On Tuesday 22nd July, Quidco announced in an email to merchants that they would cease working with Affiliate Window on September 1st 2008. Many of you may have received this communication, and you may be aware of a great deal of industry debate regarding this subject over the last few days.
The aim of this document is to ensure you have a full picture of the situation and to help you determine how this may affect your business. There have been a number of questions raised by merchants, particularly those who have chosen to work with Affiliate Window exclusively. This briefing aims to explain how users purchase within the cashback sector and the other opportunities available to you.
The Situation to Date…
Here are links to several industry resources detailing what has occurred:
- A4U Forum Thread on which the news was first released, including a copy of the email originally sent to merchants from Quidco
- Affiliate Window blog including our official response to Quidco’s email
- I Want One of Those blog by Paul Smith, explaining how they feel this will affect them as an exclusive Affiliate Window merchant
- Affiliate Programme Advice blog by Jess Luthi, describing how they intend to review all merchant relationships with Quidco through their agency
In essence we agree with the principles of ‘SureShop’ and to that end work with merchants to clear transaction queries in a timely manner. However we feel the onus needs to be shared between the affiliate, the network and the merchant, ensuring peace of mind for all parties involved as to the validity of these transactions.
Overall, the affiliate industry supports the stance Affiliate Window has adopted. It is also important to note that the Chairman and founding companies of the Loyalty Association are fully behind Affiliate Window. Over the course of next week we will be working with them as well as our other cashback partners to put in place a series of consumer promotions, in which we really want you to be involved.
What Happens Next…?
We have been discussing the market share held by Quidco with many of our advertisers over the course of this week to address any effect Quidco’s removal from Affiliate Window may have on their programme.
First of all, it is important to note that Quidco is just one of many sizeable organisations/affiliates to offer 100% cashback to users. There are a number of popular alternatives that operate using different cashback models who have a flexible, understanding approach with respect to the needs of merchants.
When analysing the performance of Quidco on your programme, it is important to consider the value of the deal offered to them in comparison to other cashback partners. In many instances, advertisers have opted for Quidco as a first choice for private deals without trialling how this offer would perform with other sites. Frequently, the performance of other cashback partners has only been tested while there was an equivalent or better deal running simultaneously on Quidco.
Following the termination of Quidco and Affiliate Window’s working relationship on 1st September the cashback landscape will change considerably. Offers that may have previously failed with other sites will now receive much more traffic as users seek alternatives. With a number of major brands moving away from Quidco, other cashback sites have a chance to flourish and our intention is to take full advantage of this on behalf of our merchants.
In addition, Affiliate Window will be launching a number of new merchants to the market over the coming months that will now not feature on Quidco. These will act as a major pull factor for other cashback sites and the expectation is a much fairer distribution of members across a broader range of partners.
Although every cashback user is likely to have a preference with regards to which site they use, the fundamental motivation for their purchasing behaviour is to find the best deal. This was the basis on which Quidco was built. Voucher codes, cashback offerings and product discounts all form part of their choice of retailer. Ultimately their allegiance is to obtaining the lowest price rather than to any single cashback brand.
You can see discussions by cashback users themselves surrounding this in the following threads:
If you are a merchant, please get in touch by emailing email@example.com to receive a full list of alternative cashback partners and site profiles.
If you are a cashback site and would like to submit your profile, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your site name in the subject field.
Testimonials on working with Affiliate Window
We have worked with Affiliate Window for a number of years and have always been impressed by the excellent support we have constantly received from the Account management team. They are extremely proactive, regularly informing us of fantastic consumer offers and are very quick to respond to queries.
The new Transaction Queries system has been a Godsend. This has really helped to cut down on response times and as a result our Member’s are a lot happier with the quicker resolutions due to the transparency of the Affiliate Window system.
Affiliate Window has a great affiliate and client team who focus greatly on us, the Affiliates.
- Maya Kamourieh, eCommerce Manager, Rpoints
We have enjoyed working with AWin since the very beginning of GreasyPalm. They have a knowledgeable and hard working team of account managers who do their upmost to deliver what is best for all parties involved.
- Darren Loud, Merchandising Manager, GreasyPalm
Give or Take has worked with Affiliate Window since its launch in 2006. All correspondence and business dealings with Affiliate Window have been professionally and efficiently dealt with. Any queries regarding sales, and merchants have always been clarified at the soonest opportunity, and no matter has ever been left unresolved.
Give or Take are part of UKWeb Media’s site portfolio, and UKWeb Media have also enjoyed a fruitful business relationship with Affiliate Window for the past 5 years.
- Chloe Ammonds, Account Manager, Give or Take
I have no hesitation in offering a testimonial to Affiliate Window. They were perhaps the pioneers in providing the right tools to allow cashback sites to develop their own missing commission chasing functionality. AW has always been very clear and above board in their dealings with us – which fits well with our own ‘Fair Play’ ethos.
- Oliver Ragg, Director, Top Cashback