Affiliate Program in nopCommerce

I wanted to take a minute to give some additional information about the Affiliate feature in nopCommerce. In my opinion it lacked some detail on how it works, what it does (and does not do), how to have your Affiliates link into different parts of the site.

First of all, if you are not familiar with an Affiliate program, it is where other people or web sites promote something of yours on their site. As you might expect, as an Affiliate sends traffic, customers, and possibly even a sale over to your site from theirs they expect to have some type of payment for their trouble.

With that being said, nopCommerce provides good tracking for Affiliates. You can set up as many as you like and nopCommerce will provide you a link to give your Affiliates so any customers they send to your site can be tracked accordingly. nopCommerce will track any user that registered on the site and also any order associated with that user. The problem is this is where nopCommerce’s functionality stops. In other eCommerce packages, they take it a step further and allow the software to calculate the Affiliates payout. Whether it be by number of users directed to your site, percentage of sale, or flat payment based on a sale… any of these calculations to determine how much you owe your Affiliates has to be manually. This isn’t a very difficult task for any of us that work with a SQL Database, but for the rest of the non-super-nerdy-public this is a pain.

I have been working with nopCommerce to get some of these reporting tools and Affiliate programs set up. However there is currently no time frame for execution of these features.

One other nice trick I wanted to note was when you set up an Affiliate in nopCommerce the link will look something like …
http://test.com/default.aspx?affiliateid=1

Take note of the “affiliateid=1“, you can move this part of the URL around to other parts of the site. So if your Affiliate want to link to a specific product, then they can by changing the product URL to include this Affiliate ID. Here is an example,

http://test.com/products/67-build-your-own-computer.aspx?affiliateid=1

Just add the ID and you are all set. We have tested this with different pages (categories, topics, ect), and it is worth noting they didn’t all work. While products work fine and I would argue that is the most important part. Please check any other link changes you make with the Affiliate URL before you take them live. For reference when this post is no longer currently, this testing was done with nopCommerce 1.90.

If you have the need for any specific reporting to be done with Affiliates, feel free to drop me an email at ryan@d3-systems.com.

Below are come current nopCommerce Affiliate Forums Topics for some additional reading.

http://www.nopcommerce.com/boards/t/3514/affiliate-for-nopcommerce-cart.aspx

http://www.nopcommerce.com/boards/t/77/relevance-of-an-affiliate.aspx

This article specifically address the lack of functionality described here. So check this post for the most up to date information in the forums.