Chelsea Osoling, the affiliate manager for CowBoom.com (the Best Buy company) has emailed me a good question some time ago, and I promised her to address it. She wrote:
There’s been a lot of buzz about multiclick attribution at Affiliate Summit East and CJU and I’ve noticed you have written some posts on the topic but I was curious what your perspective is on the topic in relation to retargeting?
Very good question. And just to clarify it for someone who may not know what Chelsea means: there exists a line of argument that when the “Last Click Wins” model was invented, consumer paths to point of checkout were significantly more linear than what they have become with time, and in the present age of multi-touchpoint e-commerce it may not necessarily be the best affiliate payment model. With this in mind, merchants are often encouraged to think in the direction of multi-attribution, or compensating multiple affiliates who may have influenced the end users purchase decision.
I have indeed written a few posts on the question of attribution and affiliate marketing. Here are just three of them you may want to review:
- Conversion Attribution and Affiliate Marketing
- Split Commission in Affiliate Marketing
- Conversion Attribution in Affiliate Marketing is a Hot Topic
My personal opinion is that while the current last-click-wins model may not be a 100% satisfactory one, it is by far the best-working one out of all currently available out there. There definitely is room for multi-click attribution, but should a merchant pursue this, it should by no means be done at the expense of lowering the default conversion, but possibly remunerating other affiliates who were involved in the process in addition to the last one (be it based on the affiliate types, or when they played their role in the process, or anything else).