Special VOE Features
Once your store is online, this is no guarantee that you will sell tons of product. It's important to develop a solid and thoughtful marketing plan. We provide various services and features, such as the Summary Sales Reports which can give you insight and information on your clientele and sales trends. It's important to utilize this information to adapt and improve your online business as time goes by.
Another new feature in the VOE is called, Sales Agent Tracking. This is a method by which you can trace sales in your store to a specific source (typically a reference to your site from some other web page or banner advertisement). This is often called a "refferal."
There are a number of features built into the VOE that enable you to learn more about where business and traffic is coming from - among other things you can ask questions at the point of sale, or look at users' cookie settings to see if they viewed a particular banner ad. This new S.A.T. feature however, is a very direct way of identifying x dollars came from site y. Therefore you can use this system to create incentive programs to motivate others to promote your site. With the ability to identify sales sources, you can offer commissions or other perks to inside and outside users who help promote your online store.
How does Sales Agent Tracking work?
The system is quite simple. Using one of a number of available scripts (special URL references) you can "tag" the user's browser with a cookie (a piece of information useful to us - basically an ID number), that will appear on any orders placed via the VOE. When you receive an order from someone who has the agent cookie set, an Agent ID will appear on the order - so you can immediately tell the source of the sale.
Here's an example:
<A HREF="http://ad1.icorp.net/mpr/adj?a=voeag&dl=http://voe.icorp.net/bob/&ag=2001">Click Here to visit my friend's store</a>
How do I enable this feature?
First, Contact ICorp and give us your merchant ID and let us know you wish to enable S.A.T. I believe by default it may be operational, so you can try it first without necessarily having any of your base configuration changed, but if you encounter any problems, let us know.
Second, develop a plan - unless you just want to add a few referrals here and there, you should come up with a coordinated marketing plan to use the agent tracking ability. Set up some kind of program and/or form to solicit participation and assign unique ID numbers to each agent - this will maximize your efforts. Now if you're simply looking to track sales from a small number of sources, you probably don't need to do anything elaborate, but keep in mind that this technology can be used on both a small or large scale - and you could have something comparable to sites like Amazon.com who have an "affiliate program" that pays commission that people sign up for.
There are a number of ways to enable the tracking. The one way we'll discuss here is to use a special script we've modified to set the agent ID. Here is the format for the URL - it can be wrapped around text or a graphic/banner ad:
<A HREF="http://ad1.icorp.net/mpr/adj?a=voeag&dl=STORE_URL&ag=AGENT_ID">Click Here</a>
Where STORE_URL is replaced with the URL to whatever page on your site you wish the person to be directed, and AGENT_ID is a unique identifier that you assign to this particular source. We recommend that you use numbers, but you can use letters as well. HOWEVER, keep the agent ID short in length! If you make it too long, it may not work!
Also note that with all URLs, you cannot have any spaces in the command line. Use an underscore _ if you need a space, but you shouldn't need to put spaces in the URL anyway. Also, be very careful to not change any other information other than the two items above otherwise the URL may not work.
You're done! You can now assign a number of IDs to different agents and keep your eye open for any sales which are attributed to them. If you set an agent id of, say, 2001 and someone makes a sale from that referral, on the order you will see something like, "Agent: 2001" at the top of the e-mail.
We are also building some customized reports so you can get a weekly/monthly summary of sales broken down by agent - stay tuned for this and many more features!