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Understanding customer journeys within the affiliate channel

Customer journeys are becoming increasingly complex, spanning not only multiple channels but also a number of devices. It is important for advertisers to understand these journeys and how, where and when visitors have arrived at their sites. While we are making strides in terms of understanding cross channel, cross device journeys, there is still significant work to do. Within the affiliate channel we have recently started sharing data insights derived from our exclusive cross-device tracking to help advertisers understand how consumers are interacting with different affiliate sites.

Over the past five years and prior to our cross-device technology launching, Affiliate Window has published data on customer journeys within the channel. This has served to understand typical affiliate paths to purchase, exposing a common myth that each transaction has multiple affiliate sites involved. This is certainly not the case, with 80% – 90% of all sales through the channel having just a single affiliate referrer. While this will obviously vary from sector to sector and by each individual advertiser, this figure is typically the benchmark for single interaction sales.

affiliateinteractions customerjourney1

Another misconception associated with this data is that incentivised traffic sources such as voucher code and cashback sites merely ‘steal’ commission from other affiliates by offering an incentive to purchase. While there is an element of overwriting, this tends to be within the same promotional type. Voucher code sites for example are much more likely to overwrite another voucher code site than they are any other affiliate type. This is indicative that price conscious, savvy online consumers are searching for the best deals rather than these sites being merely an afterthought. Cashback sites are invariably the most ‘standalone’ of any affiliate site, underlining the stickiness of the business model and the loyalty of customers using them.

While we have always been keen to showcase our data, for the first time we have been able to provide an interactive report to let advertisers and publishers see this data for themselves. This data can be filtered by sector and provide visibility on:

  • Number of affiliates involved in a sale
  • Where there are multiple affiliate touch points, which promotional type is typically the last referrer
  • The promotional types that are typically "winning" or "losing" in multi interaction sales
  • The promotional types typically being overwritten by each other promotional type
  • Average order values by the number of affiliates involved

winnerslosers customerjourney2

This data has been at the heart of a number of tools that have been developed over the past year. For example it is now possible for affiliates to see the promotional types that have overwritten them in Affiliate Window’s reporting suite and we have also launched our payment on assist functionality.

There are a number of additional reports available to account managers to help identify the publishers that are influencing purchasing decisions without converting them. The new payment on assist metric is designed to reward such publishers and the assist statistics available in the interface help instigate these conversations.

While this data shows a snapshot for a variety of sectors, if you are interested to see how this compares to your programme, please get in touch with your account contact.

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AWIN Strategy Team
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