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Records before 2008 have not been collated!
There has been an explosive growth in on-line shopping. The retailers are keen to encourage this as it makes them more efficient. Most are part of an 'affiliate' program which syndicates adverts to multiple websites on behalf of the retailer. Why else did you think there were all those click through's on commercial sites?.
The syndicated adverts are designed to transfers visitors to a retailer's particular site(s). This increases visitors, leads (such as registrations or sign ups), and sales on the sites. Commission is paid to the affiliate sites for each referred sale and, occasionally, sign-up or lead.
Different sites pay differing amounts in commission. Naturally the sites which pay the most are the type of sites which wouldn't sit well on a community fund raising site! However, each shop on this site pays either a fixed amount or a % commission on sales for the referral. These can vary from as little as a few pence per order to 5% or more!
We collect this money and pay it into the charity committee's bank account.
Great question! Undoubtedly a percentage of the people who use this site (and others in their affiliate program) will already shop at these sites and therefore the retailer in question will be effectively giving away commission.
However, we assume that the merchants are expecting that the new sales generated through the publicity, the brand recognition, etc. will more than make up for this small loss.
There is also the issue of 'immediate' action or the 'impulse' buy. Someone sitting home late at night browsing the web with a glass of wine (or three) may be tempted into purchases which may not seem so advisable in the cool light of day - I'm sure you get the picture! Better to grab that sale there and then than lose it altogether.
How are you tracked or how does the merchant's site recognise you as a referral partner and therefore pay commission?
Generally the answer is via 'cookies'. Some cookies last for a session and some last for a few weeks. The merchant site uses the cookie to recognise the fact that a purchaser is a referred customer. There is generally a rule of 'last cookie' wins. This means that if you click through from this site and then from another site, the other site's cookie will overwrite this site's cookie. S0, while in some cases the merchants site will recognise you for up to several weeks as a referral customer, its safer to click through from this site when you are about to place an order!
This means that if you are running anyway 'no tracking' or 'cookie blocking' software, your purchase will not count. So please either turn it off or add the site/cookie to the 'permit' list.
This site is maintained by David Cornwell, a member of the Shirenewton Charity Committee.
You can contact David by emailing webmaster @ shirenewtonshop.com