Performance marketing network Affiliate Window has added a new field to its advertiser performance report, allowing advertisers to see exactly what impact affiliates are having, and at what stages.

The new feature, for merchants and affiliates, acts as an insightful tool, by showing the ‘assists’ and ‘influence’ factors along the attribution path.

Head of publisher services at Affiliate Window, Edwyn McFarlane, said: “The assists show multi-affiliate transactions where you weren’t the last click and we define ‘influence’ as the sum of all last click sales and assists.

“We’ve also included a field for ‘first click’ assists in the report export, so you can see from your assists which ones were in the middle of a chain and which ones were at the start.”

He also said the new tool proves that it is a myth that voucher code and cashback sites  ‘steal sales’.

First step

McFarlane stressed that while the hotly debated topic of attribution is talked about year after year, this is the first step in actually tackling the issue.

“We always talk about the need for transparency, especially in the affiliate channel and we want to heed our own advice and share the data we have,” McFarlane said.

“Longer term, we hope advertisers open up the data for other channels so that we can show multi-channel assist data (as at the moment we only include multi-affiliate sales).”

McFarlane said Affiliate Window does plan on adapting the offering along the way as there are many features it still wants to add.

Definite future features include multi-affiliate sales, where you won (so almost the opposite of an assist), then publishers can see if the net effect is positive or negative for multi-affiliate sales. He also said sharing information on what kinds of publisher you are losing sales to (so that you can tweak your content and try to prevent losses in the future), is on the cards.

Reaction and myth-busting

In terms of how the new options have been perceived, McFarlane said so far the response has been one of general intrigue.

“The negatives at the moment are that the data is only a partial insight and therefore it will take people a little while to truly understand how to use this data,” McFarlane said.

“The positives are that advertisers can understand which publishers are the most influential on their programmes and start to reward those who generally miss out.

“We also think it’s going to dispel a lot of the myths that people hold about voucher code and cashback sites ‘stealing’ sales (an outdated and archaic view which doesn’t stand up to scrutiny when you look at the data).

“Above all, it will get people talking and thinking about the topic in a more intelligent way now that they’re armed with facts.”

Is such transparency needed? Comment below and let us know your views on Affiliate Window’s new features: