Complete Product Feeds Skyrocket Revenue on Affiliate Channels

by: Mercent

When it comes to maximizing revenue, the same principles hold in online ecommerce as in brick-and-mortar retail: be price-competitive, be visible, and offer a complete, compelling assortment of great products. We find that the last point, as intuitive as it seems, is often overlooked. Retailers focus on top-selling products, markdowns, and items that receive extra attention from merchandising teams, while losing sight of the overall breadth and completeness of their product catalog.

At a basic level, this seems fairly self-evident: by sending more products to a marketing channel, you reach a bigger and more diverse set of shoppers, thus increasing the volume of meaningful, high-intent interactions with your product catalog and boosting sales. Looking closer, though, there are several less obvious reasons a complete product catalog boosts sales.

Consider brand recognition and lifetime value of customers in the context of a given affiliate channel. Let’s say, for example, an apparel retailer leaves shorts and skirts out of their product catalog for colder weather months, because those items are presumed to be in relatively low demand. Perhaps certain categories are lower margin, and thus excluded from a product feed. Perhaps product data from certain categories is difficult to attain, and so those categories are not represented in the feed. Whatever the case may be, those excluded products are not available on affiliates, reducing your footprint on channels that you are sending product data to. Shoppers who frequent affiliate-powered sites will see your products less frequently, and associate less closely with your retail brand.

Also consider the treatment your product listings receive from affiliate channels. Since these channels win when you win, they are incentivized to show listings that are likely to convert. At a more macro level, the more conversions your product catalog yields through a channel, the more likely your individual listings are to be surfaced prominently. This can become a virtuous cycle: more product listings, more conversions, more impressions, and repeat. In other words, full product catalog coverage benefits your affiliate program from a channel standpoint, as well as from a shopper standpoint.

Because of these factors, your affiliate program is likely to benefit from product catalog completeness at better than a 1 to 1 ratio. In other words a catalog that is 100% complete will generate more than twice the revenue of a catalog that is 50% complete. Take the case of two large retailers participating on ShopStyle – an affiliate who relies on product catalogs to promote merchants.

ShopStyle has high production for Client B, who has a product catalog that is 99.97% complete. Conversely, for Client A, whose product catalog is only 51.55% complete, ShopStyle’s production remains relatively low. By keeping nearly half of their available products out of their feed to ShopStyle, Clint A has stifled their revenue potential on the channel considerably.

For affiliates who use merchant product catalogs on their sites as a means to promote different items that an advertiser has to offer, having a complete product catalog is extremely important for production.

When it comes to product feed completeness, Mercent’s data optimization tools can help in several respects:

  • Defining Assortments: If you have legitimate business reasons to slim down a product feed to a given affiliate channel, Mercent’s product filtering tools allow you to easily, intuitively segment your product catalog. If the volume of products in your feed to a given affiliate channel changes substantially, it will be evident in Mercent’s channel feed log, and you will be alerted.
  • Completing Data: If there are any issues with key attributes that preclude certain products from being sent to an affiliate channel, Mercent can assist with tools for augmenting data and mending subpar product data.
  • Matching Feed Fields: If certain fields are required or recommended by a particular affiliate channel, but missing from your product data, Mercent can logically populate those fields in your feed to the affiliate.

These tools are available in a single, elegant platform. Once your product data has been optimized, all feeds sent to affiliate channels can be previewed.

Complete, quality data is the cornerstone of Mercent’s technology. We believe that expressing your catalog fully and accurately is key to performance on affiliate channels.

New tools help brands ensure publishers are properly representing them

Most large brands, manufacturers, and retailers want and need to work with publishers in order for them to reach customers. It’s great exposure for them to be written about, and having a well-oiled affiliate program is an integral part of building and maintaining that online presence. It’s the best way to expand the reach of the company and generate traffic, and most of the time it’s an incredibly effective way of drumming up extra sales online. However, monitoring and/or managing a multitude of online marketing channels can be a labor-intensive venture, especially for larger businesses, and with millions of dollars invested in the brand, they have to try and maintain safety and security of their investment.
Take the likes of Amazon for example, a massive online storefront with tens of thousands of affiliates linking and driving customers to their site everyday. It’s easy to see how difficult it can be to track so many individual affiliates across various channels. Furthermore, how do you monitor all of your affiliates across the myriad of marketing channels and ensure that they’re representing your brand correctly? While it’s in the affiliate’s best interest to adhere to compliance standards, of course, that’s not always the case when publishers are operating in relative anonymity.
This brings up a complicated and multifaceted issue that lies at the core of affiliate marketing, and until now, hasn’t had a viable solution. In fact, most major brands to date have opted to use one-off service providers to monitor and manage each individual marketing channel. While this is a fairly inefficient and time consuming way to monitor your brand’s online presence, it’s been the only real option for quite some time.
With the recent launch of the AdAssured though, all of that is changing. The company’s proprietary software and comprehensive service offerings now enables brands to access all of their related data in a single point dashboard and monitor their online presence quicker and easier than ever before. AdAssured offers three different service packages including affiliate compliance, reseller monitoring, and publisher brand oversight, and will monitor and manage brand violations in search, content, email, malware, fraud, domain, link disruption, product catalog, price MAP, and more.
“AdAssured was built to assess and manage threats to retail brands and manufacturers in virtually all advertising channels, helping brands make quick decisions and eliminating time intensive tasks for retailers,” said Director of Operations Giuseppe Manzella. “Our technology and service is unique in that it provides our clients with an all-inclusive service for monitoring and protecting their online presence.”
Founded in 2013 by AffiliateTraction CEO Greg Shepard, AdAssured has developed a solution for brands to protect themselves online and truly capitalize on each and every impression.
“AdAssured is not like any other company in existence,” said Shepard. “Our solution utilizes brand compliance software in every facet of online marketing compliance and allows clients to choose their technology solution. AdAssured then adds an all-inclusive, managed agency service and provides our clients with a single dashboard for total transparency in our efforts.”
With a range of services that help monitor and manage affiliate content and compliance related issues, AdAssured’s all-inclusive solution allows brands to make sure that their publishers are representing them correctly, and allows them to do so with just a single tool.

