After testing their new affiliate payment model with select affiliates for over three months, the eBay Partner Network (eBPN) has made an official announcement of it yesterday. The model bears a name of Quality Click Pricing (QCP), and is essentially a CPC (cost per click) model. It is called to do something previously unprecedented: namely, “take into account the incremental value of that traffic to eBay, i.e., whether a sale happened as a direct result of the publisher’s actions” [italics mine], and reward the affiliate accordingly.
Laurie Sullivan of MediaPost clarifies the idea:
Most retailers pay affiliate publishers either a percentage of sale or a per-lead fee, paying for transactions based on volume. Under eBay’s old compensation structure, for example, if someone were to click on an affiliate link and make a purchase within the next seven days, the affiliate would receive the same revenue share — no matter when the event happened within those seven days. Under the new payment model, purchases that happen closer to the click will be rewarded more than those that happen later.
eBPN states that this new affiliate payment model will be better for affiliates, because of the following 4 advantages:
- Simplification of the commission structure
- Alignment of payout more closely with traffic quality, allows eBPN to pay more to those affiliates that are driving high quality traffic
- Publishers will be rewarded for multiple sources of value in addition to sales, such as revenue from advertising on eBay pages and PayPal transaction revenue
- EPC will be visible the very next day and will be more stable on a day to day basis
eBay also wrote that “for many” affiliates “this change will mean that [their] payout will increase”. Some, however, will start making “less money than under the previous payment structure, and will need to make some changes to [their] campaigns in order to see better rewards.”
You may read more about the new QCP model on eBPN’s blog by following this link: “Announcing Quality Click Pricing”.
The thoughts at the foundation of QCP were originally brought up in the Search Engine Marketing Journal (where I serve as the Senior Editor of the Affiliate Marketing section), and I certainly remember reviewing the eBay team’s “The Coming Evolution in Affiliate Marketing: A Focus on Quality” white paper prior to its publication in the February 2009 issue. I did disagree with some of the conclusions (and terminology used), but in principle, I did agree with the need to focus on traffic quality.
Will the QCP idea be wholeheartedly welcomed by all eBay affiliates (over 100,000 people worldwide)? Of course, not. Will it benefit and help eBPN grow the quality of their affiliate program/network even further? Time will show.