It’s been over a decade since the start of affiliate marketing. Some things like types of publishers and their importance have changed drastically since the beginning. Yet, others like attribution hardly changed. An estimated 80% of affiliate commissions worldwide are now paid on the last click. This still happens despite a continuous effort of educating the market on switching to a fairer attribution model – and the actual alternatives available in the market to do so. The impact it has on the market, however, is tumultuous and yet unnoticed.
Why do companies prefer last-click?
For starters, last click is the easiest, most widely-accepted attribution model. This means some companies are simply unable to switch as they are committed to working with public networks that only offer this option, or they are unmotivated to switch, because why should they.
What impact does the prolonged use of last-click have?
Statistics have shown that customers often look for vouchers or cashback options prior to purchase. With last-click, this means voucher and cashback portals win the commission most of the time.
There is thus no wonder why the affiliate marketing world is often seen primarily as a discount channel. Even public networks, who earn a commission on transactions, have a motivation to promote their voucher and cashback portals, since they have a higher tendency to seal the deal.
Only exception to the rule: Google, Facebook and co.
The only partners that can escape the last-click grip and still get remunerated are the big PPC guys like Google, Facebook and co. Not only do companies already incur costs when clicks take place (regardless of sale), many companies even often distribute any remaining marketing budget onto search or display ads.
While last-click lowers the barriers to entry for coupons and cashback portals, it raises the barrier to entry to the larger majority of the online universe, such as content publishers, who brought or pushed customers along in their purchase journey.
Hence, there is a dire need to switch mindsets. Innovation is particularly discouraged by most content publishers – they might end up earning a better profit by displaying ads from Google rather than promoting merchants through good content.
What does the affiliate market need?
Undoubtedly the market has to move away from this, in order to innovate and move forward. One approach is to start looking for solutions to make multi-touch attribution reality, and get rid of last-click-wins as a model.
Multi-touch attribution evaluates the impact of each and every touchpoint in driving a conversion. Thereby all partners that contribute to a customer’s journey are remunerated fairly.
In our development of such a solution, we worked closely with a valued client Cube Group to ensure the product is both fair and easy to use. Cube Group also offers their clients this technology to nurture the relationship with all their partners in order to encourage better long-term revenue growth.
If you want to make a change, speak with us today!