What If Your eCommerce Platform Integrated With Your Affiliate Channel?
When it comes to reconciling your affiliate network activity with your ecommerce platform, you probably know full well the process is far less than ideal. After all, your ecommerce platform is isolated from your affiliate channel in a way that makes seamless shifting of information between the two nearly impossible.
To optimize your affiliate channel, an efficient reconciliation process is paramount. Handling reconciliations manually is tedious, time-consuming and prone to error. Tracked sales are not always accurate (think fraud, canceled orders, returns, and duplicates), and therefore, without reconciliations, you may be paying thousands of dollars in commissions that were not earned and relying on flawed data to inform your strategy. Manual sales reconciliation is a time-consuming process, sometimes calling into question the effort involved.
Contrary to a manual approach, automation presents the opportunity to eliminate costs and errors while creating opportunities. Reconciliation can occur more rapidly in an automated environment. In addition, offers and codes can be qualified for the affiliate channel and uploaded directly from the eCommerce platform, eliminating process redundancy. Edits to offers and codes can be synced between platforms.
Without automation, instead of inputting offers once, you have to do so for each platform. If any edits are made, they have to be done in two places. If one hand isn’t talking to the other, chances are there will be errors and inconsistencies that will ultimately cost you money.
This type of bottleneck is a wrench in the gears of a successful affiliate effort. To succeed in the affiliate channel, efficiency, and low overhead are absolutely critical. Resources must be allocated to proactive efforts to recruit and optimize affiliates, not to tedious reconciliation processes that increase costs and delay the acquisition of accurate data.
So, yes, the divide that exists between affiliate and eCommerce platforms is a very big problem. Sadly, no one has a complete solution. There are several options that promise to tie certain elements together, but they are like separate mobile phone apps; each one is great at what it does but seldom do they play nice with one another or have the necessary access to the inner workings of the platform to ensure seamless interoperability.
In a perfect world, your eCommerce system would easily plug into your affiliate channel allowing immediate reporting of results with stellar accuracy.
In a perfect world, you wouldn’t waste hours upon hours manually creating spreadsheets with endless rows and columns filled with coupon codes, offers, sales reconciliation and tracking set up, only to be further challenged with properly mapping those rows and columns to the systems with which you are trying to communicate.
In a perfect world, you wouldn’t have to cobble together a collection of app-like solutions that each does one great thing but carry the potential for disaster when there are updates or conflicts with additional add-ons.
In a perfect world, there would be an eCommerce platform that would harmoniously connect and smoothly interoperate with the affiliate network at the root level, so when you want to accomplish true integration, it would actually happen.
Stay tuned; that perfect world is coming.