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Looking to fund Affiliate / Rewards Points Module
 
JoeC
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Total Posts:  16
Joined:  2007-11-22
 

I can’t believe how good that is PeterC. All looks looks like it works fine!

I noticed that ‘Affiliate System’ is on the Magento Roadmap:
http://www.magentocommerce.com/roadmap

What is the status for this as a simple affiliate system really does open thousands of marketing opportunities.

 
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PeterC
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Total Posts:  45
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JoeC,

Thanks for the kind words!  If you do notice any bugs in the future, though, please let me know.

--

Version 0.0.4 is now available, which adds administration screens.  You can now edit affiliates, edit payments and orders manually, and so on.  You can also download a list of the payments which are required, edit it as necessary, make the payments and then upload it again.  This will create payment records in the database for each of the payments you actually made.

The demo has been updated:
http://www.affiliatesforall.org/affiliates/

If you want to try the administration screens, you will need to log on with username Admin, password Admin.  (Please don’t change this password as that will stop other people trying the system out!)

As always, source code is available from SourceForge:
http://sourceforge.net/projects/affiliates/

Please let me know if you notice any bugs or have suggestions.

Pete

 
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Loxam
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I have to say excellent work!

I wouldn’t mind seeing a currency option though for UK, etc.

 
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PeterC
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Loxam,

Thanks for the feedback.  Actually there is a currency option but it’s in the configuration file, you can’t get to it online.  There are a few options like this: cookie name and lifetime, amount of commission, and so on.  Eventually I would like to build a web interface for configuring these options, but it’s not a high priority at the moment.  The other limitation is that you can only change the currency, you don’t have other UK-specific features such as dealing with VAT-registered affiliates.

(Actually I’m a Brit, so a UK currency option is essential for me.)

While I’m writing, I have a question for those of you who have experience running affiliate programmes.  I would like to know what value is added by the various affiliate networks that are out there.  There seem to be three main benefits: (i) they provide the affiliate tracking software; (ii) they provide a marketplace where affiliates can meet merchants; and (iii) they provide settlement of outstanding commissions, so merchants only have to make one payment, and affiliates only need to receive one payment.

I’d be interested to know how important you think each of these benefits is—and whether there are other benefits that I haven’t thought of.

I want to know this, because I’d like to know how people would prefer to use Affiliates For All when it is finished.  Would you be most interested in: (i) downloading and hosting the software yourself; (ii) having the software hosted by me; or (iii) having the software hosted by me, but also with some affiliate network features?

Pete

 
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JoeC
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I’m also a Brit smile

I think the focus should be on keeping this addon as simple as possible. Worrying about VAT-registered affiliates and the like is just extra work that isn’t needed in my opinion.

Manually changing things like cookie name, amount of commission should perhaps be left in the configuration file - these things are usually only changed once and stay the same. Perhaps a webmaster may offer a bonus week where affiliates can earn 5% more, if that’s the case then they just edit a simple number smile

The only things I would want to offer my affiliates is the ability for them to track incoming clicks and of course sales. I would also like them to be able to direct link to specific items (for example, this would allow sports websites to advertise specific sporting goods on there site).  I think this is an important feature.

If I was coding this I would have a reset button, so that when someone reaches $100 you send out the PayPal payment manually then reset there account so it goes back to zero. This way would be the least complicated I think

As for where the script should be, I think most would want it on there server surely.

 
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mrjohnnycake
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PeterC,

I haven’t commented yet but I’ve been following development for some time now.  Thank you very much for doing this.  I have the ambition to help but none of the coding experience.

First off, I’m interested in the program (yankee spelling) for just downloading it and hosting it myself.

Secondly, I haven’t seen yet that you are taking donations.  Are you going to charge for the program when it is done?

Next, how closely are you planning on integrating it within Magento?  Is it something I can access through the admin panel or something I have to sign into outside of Magento.

FInally, what is your rough time frame for the project.  Not meaning to rush you.  I’m just starting up biz in about a month so I’ll probably need something for the short term I’m guessing.  But I’m also thinking that using something for the short term probably isn’t the best idea for me since I’ll have to re-enter all the info when I switch to Affiliates For All (how bout AFA for short).

