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  1. #1
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    Which merchant provides the best tracking of transactions?
    Question: Which merchant (of affilate program) has the most stable and accurate recording of transactions through your site?
    Click the link to vote:
    http://www.pollor.com/showpoll.php?pid=11


    I think CJ and linkshare are not bad in terms of tracking.
    I am new at using affilate programs sponsored by other merchants (such as shareasale and Indie Programs) though, wondering how well they track transactions compared to CJ and linkshare.

    bestportals

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador ticketguyz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bestportals
    Question: Which merchant (of affilate program) has the most stable and accurate recording of transactions through your site?
    Click the link to vote:
    http://www.pollor.com/showpoll.php?pid=11


    I think CJ and linkshare are not bad in terms of tracking.
    I am new at using affilate programs sponsored by other merchants (such as shareasale and Indie Programs) though, wondering how well they track transactions compared to CJ and linkshare.

    bestportals

    Uhh... no, and by the way, CJ (and the other networks) is not a merchant.

  3. #3
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    do you mean CJ and linkshare are not good at tracking compared to the other two new programs or vice versa?
    thanks!

  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador Ron Bechdolt's Avatar
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    I think you need to be more discriptive. What other two "new" programs are you referingn to? There are lots of new ones.

    And you probably should clarify what you mean exactly by "best tracking of transactions".

    You might get the answers you are looking for with a better description of your questions.
    Ron Bechdolt | Affiliate Program Management Consultant
    7 Days A Week Marketing

  5. #5
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    Also, CJ, LS, etc are networks, not merchants. When you say merchants, people will think you mean individual stores.
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  6. #6
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    thanks for the clarification.
    By new programs, i meant those new networks, such as shareasale. I don't know how well they track the transactions. I was not sure whether it worth putting efforts on designing a space for affiliate programs sponsored by those new networks.
    Any ideas are welcome.
    thanks!

  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador Ron Bechdolt's Avatar
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    I'm not sure anyone has any proof that any network is not properly tracking sales. Lots of folks like to speculate.

    Now if you are asking about parasitic partnerships keeping things from tracking, that is something really different.
    Ron Bechdolt | Affiliate Program Management Consultant
    7 Days A Week Marketing

  8. #8
    Member Chocolate_Chicken's Avatar
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    "I think CJ and .... are not bad in terms of tracking"

    When you do test purchases that do not get tracked, and you get a runaround about it, you'll be singing a different tune.

    When you do more test purchases that also do not get tracked, and the merchant does not answer emails expressing concerns about tracking, you'll be singing a louder tune.

    "Lots of folks like to speculate."

    Yes, lots of folks do like to speculate. Others like to put their money where their mouth is and see for themselves. When I say that sales are not being reported, it is because there are sales that did not get reported, not to the proper affiliate at least. As to whether they got tracked, I cannot know. Tracking and reporting are two different things.

  9. #9
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    When you do more test purchases that also do not get tracked, and the merchant does not answer emails expressing concerns about tracking, you'll be singing a louder tune.
    My tune would be called "That Crook Merchant" in that case. I'd think a legit merchant would write back really quick if they thought the system wasn't working! So...no response would be a very bad sign (unless it's a one-person place and the one person is on vacation or something).
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  10. #10
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    Hi, Chocolate_Chicken ,
    What do you mean by tracking and reporting are two different things? of course they don't have to report everything they tracked, but if they do report it, it should be what it is, right?
    For example, if they don't have to report impressions, impression tracking record just won't be presented to you. BUT if they do report impressions, then every single tracked impressions should be presented to you.
    I don't quite believe that there is "tracking+partial report", I think either they don't report a ceratin type of actions at all, or if they report, it should be complete. For example, if a certain affiliate network tracked 5000 impressions for a certain merchant, I think they won't report it as less than 5000.
    That is what I believe, however, I cannot explain why sometimes an affilate network seems to lose its tracking.

    Bestportals.

  11. #11
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    My understanding is that if the tracking algorithm does not change, theoretically there should not be any problems with tracking if the servers are not down.

  12. #12
    Not that fat. ReallyBigGuy's Avatar
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    If you talk merchants, I like Gevalia at performics, they put the persons email in there so you really know who bought it

  13. #13
    Member Chocolate_Chicken's Avatar
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    "My tune would be called "That Crook Merchant" in that case. "

    Not when the merchant has the tracking pixel loaded. So the tune remains the same, but the lyrics need to be modified.

    "What do you mean by tracking and reporting are two different things?"

    Tracking a sale and billing the merchant are one thing, crediting the commission to the proper affiliate are an entirely different operation. Every large company, and many small, have instances of embezzlement or other forms of employee theft at some point. Who's to say there are no affiliate network employees who are capable of pulling an "inside job"? It's not as if the CIA and Naval Intelligence do security screening on network employees and audits of tracking and reporting activity. I would be VERY surprised if nobody at any of the major networks is diverting sales commissions to straw accounts.

  14. #14
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    You sound like an insider.
    No offense.

    Sometimes I am just wondering whether there should be a indepdent party to investigate or compare the tracking and reporting. But to do that 100% accurately, we probably need a indepdent company or organization to take care of the tracking.
    This will be another type of business and provide more jobs : )

  15. #15
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    Portals,

    In response to your original question: If you're looking for ultra accurate recording of sales you'll want to look at companies such as clickbank and regnow. With these, orders are taken via the network's servers - the merchant has no opportunity to `turn off` order tracking. This is the most `trustworthy` form of affiliate network - however these networks are almost exclusively for digital goods - software, ebooks and the like. Not tangible products. These networks have to be accurate because if the order isn't tracked, no-one gets paid. That said, there are some rogues about on these networks - particularly on CB, but for regnow at least, you can make your links go direct to the order form, which is a fairly cast-iron way of ensuring you get your cut.

    When you're dealing with networks where the billing/ordering page is not handled by the network internally, such as CJ, LS, and well, most others, there is always scope for transactions not to be tracked. Whether it's deliberate or accidental on the merchant's side, it can never be 100% eliminated.

    When you've been in this game a while and had companies blatantly steal or try to steal back your commissions (commissions being our bread and butter, rent, etc.) you'll come to understand our frustrations a bit better. I've had merchants try to reverse out commissions on purchases I've seen go through with my own eyes.

    You're right on the money with your auditing suggestion, but the nature of our `industry` is such that it's difficult to get the ball rolling on these things,as I'm sure many of us are operating alone from our studies and living rooms. Plus the networks are unlikely to be falling over themselves to have themselves audited! Not to say I wouldn't be all up for the idea - in fact there've been rumblings about a UK Affiliate Association on the a4uforum.

    Blimey, sorry to go on like that, just I rarely have the chance to voice this stuff except very excitedly to the wife - who probably has no idea what I'm babbling about most of the time.

  16. #16
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    The Brit has it correct. The advertising mindset of the networks automatically requires no responsibility for closing sales. The sales vehicle they're providing is tied to the old cornerstone of the advertising industry. Never -ever take any responsibility that an advertising campaign can guarantee sales results.

    I knew for years un-targeted and natural SERP traffic, without any value-add of showcase product/merchant affiliate displays, converted at better ratio then reported by the networks. Avoiding this requires 2 key components in my Safe Haven Sales Network model. www.ecomcity.com/safehaven-network.htm

    Network controls the Multi-merchnat shopping cart making it impossible for the merchant to have an on-off switch. All sales are reported in realtime with option for referring affiliate to receive a quick sales summary e-mail on each completed event.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

    "What have you done today to put real value into a referral click...from a shoppers viewpoint!"

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