from our own Google CPC Ad. based on Google Analytics Sale
    .

    So does this mean SAS links are unreliable? Can Goog Analytics really void a sale?

    How much time did this merchant devote to keeping a two dollar commission?

    Best,
    Billy
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  3. #2
    Moderator Nabz's Avatar
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    So the customer ordered before via PPC ads, but later made a purchase again from your link. This is not a valid reason to void a commission unless they don't pay for existing customers and have that mentioned in their terms.

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  5. #3
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    Slimy cheap bastards...



    What part of "all" sales don't they understand?
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    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...

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  7. #4
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    I noticed that also. What they're saying is

    They had a customer who clearly wasn't loyal and didn't remember them and clicked on a PPC ad - which in their minds can overwrite a Shareasale cookie(???)

    That's so wrong on so many levels

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  9. #5
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    Doesn't "overwrite" an affiliate cookie - their other marketing channels "trump" the affiliate channel - is what I "hear" them saying.

    Furthermore, they seem to be claiming that they don't pay commissions on sales from existing customers...
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...

  10. #6
    ABW Ambassador
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    It is funny that some merchants think they "own" the customer once he/she shopped at their stores.

    I'm sick of hearing merchants use these types of "existing customers" excuses to void affiliates commission.

    Clearly this customer didn't remember the merchant, they should thank you for bring him/her back to their store. Not the other way around.

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  12. #7
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    Smart merchants look for ways to reward affiliates for their efforts because in spite of everything else, affiliate marketing is still the least expense marketing channel for most merchants and the only one that they only pay for when they actually get a sale.

    Some merchants, like this one, simply look for ways to avoid paying a commission. If they don't see the value of doing honest business then they shouldn't have an affiliate program in the first place.

    This merchant has no idea what actually caused the customer to buy, the only thing that they know is that the customer did not return to their site directly which means that they didn't make a very good impression on them when they had the chance. Based on that, I'm not sure how they feel that they can claim "ownership".

    I've learned over the past few years that the more complex the compensation plan, the least likely you are to earn a commission. When merchants start playing games like this, it's time to shine 'em on.

    Thanks for getting the word out BK.

    -rematt

    BTW, I'd be curious to see how they explain to Google that they're not paying THEM when they do finally credit an affiliate with a sale.
    "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

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  14. #8
    Affiliate Manager CreditFirm's Avatar
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    rematt, you just hit the nail on the head. Taking money out of affiliate's pockets means they are doing the same thing to the network. I don't see how any network, especially SAS, could be ok with this. I would love to hear Brian's take on this.

    Then again, I'm new, is it business as usual for merchants to do things like this?
    Michael Abramsky :usaflag:
    Affiliate Manager for [URL="http://www.creditfirm.net"]CreditFirm.Net[/URL]
    Email: [email]Affiliate@CreditFirm.net[/email] | Phone: 800-750-1416 x 901 | [URL="http://www.creditfirm.net/affiliates"]Affiliate Program Info[/URL]

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  16. #9
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CreditFirm View Post
    ... is it business as usual for merchants to do things like this?
    Only the slimey ones.

    -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

  17. #10
    ABW Ambassador purplebear's Avatar
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    Would like to hear what Brian has to say as well.

    "What part of "all" sales don't they understand? "

    Am a lil bit confused about this, tho. Who is doing the tracking for this merchant, Shareasale or the merchant? Is the GA integrated with the tracking via SAS? Am not questioning that SAS can or should have GA integrated with their tracking just didn't realize that happened. Umm, well guess I am questioning it if they're aware of this being done for this reason and the affiliate doesn't get credit for the sale. In that case they'd be umm well will count to 10.

    But.... all goes back to what Convergence pointed out in his post. It says All in their terms so how are they able to do this? All doesn't mean except for this or that it means ALL


  18. #11
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    Shareasale requires that their pixel fire on all sales regardless of cookie expiration. They also launched attribution with gives you insight into all marketing channels if you tag them.

    Its not uncommon for large brands to dynamically insert the pixel only when the referrer on that session is an affiliate. If the pixel is on the thank you page for every sale the network code looks at the cookie and credits the sale if it hasn't expired. That should credit the affiliate regardless if the last click came from PPC, SEO, email, etc.

  19. #12
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Hamrick View Post
    Shareasale requires that their pixel fire on all sales regardless of cookie expiration. They also launched attribution with gives you insight into all marketing channels if you tag them.

    Its not uncommon for large brands to dynamically insert the pixel only when the referrer on that session is an affiliate. If the pixel is on the thank you page for every sale the network code looks at the cookie and credits the sale if it hasn't expired. That should credit the affiliate regardless if the last click came from PPC, SEO, email, etc.
    Interesting - so this is a ShareASale issue?

    Would think more of these type reversals would be reported then...
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...

  20. #13
    ShareASale President/CEO and ABW Veteran Brian - ShareASale's Avatar
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    No it's not. We tracked the sale just fine, and reported it as such, etc... This is a choice being made by the Merchant to void a transaction based on data outside of their ShareASale relationship.