As to your questions, unfortunately I am unexperienced with any affiliate program so I have no suggestions.  I personally will want to use it for affiliates (with their own websites) and the points/money system for my customers.

Keep up the great work.

Dave.

 
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PeterC
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Total Posts:  45
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I am pleased to announce the first alpha release of Affiliates for All, version 0.1.0.  grin

This release is the same as 0.0.4 except that it adds Magento integration.  When a user places an order, it will be entered in AfA in the ‘new’ state.  When the order reaches the completed state in Magento, it will be updated to the ‘shipped’ state in AfA.  Currently refunds have to be handled manually.

AfA is getting to the point where you could use it to implement a real affiliate programme.  With this release, your affiliates would see screens which are essentially complete.  As administrator, you might encounter a few rough edges.  Also at present there is no documentation, so it would be rather awkward to set up.

As always, source code is available from:
http://sourceforge.net/projects/affiliates/

The demo is available at:
http://www.affiliatesforall.org/affiliates/

The admin account for AfA is still active, user name and password are both ‘Admin’.  There is also a Magento account called ‘afa’ with password ‘afaafa’.  You can log on with this account at:
http://www.affiliatesforall.org/magento/admin

The ‘afa’ account doesn’t have access to much of Magento, but you can use it to invoice and ship orders, which will cause AfA to be updated.  It also has access to the screen where the AfA integration is configured.  Please look but don’t touch!  If you change the values entered there, nothing interesting will happen, it will just stop working…

Recently I’ve been making a release roughly every week.  It will probably be two weeks until the next release, as I’m unlikely to be able to work on AfA much next week.

Incidentally, I was looking at JAM the other day.  JAM supports lots of different mechanisms for paying affiliates, not just PayPal.  Apart from that, though, we seem to have rough feature-parity.  Not bad for a program that’s just over a month old!

--

JoeC,

I agree about VAT-registered affiliates.  I’ll address that if and when it becomes a problem.  For now the most important thing is producing a usable ‘1.0’ release.

You can’t currently track incoming clicks; that’s an interesting point.  You could get the information from something like Google Analytics, but it would make it a bit fiddly calculating conversion rates.  You’d have to get the number of clicks from GA and the sales from AfA and combine the two.

You can link to any page in Magento and the cookie will be filled in.  I agree that this is an important feature, I’m always amazed at the number of affiliate programmes that don’t do this.

Of course the current system is totally different to your reset button.  You pay everyone at once using mass payments.  Don’t forget, with PayPal you really want to use mass payments, because for some reason mass payments attract lower charges.  (You also can’t fund them with a credit card, but that shouldn’t be a problem when paying affiliates.)

In theory you could use mass payments, but only put one payment at a time through the system.  I can’t see the point in that, though.  As soon as you’ve got more than a handful of affiliates, it’s going to get tedious.  Even worse, you could make a mistake.

Mrjohnnycake,

Interesting point about American spellings, lots of people are going to want that.  I do think it would be good to approach internationalisation in stages, so this would be a good way to start.  We can get the basics worked out doing en_GB versus en_US.  That will make it much simpler when someone wants to do French and suddenly all the messages need to be localised, not just a handful.  And doing French will make it easier when someone wants to do Arabic and we have to think about right to left text, and so on…

I’ll probably try and get 1.0 out before doing any localisation, though.  If you want to use it in the meantime, I don’t imagine there would be too many messages to patch, you could probably do it manually without an unreasonable amount of effort.

I’m taking donations from people who offer, but things have been quite quiet on that front recently!  Whatever happens, though, there won’t be any charge for the completed program.  It will be available under GPL just as the pre-release versions have been.

Hopefully you can now see the answer to your question about Magento.  It’s something you have to sign into separately.  I’m doing it this way so I can integrate with other carts at a later stage.

If you aren’t launching your business for another month, you might well find that AfA becomes usable just in time for you!  You could probably make the current version work, but it would be a bit nasty, especially because there is no documentation.  Once I’ve had a chance to write some documentation, it’s really just a case of fixing bugs and making sure that it is convenient to use in the common situations.

