Affiliate programs are very effective for boosting website traffic and sales. Affiliates are your partners (companies or people) who promote your store or products on their side and thus help you attract new customers. To track how many customers each affiliate brings you, calculate their commissions, etc., you can use special services designed specifically for affiliate marketing. There are different apps in our App Market that you can use to run an affiliate program. We often recommend using Post Affiliate Pro as an affiliate software — it is quite powerful and easy-to-use.
Ecwid supports two scenarios of integration with Post Affiliate Pro. With the first one, you provide your affiliates with special links/banners to your store and track clicks/sales coming from them to your store. With the second one, you allow your partners to place your entire Ecwid store on their sites and track sales there.
To run an affiliate program with Post Affiliate Pro:
Step 1. Sign up with Post Affiliate Pro.
You can see plans and pricing for Post Affiliate Pro here: https://www.postaffiliatepro.com/pricing/ They also offer 14 days of free trial.
Step 2. Review your settings in the merchant panel.
In your merchant panel in Post Affiliate Pro, configure your affiliate program and profile settings such as email notifications, commissions, banners/links, affiliates list etc. Follow the built-in user's guide. Should you have any questions regarding account configuration, please refer to the Post Affiliate Pro knowledge base: http://support.qualityunit.com/690072-Post-Affiliate-Pro
Step 3. Add clicks tracking code to your site.
Clicks (referral) tracking recognizes which affiliate referred the visitor that came from some URL or clicked on banner link. You should add the click tracking code into EVERY page that will be the target of affiliate links. If you published your Ecwid store on different pages (e.g. using single product widgets), you should add the code into each of those pages. The best practice is to put it somewhere into the footer of your site so it will work on every page where the footer is displayed. On the other hand, if your store appears on one page only, you can simply put the clicks tracking code below the Ecwid integration code. You can get your clicks tracking code in your merchant control panel in Post Affiliate Pro: Tools → Integration → Clicks tracking.
In addition to simple referring customers to your site, it is also possible to place your whole store on affiliate sites. In this case, apparently, the affiliate's page itself is a target page, so no links/banners are needed. Customers will browse your store and purchase your products directly on the affiliate's site. Sales will be tracked there as well.
In order to use this approach, you will need to provide your partner with your Ecwid integration code (from Ecwid control panel → All sales channels → Overview → Custom website) and the clicks tracking code. For such use, the clicks tracking code should be modified a bit though. The affiliate's ID needs to be placed in the code so that the system will recognize where an order came from.
You can obtain the code for sharing with an affiliate this way:
1) Find an affiliate ID in the affiliates list in your merchant panel (see the 'Affiliate manager' window):
2) Specify it in the clicks tracking code. The code will look like this:
3) Grab Ecwid integration code from your Ecwid control panel and add the modified clicks tracking code, combine them together. The code is ready, you can give it to your affiliate.
Add sales tracking code into your Ecwid store.
Regardless of where the clicks tracking code is placed, you'll need to integrate the sales tracking code into the order confirmation page in Ecwid. After being placed in your control panel, this code will track sales for all of your affiliates. You can find the sales tracking code in your Post Affiliate Pro merchant panel as well: Tools → Integration → Sales/Leads Tracking, select 'Ecwid' in the "Integration method" drop-down and the code will be generated.
Ecwid has a built-in tool for placing such codes on the order confirmation page. Just put the code in your Ecwid control panel: Settings → General → Cart&Checkout → Custom tracking code on Order Confirmation page. It will automatically execute when an order is placed.
You can consider paying only sales commissions (not paying for clicks). But, even so, you have to integrate click tracking code — it gets affiliate IDs from URLs when visitors come using affiliate links or from the code when the whole store is placed on affiliate sites. Thus without it, the sale won't be properly registered.