If you have an affiliate program in place, there is a chance that your business could be paying way too much to bring in sales that would have happened anyway.
For most online retailers, affiliate channels are a big part of driving visibility and traffic from specific audiences.
What we’ve seen across our customers in the online retail space, is that a portion of their affiliate programs are actually cannibalising their sales.
Most online retail customers know that coupons and voucher programs exist, and a portion of them are constantly on the lookout for coupons and vouchers they can apply to reduce their spend.
Here is what happens – Their customers decide to purchase, see an option in the checkout to input a voucher, then go searching the web for a voucher, only to return through an affiliate website to purchase at a cheaper rate.
This is what we see in those session replays/journeys
Your session replay tool should allow you to review specific users’ journeys that enter your website/checkout from an affiliate partner.
Here’s an example segment that we use to find these journeys:
If these three things are happening, then your sales are being cannibalised.
Once we identified that this was happening for our online retail customers, we helped them build an exportable CSV list of cannibalise sales, and you’ll want to do the same.
Doing so will allow you to analyse and reconcile cannibalised orders against your actual sales, including which products are being cannibalised, and which partners and voucher codes are the key drivers. Ask us how we’ve done this for our customers
What data points you’ll need
The Criteria/Search parameters to include
You’ll want to find all checkout visits that include a re-entry from an affiliate partner in the same session, and that have also lead to a purchase.
Here are the rules for your query:
Note: This cannot always be done in standard web analytics tools, as ‘page end’ timestamps are not recorded or available.
What the data output should look like
We suggest modifying this dataset to fit what you need, but here’s an example of what you might want to output in your exportable list:
Example Data Output
Reach out to us if you want to find out how we’ve set this up for our customers.
If you find yourself in a position with cannibalised sales, here are a few things you can do immediately:
Whatever your situation, take these tools and learnings and modify them to fit your needs so that you can ensure your marketing dollars are spent as effectively as possible.
Want to find out more on how we’re helping online retailers fix sales cannibalisation and maximise marketing spend?
Simply ask us
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