    The Merchant likely could benefit from having their analytic parameters put into their ShareASale account - which would probably help here.
    Thanks,

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


  21. #14
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian - ShareASale View Post
    No it's not. We tracked the sale just fine, and reported it as such, etc... This is a choice being made by the Merchant to void a transaction based on data outside of their ShareASale relationship.
    Thanks for the clarification.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian - ShareASale View Post
    The Merchant likely could benefit from having their analytic parameters put into their ShareASale account - which would probably help here.
    Is it then the affiliates responsibility to let the merchant know they are able to do this, and how to do so - Or, will the network be proactive and get this squared away on behalf of it's affiliates?
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...

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  23. #15
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    Is it then the affiliates responsibility to let the merchant know they are able to do this, and how to do so - Or, will the network be proactive and get this squared away on behalf of it's affiliates?
    Both!!

  24. #16
    ABW Ambassador purplebear's Avatar
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    "No it's not. We tracked the sale just fine, and reported it as such, etc... This is a choice being made by the Merchant to void a transaction based on data outside of their ShareASale relationship."

    I don't want this to sound like I'm being disrespectful or some kind of a wise guy but am afraid I still don't understand. Am not really sure how I can word this without sounding this way but here goes.

    Am going back to what Convergence pointed out:

    "What part of "all" sales don't they understand? "

    You said that SAS tracking worked just fine and think everyone here agrees that Billy got the sale. If in the terms it says ALL SALES again I apologize since I know the way this must sound but are you saying that what a merchant says in his terms that we read at SAS evidently doesn't really mean what it says? I don't understand how this merchant is allowed to do this ?? Can't you as the head of SAS not allow this merchant to do this. I know you're gonna say what you always say that we have the option to work with which merchants we choose to work with but this is a case of a merchant setting terms and clearly not honoring those terms. It's just flat out wrong. Am sure I didn't word this in the best way, so I apologize again for how it probably sounds but don't know how else to word it. It's just wrong and this merchant shouldn't be allowed to do this. There should be some sort of terms a merchant has with SAS that doesn't allow them to do this.


  25. #17
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Hamrick View Post
    Both!!
    Wrong answer...
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...

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  27. #18
    ShareASale President/CEO and ABW Veteran Brian - ShareASale's Avatar
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    purplebear,

    Yes, it is probably something we will have to have a discussion with the Merchant about. Hard to say at the moment - we really don't have any details...

    I'm just not going to get into it here, on a public form. Here on ABW isn't the proper place for me to come to any conclusion with regards to this issue or any other private account issue. Unfortunately these conversations usually lead to false conclusions, leading questions, "gotcha questions" etc... it is not something that I am interested in doing.

    Billy Kay knows that I'll do what I've always done - and he knows my email address
    Thanks,

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

  28. #19
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    Wrong answer...
    Its not the affiliates responsibility but its their liability so doesn't hurt to let them know. If its not important enough to contact the merchant then don't ***** about it.

  29. #20
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Hamrick View Post
    Its not the affiliates responsibility but its their liability so doesn't hurt to let them know. If its not important enough to contact the merchant then don't ***** about it.
    ONE in a THOUSAND affiliates may know this is possible to do on SAS - much less HOW to do it...
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...

  30. #21
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    I am not saying this has to do with SAS but with the way the merchant has the tracking coded. Actually it looks like they manually reversed the sale after checking the sale in GA. Has nothing to do with GA trumping SAS links but a decision made by the merchant IMHO.

    Crystal Plus, Inc. 7 Day Reversal 42.86 % (33% Repeat Order) Red Flag!

  31. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian - ShareASale View Post
    No it's not. We tracked the sale just fine, and reported it as such, etc... This is a choice being made by the Merchant to void a transaction based on data outside of their ShareASale relationship.

    The Merchant likely could benefit from having their analytic parameters put into their ShareASale account - which would probably help here.
    Are you saying they should have had that info in the agreement affiliates got into with the merchant, that they wouldn't pay in cases like this? If so, in the meantime, it's not. So they should pay. It's a violation of the current agreement.

    Side note, the search still doesn't work well after all these years. I search on Crystal Plus to read the agreement and it should come up first but:

    All Things Trendy
    Peggy Lutz
    SwimsuitsForAll.com
    PlusSizeBridal.com
    Figuresqe.com

    coming first

    It's like that when I've searched for merchants before.

  32. #23
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    Wow. I make one post in a year and it causes a stir - sorry.

    I don't think this merchant is malicious - he's just uneducated about affiliates. A bad merchant would have just typed "Cust Cancelled" rather then his explanation/justification.

    As PurpleBear pointed out, I can switch to another merch whenever I want.

    I emailed the merchant my concern - in a polite and professional manner - the ball's in his court.

    No matter what he does, it's a reminder to always be vigilant.

    Now... buy my new CD

    Best,
    Billy

  33. #24
    Beachy Bill's Avatar
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    Don't hold your breath on that email response. I emailed one last Friday who reduced commissions (another post). In fact I emailed a second time after finding a domain squatter with his stuff on a one-page site. Still waiting...and the squatter is still there...
    Bill / Marketing Blog @ 12PM - Current project: Resurrecting my "baby" at South Baltimore..
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  34. #25
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    BK you can always walk but if you develop a relationship with that merchant especially as niche as your site is, you can make it up in spades. But who am I talking to you have been doing this since I reached puberty!

    I saw Graham MacRobie's birthday on Facebook this week and punched a merchant URL into his domain tool: Typosquatting Domain Recovery by Alias Encore Found a typo squatter and got permission from the merchant to use his service to get the domains back to the merchant.

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