We’re conditioned to always want to be first: To win races on Field Day in elementary school, to win a blue ribbon at the county fair, to be the first to post about hot celebrity gossip… The list goes on. Bottom line, we all want to be first, and affiliate marketing is no different.
The vast majority of the affiliate marketing industry USED to operate on a system called Last-Click Attribution. Whichever affiliate’s link was used last, gets the commission. For example:
1. A consumer clicks on a YouTuber’s affiliate link to an online store, and shops, filling their online shopping cart, but does NOT complete a purchase at that time.
2. A couple of days later, that same consumer does a search for a coupon for that merchant, and clicks through a coupon or cashback site’s affiliate link to that store. They add some more items to their shopping cart, and make a purchase.
Who gets the affiliate commission? The YouTuber or the coupon site? In Last-Click Attribution, the coupon site gets it, even though the YouTuber was the one who inspired the sale.
Not fair, right? A good percentage of the affiliate industry thankfully now operates on First-Click Attribution, where whoever got the first click gets the commission, provided the end sale occurs within the merchant’s stipulated cookie window. (See our article on cookie duration for more info)
Right about now, you’re probably thinking, “Okay, well, then, I’m ONLY going to link to retailers who use First-Click Attribution”, ‘cause you’re smart like that. How do you tell which retailers do that?
Our exclusive MagicLinks Retailer Rating system, that’s how! When you click on an individual retailer’s listing on the Retail Partners tab, you’ll see our full twelve-point ranking system. Check the Cashback & Coupon Commisson Loss score, ranked on a scale of 1 (merchant probably uses Last-Click Attribution) to 5 (merchant uses First-Click attribution). This will tell you how dedicated a merchant is to attributing commissions to the influencer who initially inspired the sale.
See above for an image of Nordstrom’s Retailer Rating. Nordstrom is known for their influencer rewarding, and their 5.0 score on lack of Cashback & Coupon Site Commission Loss reflects that.
Bottom line? Retailer Ratings matter when you’re selecting stores to link to, and you can see them either in the MagicLinks interface or when you do a Google search for retailers while logged in with our Chrome and Firefox browser extensions.