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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador isellstuff's Avatar
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    Reporting By Posting Date with Sub-Ids?
    Hello,

    Either Performics is missing a vital report or I can't figure out how to run it. I was hoping someone would enlighten me.

    On Linkshare it is called the "Member ID Field Report" and it lists commissions, sub-ids via posting date.

    On CJ it is called Commission Detail by "Posting Date".

    I can't find this report on Performics. The report I am using, "Activity Detail" backfills itself. So, in other words, yesterday's results can change three days later. (and frequently does) This is "no good".

    I need to be able to reliably retrieve all commissions that POST on a particular day, with sub-id tracking.

    Does this report exist on Performics?
    Merchants, any data you provide to Google Shopping should also be in your affiliate network datafeed. More data means more sales!

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by isellstuff
    Hello,

    Either Performics is missing a vital report or I can't figure out how to run it. I was hoping someone would enlighten me.

    On Linkshare it is called the "Member ID Field Report" and it lists commissions, sub-ids via posting date.

    On CJ it is called Commission Detail by "Posting Date".

    I can't find this report on Performics. The report I am using, "Activity Detail" backfills itself. So, in other words, yesterday's results can change three days later. (and frequently does) This is "no good".

    I need to be able to reliably retrieve all commissions that POST on a particular day, with sub-id tracking.

    Does this report exist on Performics?
    This behavior is due to a legacy problem with the data schema used to store orders. We released the foundation for a solution to this problem over this past weekend. However, changes to our reports to take advantage of this solution have not yet been released. We wanted to break in the new solution before doing a hard cutover in our reports given that the next two months typically represent the largest volume months of the year for many of our clients (both publishers and advertisers).

    We will be updating the activity detail and all other online reports in either January or February. When we do, the order (post) date will no longer be transient. Once it appears on the report, it will remain on that date forever more.

    I'll post more updates when the release approaches. We realize this is a significant problem for many (it certainly is for us) but the change is pretty deep in our code base and we couldn't justify releasing it until we had a chance to really stress test some of the new design in production.

    Larry Adams
    Affiliate Product Manager

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador isellstuff's Avatar
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    Thanks Larry, this is a very informative and honest answer and I appreciate it.
    Merchants, any data you provide to Google Shopping should also be in your affiliate network datafeed. More data means more sales!

  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador isellstuff's Avatar
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    Bump... Were the report changes mentioned on November 12th ever made? I still can't find a way to reliably grab the days commissions with sub-ids. Previous day's transactions will still change.

    Also... While we are talking about reports... The accounting report, while a step in the right direction, is still no where near enough information, especially when taking Barnes and Noble's lengthy commission delay into account. I would like to see a pending commissions report. I would also like to see reversals from Barnes and Noble. Give me enough information so that I can reliably track how much money I am due.

    I think I am owed a huge amount of money, but I don't know for sure. I don't have reversal information for all of my merchants. I don't have a timeline of pending commissions that are currently locked.

    I just go on blind faith and am happily surprised when I get my checks. And how in the heck to you signup for direct deposit anyway...
    Merchants, any data you provide to Google Shopping should also be in your affiliate network datafeed. More data means more sales!

  5. #5
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    Has anyone figured this out? I've sent inquiries to Google on 3 separate occasions and have literally heard crickets chirping after each one.

    Seems that this would be very important to a number of affiliates (all?) for tracking revenue properly.

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador isellstuff's Avatar
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    I never found a way via the Performics UI.

    I ended up coding my own Performics reporting mechanism, which is pretty darn complex. I grab sub-id transactions for the last 9 months, then compute ROI on each sub-id for the 9 month period. I do 9 months because it seems to be fairly safe, e.g. after 6 months I should have been paid and after 9 months all reversals from that six month payment should have posted. My sub-id's are Guid's, so each click event is unique and I have my own database logging, which allows me to cross-reference.

    Needless to say, its a pain and a shame that I have to maintain my own reporting code for such a big company.
    Merchants, any data you provide to Google Shopping should also be in your affiliate network datafeed. More data means more sales!