New Company to Make Sure Your Brand Isn’t Misrepresented Online

Over the last few years, as the online marketing industry has continued to grow and evolve, its practices and technologies have become increasingly complex. There are new marketing channels popping up all around us and opening up previously unknown revenue streams that are lucrative to both brand manufacturers and resellers alike.

The challenge for brands though is in taking advantage of these new opportunities, because despite their ability to generate more revenue, they also generate more potential risks for large brands because of the number and anonymity of the affiliates involved. Thus, companies often forfeit control over the ways in which their brand is represented in the hopes of earning more profit, but this is a dangerous game.

Until now, brands have been stuck using various single-channel service providers to monitor and manage their different online marketing channels. While this puts some of the control back into the brand’s hands, it’s an incredibly inefficient way of going about things. But as problems in the marketplace arrive, so do solutions, and that’s what AdAssured hopes to offer.

AdAssured provides monitoring and compliance solutions for retail brands to help them manage their online marketing channels. The company offers three different service packages — affiliate compliance, reseller monitoring, and publisher brand oversight — and monitors and manages brand violations in search, content, email, malware, fraud, domain, link disruption, product catalog, price MAP, and more.

Of the offering, AdAssured Director of Operations Giuseppe Manzella said, “AdAssured was built to assess and manage threats to retail brands and manufacturers in virtually all advertising channels, helping brands make quick decisions and eliminating time intensive tasks for retailers. Our technology and service is unique in that it provides our clients with an all-inclusive service for monitoring and protecting their online presence.”

http://www.adrants.com/2014/02/new-company-to-make-sure-your-brand.php

by Steve Hall    Feb-27-14

AdAssured Protects Retail Brands from Abuse

CARLSBAD, Calif., Feb. 26, 2014 /PRNewswire/ – AdAssured is a brand new company whose primary focus is to provide monitoring and compliance solutions for retail brands and help them manage their online marketing channels.

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/adassured-protects-retail-brands-abuse-141400592.html

AdAssured offers three different service packages—affiliate compliance, reseller monitoring, and publisher brand oversight—and will monitor and manage brand violations in search, content, email, malware, fraud, domain, link disruption, product catalog, price MAP, and more.

“AdAssured is not like any other company in existence,” said CEO Greg Shepard. “Our solution utilizes brand compliance software in every facet of online marketing compliance and allows clients to choose their technology solution. AdAssured then adds a managed agency service and provides our clients with a single dashboard for total transparency in our efforts.”

AdAssured’s proprietary technology has been developed over the course of several years and includes a single point dashboard that allows AdAssured to collect and display data from numerous service providers. Once the data is collected AdAssured’s service handles the case management for clients according to their policies and preferences.

Director of Operations, Giuseppe Manzella, said, “Our technology and service is unique in that it provides our clients with an all-inclusive service for monitoring and protecting their online presence.”

AdAssured offers a comprehensive Affiliate Channel Compliance package providing retailers with the necessary coverage, ensuring that their brand is protected and that their affiliates, resellers, and publishers are representing their brand correctly.  With the Affiliate Channel Compliance package, AdAssured clients can take advantage of the following features:

Content Compliance: Daily managed content compliance monitoring for restrictions based on your policies & preferences, as well as objectionable or disparaging material.
Search Compliance: AdAssured monitors affiliate activity in paid search and identifies any search violations.
Email Compliance: AdAssured monitors affiliate email efforts for adherence to your policies and prevailing laws.
Domain Compliance: AdAssured has partnered with the top Domain compliance vendor in the industry to make sure your brand is protected from cyber-squatters.
Link Monitoring: AdComply technology allows us to monitor links and identify problems to prevent any potential damage to your brand.
Malware: If AdAssured suspects malicious software may be present on an affiliate site, we will promptly inform you.
Product Catalog Monitoring: AdAssured has proprietary technology that can identify potential problems with your product feed.
Transactions Monitoring: AdAssured has proprietary technology which identifies potentially fraudulent transactions.
Price MAP: AdAssured will monitor for “minimum advertised pricing” restrictions on authorized reseller websites.
Plagiarism: AdAssured will monitor the internet for unauthorized use of your brand’s copyrighted material.

AdAssured’s founder and CEO Greg Shepard has over 15 years of experience in the online marketing industry as the founder of AffiliateTraction, the industry’s largest affiliate agency. Alongside Greg, Director of Operations Giuseppe Manzella has nearly 10 years of experience in paid search and compliance.