Here is a fun stat for you to consider: In Q4 2014, e-commerce sales reached $79.57 billion, which is a 14.6% increase from the year before. As a Merchant, you know that Q4 is the time to get your head in the game and win over customers across all marketing channels – and Affiliate is no exception! Using choice phrases from the cult fantasy series Game of Thrones as inspiration, we have outlined some key points to help make sure your program is playing to win this holiday season.
“Chaos is not a pit; Chaos is a ladder.”
Chaotic is a perfect way to describe this time of year- from Halloween, Black Friday, Thanksgiving, Cyber Monday, to the entire month of December and into the New Year. It can be a difficult time to think about scheduling, building out creatives, and pushing out new incentives. Take the time now to create and schedule seasonal banners and text links, and build out commission rules based on incentives or performance inside specific time frames. You can use our Creative Scheduler to make this process as easy as possible. This way, when the chaos ensues between November and the end of December, you’ll be ahead of the game and able to focus on climbing the ladder to success (which means reaching sales goals and performance metrics!)
“A Lannister always pays his debts.”
Check your deposit settings! The last thing you want this holiday season is an abrupt gap in commissions. When you hit a negative balance, your program automatically defaults to offline which is visible to all Affiliate partners. Not only does this mean lost sales for you but Affiliates may get frustrated with the disturbance in commissions which puts your partnership at risk. I always recommend setting up an auto deposit, as well as a secondary funding source for Q4. Make sure you have e-mail and SMS notifications enabled to help you stay on top of your account’s monetary situation. All of these settings can be found in the My Account section in the top navigation.
“Winter is coming.”
Winter is coming- and fast! Now is the time as a Merchant to utilize the ShareASale Holiday Center to your full advantage. You can list your program under a specific category to allow Affiliates to easily find you with a more targeted search. If you have products that are related to a particular theme or holiday this winter season, this is a sure-fire way to get more exposure for your program. While there is a nominal placement fee for this service, you can be listed in the Black Friday and Cyber Monday database free of charge!
“The heart lies and the head plays tricks with us, but the eyes see true.”
Finally, it is the right time to take a hard look at enhancing your ShareASale Datafeed. It must reflect the most current information about your inventory to affiliates. You will want to make it even stronger by adding fields such as thumbnail images, description, search terms, add to cart URL and more. Double check that all the links and prices are correctly listed before you upload it, any small mistake can lead to massive headaches this time of year.
I hope this advice serves you well as you venture into the fourth quarter of 2015. It is a busy time for all of us, but we look forward to seeing the developments you will make inside your Merchant account, as well as how you strengthen your Affiliate relationships. We are always here to assist you this time of year as you work your way to winning the Game of Thron…..er….to having a very prosperous end of the year.