  7. #7
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    isellstuff,

    Thanks for the reply. Wow. Yeah, we log unique Sub-IDs too from a click perspective. Although one click can lead to multiple transactions--and we'd really like to know on a per-transaction basis. Still, your approach would get us much closer. How are you computing the ROI on the sub-id? Am I overlooking a report that summarizes all revenue (including returns) grouped by sub-id?

    BTW, I tried a different GAN e-mail address shortly after posting yesterday, and just received a response from them:

    ============
    Hello,

    Now, a reversal or return will be indicated by a ($0.00) total balance.

    If a $20.00 item was returned it used to show up as -$20.00. Now, a
    return will show up as ($20.00) and show a ($0.00) total value.

    Regards,
    Affiliate Publisher Support
    Google Affiliate Network
    ============

    I'm not so sure about this response. For one thing, we've seen next to no returns of this (or any) ilk, which is highly unusual when compared to a few months ago (and compared to other networks). And, when I occasionally do see something that looks like a return, I seem to recall seeing values AND commissions of (0.00).

    On seeing these, we thought maybe these were reversals of previously reported transactions, so we've attempted to correlate them with transactions already in our DB (by the merchant's order id), but none ever exists. So we assume that these aren't returns for transactions that were previously reported, but transactions that are first reported in a canceled state.

    I'm also assuming that they've corrected the previous situation wherein running an activity detail report for a certain date range could yield varying results when run at a later time. But, perhaps in doing so they've introduced new issues?

    The tough part is the lack of transparency. It's hard to even know what's *supposed* to be happening.

    I'm guessing (hoping) Google may address this. Then again, I don't even know if they see a problem here.

  8. #8
    ABW Ambassador isellstuff's Avatar
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    I think this reporting issue is a bigger problem for those of us who do heavy PPC advertising. If someone is just doing SEO, then it might not seem to be a big issue?

    I think if you are paid for a commission and then the return happens, you see (xx.xx), but if the return or cancellation happens prior to you getting paid, you see (0.00).

    I use the activity detail report (Publisher Member Id is the sub-id). I'm doing a lot of grouping and cross referencing in my own computer program. (e.g. in-memory HashTable to a List of transactions in conjunction with my own SQL queries against my click track database).
    Merchants, any data you provide to Google Shopping should also be in your affiliate network datafeed. More data means more sales!

  9. #9
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    Sorry for the delay. Order dates on the activity detail report are now static (and have been for many months). Orders may be modified (amounts adjusted or orders returned) by advertisers until 10 or 40 days after the end of the month depending on the advertiser. Email support if you have questions about a specific advertiser's reconciliation period.

    -larry

  10. #10
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    Larry,

    Thanks for your response. Unfortunately, this is not consistent with what we're seeing. For instance, we have one merchant with over 1,500 orders recently and no returns/reversals show up in the Activity Detail report. This is virtually impossible.

    In general, we process thousands upon thousands of transactions, with what we think might be a return only here and there. This is in stark contrast to what we saw several months ago (likely around the time the activity detail reports "when static"). And it's in ever starker contrast to what we see on other networks. It's just not a realistic return rate.

    When we do encounter the occasional "negative" transaction, it is $(0.00) in both the Amount and publisher fee columns. What does these negative zeros mean? Are these supposed to be returns? If so, why don't we see the actual amounts as the reply I posted above indicates? Also, we never see the corresponding positive transaction that should've posted before it.

    We are looking at the Activity Detail report as we need the sub-id. Is there something else we should be using? If not, then I'm concerned that something is very wrong.

    Thank you.

  11. #11
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    isellstuff,

    "I think if you are paid for a commission and then the return happens, you see (xx.xx), but if the return or cancellation happens prior to you getting paid, you see (0.00)."

    Thanks. Thing is, we never see the corresponding positive transactions that these returns/cancellations should be offsetting.

    BTW, I'm still not sure how your scheme would address this. If you never get return information in the activity detail report, then even if you waited 6 or 9 months, you would only see the positive transactions and your revenue would be inflated wouldn't it?

    I feel like I'm missing an important piece of information, like a key report or something. The only report on which I see sub-ids is the activity detail report. Is there a "Total Sales By sub-id" report that includes returns?

