Archive for August, 2009

ShopWindow v3 is Live

Written by Sarah on . Posted in Network News, Technology

Affiliate Window is pleased to announce the release of the ShopWindow v3 platform. The toolset has been updated to increase the features available by splitting the product into two editions; Community and Enterprise.

What is ShopWindow?
ShopWindow is a shopping comparison service that allows your audience to compare over four million products from 800 retailers, all on your own website.

ShopWindow operates on the Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) model. This means that each time a sale is made through your shop; you receive a retailer agreed commission (based on the basket value of the sale). Through this model, you have the ability to foster strong relationships with our advertisers and develop an additional revenue channel.

ShopWindow Community is the generic solution available to affiliates. A minimum commission threshold must be met in order for continued use of this service, so existing affiliates should read the performance criteria outlined below to appreciate what is required on an ongoing basis.

ShopWindow Enterprise is the solution for partners on a contractual basis. It contains the same key features as the Community Edition with the exception of an unlimited daily quota and access to additional ShopWindow verticals.

The v3 platform brings with it a host of improvements and benefits, many of which came directly from affiliate round-tables, which were put in place to help guide the product onto further success. Such features include:

Separate Quota System
• Each new version of ShopWindow will have a separate quota system; therefore v2 installs use a separate quota to v3
• If a new version is released, then this would use a separate quota to previous installs
• When an affiliate migrates to v3, their v2 installs remain live and not affect their v3 quota

Improved Adult Filtering
• Allows better filtering of products from merchants who have incorrectly categorised their feeds
• Further prevents the opportunity of any adult content appearing on a clean content site

Tag clouds Adult Filtering
• Prevents any obscene or derogatory words appearing in the ShopWindow tag cloud element

Similar product functionality now more intelligent
• Allows for a better user experience when searching for products that are similar to one another

Multiple refine definitions allowed
• Allows a user to refine by multiple options at any given time
• E.g. you can now search by merchant X and merchant Y as opposed to the previous release which limited a user to merchant X or merchant Y

Random sorting option added to search results
• This was an original v1 feature, removed from v2 but brought back on the request of users

Added voucher codes
• Allows you to pull relevant merchant voucher codes through the API

Boolean/Phrase search added
• Allows a better methodology of returning relevant search results to a given search term

Performance increases across multiple functions
• Improves the overall speed of the service

Performance upgrades
• Improves the speed and efficiency of the platform ensuring a smoother operation
• Also leads to a reduction in the necessary API calls and thus quota limits last longer

Previous Versions

New versions of software or services are released because they bring improvements, ideally for the providers as well as the consumers. With version 3 of the ShopWindow Client and API we will see significant improvements associated with providing the service to give us a much stronger position to ensure its continued support and innovation as well as low entry criteria.

It is not viable for Affiliate Window to continue running versions 1 and 2 as well as the latest version. We will continue to provide access to the old beta versions (V1 and V2) of the ShopWindow Client and API but to do this we must reduce their associated running costs. The following changes will therefore be made to the version 1 and 2 services:

Support
• Support will no longer be available by Affiliate Window staff for old versions of the client and API. We will however offer support to those that need help migrating to version 3
• We have provided an improved version of the software that has major benefits for all affiliates and are fully committed to supporting that via the ShopWindow Forum

Updates
• There will be no further commitment to updating older versions of the service
• All future development will take place on version 3

Infrastructure
• The IT infrastructure allocated with these versions will be reduced to correlate with the revenue they generate.
• This allows us to continue providing access for the time being but migration to the new version is advised as older versions may see a degradation of service quality over time

In Summary, affiliates can continue to use versions 1 and 2 of the API but without the same levels of performance and service that you would get if migrating to version 3. We will continue to provide access to v1 and v2 so long as they continue to generate enough revenue to maintain this process. By taking the steps outlined above we are ensuring that this arrangement can continue for the foreseeable future.

V3 Performance Criteria

To ensure the quality of affiliates using the latest version affiliates will need to significantly develop upon the client, innovate and drive sales to have continued use of the service. The initial criteria we will be using are below.

Affiliates are required to:
• Apply individual branding to their installation of the client
• Not use the default page titles
• Apply a unique design (noticeably different from the default template)
• Add additional editorial content

When your site has successfully passed review based on the above basic criteria, your account will be put into Probation or Live mode as applicable. We will then upgrade you to the appropriate number of maximum daily quota calls.

The following three month period will be a key time for affiliates to promote their site and start getting traffic. After this another review will take place which measures the ongoing use of the ShopWindow platform.

In the first three months of use, Affiliate Window requires an affiliate to have generated at least £75.00 worth of commission. In subsequent months affiliates are required to generate an average of £65.00 in commission per month based on the most recent three months not including any probation period. Affiliates that don’t reach these requirements will cease to have access to the Community Client Software. This is a necessary requirement to ensure performance is maintained for those affiliates who use the Client as a core part of their affiliate strategy to generate revenue.

To Sign Up

If you have any further questions about ShopWindow v3 then please visit our dedicated ShopWindow Forum. If you would like to sign-up to either the ShopWindow Community or Enterprise Edition then you can do so here.

Digital Window seals European partnership with Axel Springer and PubliGroupe

Written by Sam Surry on . Posted in Network News

European media companies Axel Springer and PubliGroupe purchased a 50.1 % stake in Digital Window Ltd. Together, the two companies already own Zanox, one of Europe’s leading affiliate networks and this new acquisition further strengthens their position in the UK.

Dr. Mathias Döpfner, CEO of Axel Springer AG: “The investment in Digital Window will enable us to continue on a course of dynamic growth in the business of performance-based online marketing. As announced, the clear focus of our investment strategy is to continue expanding our digital business. That applies both to our own brands and also to further complementary acquisitions, as in the case of Digital Window.”

It is very much business as usual for Digital Window, with the company’s commitment to continued growth in the UK market demonstrated by recent business wins like The Hut Group, Clarks, Topman, Swarovski and Nike. Our core values of ethics, technology, performance and service will continue to define the network as well as our work with the IAB to promote and expand the policies put in place by the Affiliate Marketing Council. Recent releases of tidd.ly, video banners and Darwin all reflect our ongoing investment to innovate and improve our technologies. As three time winners of the A4U Awards Publisher’s Choice of Network we have never been more confident that we are delivering what our market needs and will strive to maintain that now and in the future.

Moving forward this partnership will see us expand our business outside of the UK and provide exciting and rewarding opportunities for our partners. Kevin Brown, CEO, will continue to manage the company adding “This partnership with Axel Springer and PubliGroupe will allow both our merchants and publishers a greater reach into Europe, safe in the knowledge they’ll receive best of breed performance, technology and service”.

If you have any questions or concerns we would welcome the opportunity to offer as much clarity as possible so please feel free to email questions@digitalwindow.com and we will endeavour to answer all enquiries in full.

Samantha Leigh
Head of Communications