European affiliate network affilinet has announced the first phase of its reporting enhancements for advertisers, handing them the ability to track ‘assists’ from publishers on their programmes.

The addition of affilinet Assist onto the network’s dashboard enables its advertiser clients to gain granular insight into the activity of their campaigns. While some of this information was already available, problems with access have been eradicated with the update.  

By using Assist, advertisers can see where an affiliate may have been involved in driving awareness for an advertiser before missing out on contributing the sale. With this information to hand, rewarding an affiliate for their early-funnel activity may be an easier practice.

Helen Southgate, UK MD at affilinet, told PerformanceIN: “Previously the reporting meant digging through layers of data and spreadsheets which simply wasn’t efficient and therefore not really used.  

“Our new reporting makes it possible to get insight straight away on a daily basis and be able to dive deeper where required into specific details around publishers, business models, dates, campaigns, etc.”

Informing decisions

The news comes amid concerns over the remaining lifespan of the ‘last click’ payment model which, despite its popularity, has been criticised for its inability to reward affiliates whose strengths lie primarily in introducing a customer to a brand, rather than incentivising them to buy. 

Following rival network Affiliate Window’s launch of a similar tool last year, affilinet is informing its advertisers that they can use their existing affilinet interface to see how their sales are created and the way a typical customer journey unfolds.

Also speaking in light of affilinet Assist’s grand unveiling, Christian Wurst, CEO at the group, lauded its qualities in identifying the value of publishers on an affiliate programme.

“Our solution makes it clear which business models and which publishers are leading the way in each campaign. This will get discourse on alternative attribution strategies going and lead to short-term or long-term changes in compensation for those publishers who make valuable contributions.” 

Southgate adds that gaining such insight will help affilinet’s advertisers make “informed and accurate decisions” based on what is really happening around their programmes on the network. 

The reward phase will have to wait, however, as affilinet is currently putting the finishing touches on a function which will enable rewarding affiliates in “different ways” – in other words, for the assists they drive.

Affiliates play waiting game

While affilinet’s advertisers can start tracking assists right away, the publishers themselves will have to wait for access. 

Affilinet is readying a next release which will enable a publisher to see where they helped in driving value for an advertiser as well as how many of their fellow affiliates were involved in the sales they drove.

Such insights may enable them to tweak what sorts of content they serve on the basis of their position in the purchase journey. However, the biggest step forward will surely be from advertisers rewarding their early contributors once this functionality is in place.

Affilinet says the addition of ‘Assists’ is one of a line of reporting enhancements to be available in the near future.