  12. #12
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    thevman, we can't look into your problem unless you contact support and provide some more details.

    please send an email to affiliatesupport at google.com with the following:

    your publisher ID, advertiser(s) and date range of report.

    also note the status column. if you see canceled as the status, that's a return. unfortunately not all advertisers update the status when they zero out the order amount so let us know if you are seeing zero orders without a cancel status and we can follow up with the advertiser to inform them that they need to update statuses.

    you should ignore the parentheses around the zeros. if an order is cancelled, and you see (0.00), that's a return.

    -larry

    Quote Originally Posted by thevman
    Larry,

    Thanks for your response. Unfortunately, this is not consistent with what we're seeing. For instance, we have one merchant with over 1,500 orders recently and no returns/reversals show up in the Activity Detail report. This is virtually impossible.

    In general, we process thousands upon thousands of transactions, with what we think might be a return only here and there. This is in stark contrast to what we saw several months ago (likely around the time the activity detail reports "when static"). And it's in ever starker contrast to what we see on other networks. It's just not a realistic return rate.

    When we do encounter the occasional "negative" transaction, it is $(0.00) in both the Amount and publisher fee columns. What does these negative zeros mean? Are these supposed to be returns? If so, why don't we see the actual amounts as the reply I posted above indicates? Also, we never see the corresponding positive transaction that should've posted before it.

    We are looking at the Activity Detail report as we need the sub-id. Is there something else we should be using? If not, then I'm concerned that something is very wrong.

    Thank you.
    Last edited by l_adams; August 25th, 2008 at 08:42 PM. Reason: forgot something

  13. #13
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    Thanks for you help Larry,

    We support thousands of members, so I understand your response and realize that this isn't the best place to have specific account issues resolved.

    However, we've tried contacting support on several occasions. The address you referenced doesn't appear to be monitored. Three messages there went unanswered. We finally got a response after replying to the address on an e-mail inviting us to join another advertiser's program. Unfortunately, that response (posted above) was terse and inconsistent with we've been seeing.

    So, I've resorted to posting here in hopes of at least getting a general understanding of what we're supposed to be seeing, and hopefully to find someone at Google we can contact directly regarding this matter if necessary.

  14. #14
    Google Affiliate Network Rep Google Affiliate Network Moderator's Avatar
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    The affiliatesupport [at] google.com is most certainly monitored.

    Please do try to send a message to that address with the information Larry suggested you provide.

    If you do not hear a response within two business days, please send an email to me, Dan Filowitz, dfilowitz [at] google.com with the email address you use as your username, and the email address from which you sent the message to affiliatesupport [at] google.com. It is possible that your previous messages got erroneously caught in a spam filter.

    Thanks,

    Dan Filowitz
    Affiliate Publisher Support
    Google Affiliate Network

  15. #15
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    Thank you Dan,

    Shortly after your post we were contacted by another Google rep regarding a separate matter. We took the opportunity to inquire into this matter and were told that we'd hear from a specific advertiser. So we held off on sending a request to affiliatesupport.

    As we've yet to hear from the advertiser, we just filed another incident with affiliatesupport per your instructions. If we don't hear from them, I'll follow up at your direct e-mail per your request.

    Thank you.

  16. #16
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    good to see a Google representative on this board.

    Can I also submit an improvement request? would you add (or expose) a unique ID column for each transaction? I'm setting up a daily load to my DB and always worried if i (or google) retrieve the same transaction by mistake including those that have been loaded previously.

    A unique ID for each record would make the validation much easier. CJ has it so i expect something similar or better from google.

  17. #17
    Google Affiliate Network Rep Google Affiliate Network Moderator's Avatar
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    Hello,

    The order ID column contains unique order IDs per advertiser, per orders. You can also implement mid tracking and pass us a parameter that reports on an activity detail report.

    Thank you,

    Jamie

  18. #18
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    Hi, Jamie, thanks for the reply... Yes i am using mid tracking and I was talking about adding the ID in the activity details report.

    I know we can probably get around the issue by applying multiple filters, i did it that with linkshare but it could get messy really fast.

    For example in LS, merchant breaks down order by line items, so i would i have multiple records for the same order. I know google is different but you are now relying on all of your merchants to report perfectly to maintain this kind of uniqueness. see where i am going.

    also what about return item? i suppose it'd be the same mid and order ID but different sales amount? so now i need to include amount or maybe the action column in the filter...

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