Attribution and commission sharing are becoming increasingly prevalent in the affiliate channel. AvantLink offers this technology as a way to keep multiple affiliates involved in making referrals that result in sales rewarded for their efforts. And as time goes by more and more merchants have adopted this technology into their programs.

For affiliates, this may be an important factor in determining which merchants to work with. Because of this, AvantLink has updated the merchant details and discovery pages to give better insight into programs that offer commission sharing.

Affiliate-perspective Merchant Discovery Lists

After clicking on the ‘Merchants’ option in the main navigation from any affiliate account, a list of merchants will be displayed with a variety of details about their program. This now includes information on any commission sharing offered by the program.

Affiliate Attribution

A screenshot of the merchant overview/discovery page for affiliates. Note the new ‘Attribution Model’ column and Commission Rate column that accounts for the potential range of earned commissions.

New ‘Attribution Model’ column

  • Shows all merchants using attribution and commission sharing.
  • Insight into how the commission sharing is set up in the event of multiple referrals for the same sale. Clicking on the ‘Attribution Model’ link will bring up full details on how the commission sharing works with that program in a variety of scenarios.
Affiliate Attribution Modeling

A screenshot of the commission sharing modeling based on a number of different scenarios for a specific program.

Updated ‘Commission’ column

  • Shows the high & low commission range an affiliate can receive on a sale for merchants using attribution and commission sharing.
  • Takes into account: attribution model, base commission, temporary commission increases, and tag group rules.
  • Does not include: item-based-commissions, new customer commission, or tiered commissions.

Affiliate-perspective Merchant Details

Attribution and commission sharing rules are explained in full on each merchant detail/description page.

Attribution and commission sharing rules are explained in full on each merchant detail/description page.

The merchant program details page for each merchant now also contains information on any commission sharing rules they may offer. A new “Action Commission” line in the description shows what the range of commission payouts are based on the attribution rules. This range of commission relies on the same information used in the items above, and takes into account attribution model, base commission, temporary commission increases, and tag group rules.

Merchant-perspective Affiliate Details

merchant view commission

Program managers now have the ability to see how their attribution and commission splitting rules affect individual affiliates. Each affiliate application management screen gives a breakdown of the range of possible commission percentage earnings. This range will take into account base commissions, temporary commission increases and any tag group rules associated with that individual affiliate.

Bigger Adoption in 2018

The majority of merchants on the AvantLink network don’t utilize attribution and commission sharing rules yet. But as the technology becomes more popular among both merchants and affiliates, the opportunity to work with programs who do offer it will only grow. 2018 will see more and more merchants moving towards commission structures that reward all affiliate referrals involved. This added insight into those programs will help affiliate make more informed decisions on who they choose to work with.

Chad Waite
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Chad Waite

Marketing Manager at AvantLink
Chad first got involved in the affiliate space in 2010 as an AvantLink network rep and has seen every facet of the industry since. Besides online marketing, he enjoys mountain biking, trail running, spending time with his wife and kids, any movie with Harrison Ford, and the "Random Article" button on Wikipedia.
Chad Waite
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  • Mike Hardaker

    I thought AvantLink’s stance was to discourage its implementation?

    Who does this benefit? The big guys. Who is going to get hosed, the bloggers, the actual influencer’s. It hurts the little guy. Imagine if Amazon.com used the 40% Influencer payout model that AvantLink has. Blogger spends time and money writing article. Someone comes and reads the article. Clicks on affiliate link to Amazon.com and makes a purchase, instead of getting 100% of the commission. They would now only receive 40% if someone had previously visited Amazon.com. Hmm wonder if anyone’s ever been to Amazon.com before?

    Out of 600+ merchants in AvantLink, 20 of your merchant partners run shared attribution. Again I ask who does this benefit? Is this a way for merchants to save money by not paying out commissions? Or am I missing something?

  • Mike Hardaker

    Did my comment get blocked again? I was under the impression that AvantLink had Very few advertisers are set up like this and you discourage its implementation. In fact you have 20 out of 600+ that use shared attribution. Amazon.com doesn’t use this. Imagine if a blogger wrote a review, took time to take photos, videos and put it all together nicely. Someone likes what they said in the blog and clicks through to make a purchase at Amazon.com. However if that person had ever visited Amazon.com before the commission would now change. Luckily Patagonia seems to be the only big player doing this on your side. Guess what most of my readers have most likely visited Patagonia.com at some point. So how is that good for the publisher? Please explain Chad?

    • Mike- Your comment wasn’t blocked. You made it on a Friday night during a holiday weekend and approve didn’t happen until today.

      Your response indicates that it might be helpful to learn more about attribution technology, to which I’ll defer to our affiliate overview document: https://info.avantlink.com/hubfs/Content_Offers/Affiliate%20Attribution%20Overview/Affiliate%20Marketing%202.0%20-%20What%20It%20Is%20&%20How%20It%20Benefits%20Affiliates.pdf

      • Mike Hardaker

        “Allows for multiple affiliates involved in a sale to receive compensation for their involvement in a sale.” Most of the equipment I review is not being reviewed by other sites. So I doubt anyone has read another review from an AvantLink publisher talking about the gear we review. So that part doesn’t matter to me.

        “Helps merchants optimize their relationships with affiliates like you” pretty sure my partners know what we are doing in terms of sales, branding and ROR.

        “Checkout Influencer: Affiliate referrals that sends a visitor that is currently in the checkout process on the merchant’s website (20% of the commission).” – these seem to be what hits me the most. Again Patagonia here. Someone is in the checkout process.. not sure if they want to make a purchase so They go back to Google do a search and find a review, read the review and say yes I will buy now by clicking a link on the review page. They go back to Patagonia make the sale say $100 bucks and I get 20% commission of an already low commission rate of 10%. Whats the math here $2 commission?

        I have never felt AvantLink cared about small publishers. We know you make the bulk of your money with coupon sites not content. You charge brands and seem to signup just about anyone these days to be in the program. You have numerous merchant contacts listed for programs that do not respond to emails. Heck you still have Teton Gravity Research and a contact in the system that hasn’t been employed with them in over 4 years? And the program has been shutdown for years toboot. https://www.avantlink.com/programs/11793/teton-gravity-research-affiliate-program

        If there are any publishers that are for shared attribution please comment or contact me directly. Maybe I am seeing this wrong. However since you rolled this program out I am losing money on commissions, not earning more as you seem to imply.

        • Depending on the merchant that you promote, we typically see that between one in six to one in ten sales involve multiple affiliates. Generally, this doesn’t mean another gear review site as you’ve suggested above- this typically means a coupon, loyalty or shopping portal coming in after your referral. In this scenario you would get no credit for that sale. Let me restate that as it seems to be the key point that’s missing in this dialog: in this scenario you would get NO credit for that sale.

          Put very frankly and straightforward, for every 6-10 sales you make as an affiliate, you’re not receiving commission on 1 because of affiliate referrals after yours.

          This isn’t something that’s up for debate. This is fact sourced from from many years of data. The argument that we don’t care about smaller publisher is completely off base. Commission sharing is in place precisely because smaller content publishers are demanding to still receive compensation when they have to compete with the far bigger websites that typically “close” a sale.

          A final thought- this technology exists because there was explicit demand from both merchants and affiliates. Small, content affiliates like yourself. As you mentioned in a prior comment, there are still merchants who have chosen not to implement this technology yet and therefore plenty of opportunity to work with them if you’re so inclined to oppose commission sharing. That said, the merchants that you are working with have chosen to use this technology because of the benefits it is providing to their other small content affiliate partners.