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June 27th, 2002, 05:19 PM #1
- Join Date
- January 18th, 2005
I received the following reply from Ashford.com that may be of interest to anyone affiliated with them.
From: Jarrett Embry
Date: 2002/06/26 Wed PM 06:22:41 CDT
Please allow me to address the email that we received from you last week. First, let me thank you for forwarding this to us, our affiliates are a valuable contributor of revenue for our company and we hate to think that they are unhappy with us for any reason. Below I have addressed each bullet point from your email:
1. Majority of your affiliates feel that Global Sports does not care about affiliates -
We firmly disagree with this belief. Our affiliates are an extremely valuable part of our overall business. Not only are they important to the GSI affiliate management team, they are important to our partner stores as well. Our team's performance is gauged based on the revenue that affiliates drive for GSI and that makes the happiness of our affiliates our number 1 priority.
2. Many feel that you may be deliberately and dishonestly not tracking and reporting sales because everyone has seen a significant decrease in their earnings -
Believe me when I tell you that this is 100% false and would never even enter our minds as a possibility. This is the most important reason for using a third party to both house our affiliate programs and especially to track results. It is absolutely impossible for us to cheat our affiliates from what they deserve. We send product data and imaging to our Affiliate providers. The providers post the information and affiliates are responsible for pulling and posting these products and links. Reporting is completely constructed by our third party providers and there is no chance that we could affect this at all. It would be illogical and completely unethical for us to conduct our affiliate programs in any other way and we stand firm in the belief that the only effective way to track correctly and honestly is to use a 3rd party provider.
3. There is a concern that you have changed your return days from 45 to Zero -
Since our Sporting Goods affiliate programs have never had a cookie length longer than same session, I can only assume that you are referring specifically to our acquisition of Ashford.com. You are correct in that the cookie length has been changed. It was not taken to an absolute zero cookie but rather to 24 hours. This was done for a very logical reason. We ran extensive reports on Ashford's legacy affiliate program and the results supported our claim that an extended cookie was not necessary. Data from these tests showed that 89% of all sales that were brought from affiliates, were placed within 24 hours of entering the site via the affiliate. Now, with that said, we have taken a constant initiative to monitor the results as they occur today and will revisit our decision if we see this trend decline.
4. There has been lack of response to correspondences of affiliates -
There are two very good reasons why affiliates may have felt this way recently -
The first had to do with structural changes at GSI. Approximately six weeks ago, the manager who was in charge of all of our affiliate programs was asked to move into a different role at GSI. At the same time, Ashford.com moved onto the GSI platform. Those two obstacles served to slow down our normally efficient turnaround time for all affiliate emails. In order to help compensate for two large changes to our team dynamic, we have, in the past 2 weeks, doubled our affiliate management team in hopes that we will be able to better assist our affiliates in any capacity and also to address the first point in your email. We hope that going forward, one issue will help resolve the other -- better correspondence should help to show our affiliates that we care about them and that their support really makes the difference for our company.
Secondly, during the Ashford transition onto our platform, the affiliate email address was incorrectly listed on reporting.net. Originally posted there was an email address that read email@example.com. This was somehow accidentally posted (as it was incorrect) and any emails that had been sent to that address are now lost in cyberspace. Currently, the email has been corrected and is listed as firstname.lastname@example.org. It is hyperlinked as well.
I hope that what I have said in the above has sufficiently addressed each of the issues that you have brought to our attention. Please understand that our affiliate relationships are extremely valuable to us. Our goal is to build a profitable business but also to allow each of our affiliates to benefit from their efforts in helping us get there.
Thank you for your email and your help as we look to grow in 2002.
Jarrett D. Embry
Senior Account Executive
GSI Commerce, Inc.
June 27th, 2002, 06:02 PM #2
- Join Date
- January 17th, 2005
quote:This frankly admits that by going to a 24 hour cookie they're robbing affiliates of up to 11% of their justly earned commissions.
89% of all sales that were brought from affiliates, were placed within 24 hours of entering the site via the affiliate.
Do they not see the problem with that????? Yech.
June 27th, 2002, 06:38 PM #3
- Join Date
- January 17th, 2005
Thanks so much for sharing that Santa Barbara Guy.
This is the same old "head in the sand" pap the've been pumping out for some time now. When you're on the receiving end, ie. you're an affiliate, you know when something is seriously wrong. And when other affiliates report the same dissatisfaction, you really know something's wrong.
I went from being sort of an Ashford super affiliate, ie showing up in the top ten, to having BeFree stats show the same level of sales as before the GSI acquisition, and shipped sales coming up as a mere fraction of that.
you just know you've been had, and all trust vanishes. I find these blandishments unpersuasive, and I've cut my losses with Ashford. Only time will tell whether fiction turns to fact.
And one more thing, elimination of the 45 day cookie speaks louder than practically all else about what this merchant has become. All that says is "Screw you Affiliates!!"
And one more thing, I still haven't been paid for March and April. Paying affiliates on time is the chief hallmark of a good affiliate program. Nuff said.
June 28th, 2002, 05:26 AM #4
- Join Date
- January 18th, 2005
- St Clair Shores MI.
Well this comfirms our worse fears. All affiliate programs hosted and managed by GSI are non-performers for anyone who isn't a link hijacking parasite.
"89% of all sales that were brought from affiliates, were placed within 24 hours of entering the site via the affiliate."
This means that only 11% of the sales by Ashford- FogDog- Sports Authority etc. etc. are posted by normal affiliates. Take out the hidden reversals prior to batching the reports and this figure drops some more. His statement that is is impossible to NOT REPORT sales leaves out one blatent fact. In less than 3 minutes anyone with access to the HTML can remove the network sales reporting tag from the final checkout confirmation page. The second fact he cannot address in the open is that their one central shopping cart program, for all their merchants on multiple networks (different tags folks), cannot pass through the session cookie to credit the link originator. They use one cart and central e-catalog to get their cut so merchant partners can't skimm gross sales. You cannot run BeFree -CJ and LS sales tracking codes simultaniously on the one shopping cart program used by GSI. Overstock tried this and so did Dell but they never could get sales posted from 2 networks on the same day. Only way is to deactivate one network tag and rotate who gets sales credits.
Bet the parasites and scumware guys also are harping on GSI conversion ratios too...if they aren't to lazy to notice. If they were open and honest they'd tell us ABW members how many actual affiliate checks they cut to their 40,000+ combined merchant affiliate base every month and project an EPC for all of them. The 24 hour cookie speel is the final nail in this coffin. How many days does Morpheus -Gator -ShopNow/Whenu.com and the others get in their contract?
[ 06-28-2002: Message edited by: EcomCity.com ]
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