To ensure that you receive credit for your work, follow these best practices.
For affiliate tracking, keep in mind that the last cookie wins. You’ll never want to monetize on top of someone else’s affiliate content; since only one cookie can win, doing so can mean that tracking is attributed to the wrong place. This means that you’ll want to monetize directly from the retailer's site.
Basic Do’s & Don'ts
While checking every URL for tracking before using it to create a ShopStyle Collective text link is the best practice, here are some easy rules you can follow to avoid running into a UTM code battle.
- Monetize a fresh, clean link
- If you’re using LinkIt, open a fresh window or start a completely new browsing session and search for the item, then open LinkIt.
- If you’re searching within your ShopStyle Collective account, you’re good to go!
- Regularly educate your audience on how to shop your links!
- Don’t monetize straight from search results
- Advertisements often having tracking of their own, meaning that the competing cookie can override your affiliate work
- Examples include Google Ads, ads on someone's website, Facebook Ads, and Banner Ads
- Don’t monetize on top of another affiliate link
- Other bloggers, blogs, or sites generating their own affiliate content can tamper with your work
As always, it's a good idea to test your links!
These aspects of online affiliate shopping and are good to keep in mind
- Some shoppers have ad blockers installed in their browser, which may interfere with tracking
Coupon or Rebate Site
- Cookies compete and the last cookie usually wins. If a shopper has an extension or rebate site installed, this may override your affiliate attribution
- Similarly, monetizing on top of an affiliate link can cause issues. We encourage you to start with a clean, unaffiliatized link. It will increase your chances of tracking orders! Learn more here.
- After a shopper clicks a link, any shopping trip completed within this cookie window will be associated with your tracking ID. Should the window expire, any orders placed through your link won't be tracked
- Cookie Windows vary by retailer. Most retailers have a window of 7-30 days
- Invalid and low-intent clicks can damage your sale over click conversion rate. ShopStyle Collective has several systems in place to reduce the risk of negative impact from these types of clicks to help you get the most out of your performance.
- This is further explained below!
Further, sometimes a retailer cannot report a click or sale for a few possible reasons:
- The order was canceled or returned
- The events occurred in an incognito window
- The shopper switched to the retailer's app (varies by retailer)
- A gift card/promo code was used that overrode the cookie
- The item was reserved online, but paid for in-store
How to remove unwanted UTM codes
When you copy a URL for a product page on a retailer’s site, often times it will have UTM code(s) attached to it. Remove these codes before pasting the URL into the text link builder so that the newly generated link will only include ShopStyle Collective tracking. This will ensure that our tracking doesn’t get overridden by other UTM codes and that you will receive credit for any orders placed. Always test that the URL you have shortened still directs to your desired product page before inputting it into the ShopStyle Collective link builder.
TL;DR: Shorten the URL as much as possible while still having it route to the desired product page before pasting it into the text link builder.
- Look for “?” or “&” as that can indicate the start of a UTM parameter, and delete everything from there on. Here is an example of a URL with additional tracking attached because the product was access through Google Search. In this instance, everything in pink bold should be deleted:
- If you are on the desired product page, click to visit the retailer site homepage, and then back-tab to get back to that product page. This can remove tracking that follows you around based on your journey to that product page, and result in a shorter URL for you to copy.