Affiliate sales aggregation – what is it and how to do it
You’re getting a solid level of traffic to your site. You’ve got your relationships with the affiliate networks sorted, and your links are tracking traffic from your site to multiple merchants. But when it comes to reporting, you’re logging into multiple platforms, and spending hours manually combining and reconciling data using spreadsheets.
Networks are doing more than ever to help with reporting, with multiple custom templates and numerous ways to slice and dice data. Matching back revenue and product data to article/page or paid activity is time consuming and inaccurate. The challenge is that the relative sophistication of the platforms is no help when you’re trying to combine sales data from multiple networks, and you’re probably still doing the final bit of the puzzle in Excel.
Experience suggests that the average affiliate publisher spends anywhere from 5 to 50+ hours manually reporting each month. This is time that could be better spent making changes to the site, signing new deals or reaching new customers. This is where affiliate sales aggregation comes into play.
By aggregating affiliate sales data from multiple networks, it is possible to instantly combine this information in one place, without the need for mega spreadsheets and with no fear of the dreaded ‘circular reference warning’.
How to aggregate affiliate sales
Broadly speaking, there are two ways that sales data can be aggregated. The first is by combining these into yet another reporting dashboard giving you the ability to see top-line sales and revenue data in one place. The challenge here is that this often makes it yet harder to actually understand what elements of your site and marketing are driving these sales; not to mention that this involves solving the problem of having your data in multiple places by putting it in yet another place! The second is by taking your sales data and pushing this into your on-site analytics data platform thereby giving you revenue and site data in a platform you already know and that links back to your on-site and marketing activity – this is what Fullsight does.
Now sure, we’re going to tell you the latter is better, because that’s what Fullsight does, but bear with us. Decision Tech (the parent company of Fullsight) originally built Fullsight as an internal reporting tool as a publisher, to solve the same reporting challenge for ourselves. The very reason we went down this route is because we could see the real benefits of an affiliate sales aggregation tool that pushes revenue data into Google Analytics and database tools (like BigQuery) in near real-time to match sales data back to article, user journey and marketing activity instantly.
So, in a nutshell, affiliate sales aggregation with Fullsight is combing your sales from all the networks you’re working across with your on-site analytics to get this data in one, useful place; and if you’re driving any meaningful volume of affiliate revenue, it’s probably time to look at automating your reporting and freeing yourself from spreadsheet hell.