How does Affiliate Sales & Affiliate Links work?
Look at the picture below:
Did you see that ad by flipkart.com? The ad is displayed on my website as part of the affiliate program I have enrolled myself in. Now, what actually happens around this ad?
Flipkart.com is a leading online shopping website in India. They offer variety of products to their customers. When I signed up for the affiliate program of flipkart, I was provided with a code. All I needed to do was to embed that code in my website. I could have done it anywhere on my website according to my desire – in side widgets, top header, footer, anywhere. Now, whenever a person clicks on this banner I have posted at the bottom of each post I do on my website, the person is directed to the flipkart website. If that person buys any product from flipkart, I would be given 5% of the purchased product’s amount.
ALSO SEE: WHAT IS AFFILIATE MARKETING?
But how did they actually track that it was me who sent those customers to them? It really made me think for a lot of time before I actually hit the search engine to find it out. This is the part where Affiliate Links come up. The code which I was given to embed on my website had a tracking code attached with it. That tracking code is in fact a unique id which would let flipkart identify that I was the affiliate who sent that customer and thus, I get my share of the profit.
It’s a win-win situation for both of us. They sold their product without any effort. I got extra money from my blog.
Websites like Amazon.com make use of ‘cookies’ for this purpose. If a user clicks on the Affiliate Links placed on your website, he would be directed to the Amazon.com page. At this time, a cookie would be stored in the user’s web browser which would contain your id. This cookie would help amazon.com to recognize that it was you who sent that customer.
Does my customer have to buy immediately after clicking the link?
Not really. The cookies are stored in the customer’s web browser for a specific amount time, say 7 days. It depends upon which company’s affiliate you are. Check out their policy to get more details. If the customer buys the product within the time the cookie is active, you would get your share for sure.