What are the roles that affiliates and merchants play in a network?

Any popular network has thousands of merchants all plugged in to it. They have varied types of product categories cutting across domain they are selling, each willing to offer commission on that sale, if and when you fetch a customer. 

The basic premise of the affiliate-merchant work relationship is rather simple. You make a decision on the merchants you want to promote and the way you wish to promote them. Here are some more important facts that define the contours of a generic affiliate-merchant relationship within a network and the way they implement  their tasks:

Getting started on a network

To avail of an affiliate network, you are mostly given a piece of HTML code that needs to be entered on your website’s ‘action’ page. This page would show a receipt etc for a per-sale program. Beyond this, neither any complicated software is needed, nor is any in-depth programming knowledge necessary.

Affiliates on a network will see a program listed in a relevant category for a particular period of time. All events (leads, sales) are entered to be viewed individually apart from access to hit reports and sales/ lead reports.

Paying the commission

The network usually charges you (the merchant) a certain percentage for all commissioned transactions. You may decide exactly how much to pay as well as the commission types. You can opt to set up as many commission rates as you wish for various affiliates, apart from setting up hybrid programs.

You can see stats related to your commissions in real-time.  The various kinds of commissions that you can pay are on basis of leads, sales (percentage and fixed amount), as well as hits. The network arranges the check writing for affiliates on a fixed day of a month.

Recruit your own affiliates

Affiliates on a network can view their program listed in any appropriate category for a pre-defined time period. It is possible for you to recruit your own affiliates by utilizing a page provided to you. You can use a variety of shopping cart programs with your service, including Americart, Nexternal Solutions, Yahoo and Miva Merchant, among others.

Checking product database and reports

You may view reports online 24/7 or download them to a .csv format for import into programs like Spreadsheet applications and databases. The vast types of linking allowed includes banners, Text-Links – all shapes and sizes – as well as product links plus HTML links like search boxes, Widgets and videos.

You can avail of a product database to upload product images and details. Of course, the outcome will largely depend on time spent on the software program among other factors. Since each program can be considered unique in itself, results tend to vary.