Creating a Robust Multi-Market Ecosystem – By Tom Rathbone

by Colleen on August 18, 2014

tl;dr – Tips for creating a robust multi-market ecosystem when you’re expanding internationally.

Expanding internationally is an exciting business decision. With it comes certain technical challenges. You’ll have to rely on international affiliate networks and their respective technology to do it effectively. The main challenge is: How do I minimize the risk of my international expansion coming to a halt during the integration phase? feedfront-27-cover-small

Establish a Scalable Foundation

Advertisers may build out a business plan and sign with a network without fully exploring the technical requirements. By anticipating ways this can go wrong, we can bake in requirements for future integrations.

Start with a container pixel that can deploy pixels based off your business needs. Make sure it can track in a multitude of ways. You want as many inflow pipes as possible.

The container must be flexible enough to allow for completely customized coding. You’ll need those outflow pipes to deploy tracking for multiple networks.

Anticipate Technical Needs

Not all networks can convert currency. If you are using a conversion rate internally, you’ll need to pass along those conversion rates in the pixel. If order processing references a third party exchange rate in real time, your pixels will need to do the same. You cannot pass along pre-converted currency unless you have multiple amount parameters.

You may find the need to fire pixels dependent upon the most granular of parameters – any parameter may need its own pixel. We’ve even implemented tracking that requires a pixel for each item in the cart. Prepare for this by passing along all needed data in the tracking!

Plan for Business Needs

Payment processing might place customers on different order success pages. Ensure you have tracking installed for all pages. If processing occurs offsite, bring the customer back to your site for the order success page. Besides, landing them back on your domain is better for customer experience!

Some U.S. networks allow marketers to manage commission groups in their interfaces. This is not the case worldwide. You may need to fire an entirely separate pixel per commission group, which would typically require your tech team to accommodate. By building a core of commission group parameters into the tracking, you have the flexibility to utilize the work that’s been done by your tech team and adapt it into what’s needed by the new integration. You may not use commission groups now but you should plan for the possibility.

Provide Data for Analytical Needs.

New vs. returning customers, registered vs. guest customers, discount amounts if applicable, etc. These tracking technologies are advanced, but there is data they cannot capture. Provide it.

Lastly, think of things that I haven’t. Your business and its future are unique. Think about what business decisions you are likely to make, if your current technology supports it, or what changes will be required of your technology. Lay the foundation for the future.

Tom Rathbone is Senior Technical Solutions Specialist at Schaaf-PartnerCentric.

This article appeared in issue 27 of FeedFront Magazine, which was published in August 2014. http://issuu.com/affiliatesummit/docs/feedfront-27

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