Pete

 
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Yosu2
Jr. Member
 
Total Posts:  2
Joined:  2008-09-06
 

Hi all:

Congratulations Peter on your new release!

I see it is very advanced yet, but if you still need help, I would be glad to participate in the developement.

It would be really nice to know what are the plans for it.

Please reach me at any IM:

MSN: digitalwares@hotmail.com
AIM: BizBoost
Yahoo: rvpromociones
ICQ: 438468115

 
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00christian00
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Total Posts:  87
Joined:  2008-05-02
 

Hi Peter,
I checked your software,really awesome work!
Few questions :
-Does it support magento multiple website feature?
I’m not asking if it does display the store name or other small things,just if it does work when having such feature.
-I couldn’t find where to setup the affiliate commission rate.Where is it?And does it support multiple rate levels or it’s the same for anyone?
-How does the affiliation work?I read it set a cookie.What happen if someone click on more than one affiliate link?

Anyway,can’t wait for the next version.Keep up the good work.I’ll surely donate something once it’s ready.

 
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JoeC
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Total Posts:  16
Joined:  2007-11-22
 

I suppose incoming clicks isn’t that important.

Confirmed sales and the ability for affiliates to send potential customers to specific items on Magento are the main 2 important factors.

If you want any feature requests: how about an e-mail sent to both parties when a sale is made.

 
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PeterC
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Total Posts:  45
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Yosu2,

Thanks for the offer!  What would you like to work on?

I’m afraid I won’t have much time to help you this week, but from next week I’ll be happy to help you get started and answer any questions you have about the code.

00christian00,

I haven’t tried it with the multiple website feature, though I can’t think of any reason why it wouldn’t work.  Of course one issue is that the affiliate link displayed on the affiliate’s summary page could only point to one of the websites.  If the affiliates adapt the link to the appropriate website, I think it should work, though.

If multiple website support is a common requirement, we should allow the display of multiple sample affiliate links, so affiliates don’t get confused.  (This is probably a post-1.0 feature, though, unless someone wants to volunteer to implement it now.)

There is a config file, and there are two settings for commission rate.  One sets a fixed amount per order, the other sets a percentage.  If you set both, they add.  These rates are the same for everyone, we don’t support the kind of programme where you get $10 per order for the first five orders, and then $15 or whatever.

The system does set a cookie, you’re right.  If someone clicks two affiliate links, the second cookie will overwrite the first.

Thanks for offering to donate!

JoeC,

Good idea about the emails.

Pete

 
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Yosu2
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I am good at system administration and strong on software marketing, and my partner Michael is a heavy dutty PHP coder.

 
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marito
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Total Posts:  14
Joined:  2008-09-02
 

Hi there,

I would like to test AFA in Magento, but how do I “install” it? I’ve placed the dirs/files from carts dir into the corresponding magento-dirs. But nothing happens… ;-(

thx for any help --
Marito

 
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PeterC
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Yosu,

A few weeks ago, I could have suggested lots of core features that still needed implementing, but most of it is done now.  If there is a particular feature that you want yourself, I suggest you work on that.

If you want a suggestion, you could try implementing the multiple website feature that Christian was talking about.  That’s a fairly simple change, so you could get used to the AfA code without trying to do anything too involved.  Basically you would have to change $store_home in config.inc so it accepts an array of stores rather than a single string.  You would then make overview.php show a list of affiliate links rather than just one.

Marito,

Soon I will have some documentation for you, which should make this sort of thing easier. grin

You will find that there is one file and one directory to copy.  You need to copy carts/magento/app/etc/modules/Afa.xml to app/etc/modules (just the one file) and you need to copy app/code/local/Afa to app/code/local (the whole directory, including subdirectories).  The first thing is to make sure all these files are in place.

After that, when you log into Magento as an administrator, go to System/Configuration.  You should see the Affiliates For All config screen at the bottom of the General tab.  Click on that and complete the two values on the form.  The secret should be the same as the value set in AfA’s config file, and the URL should be the base of your AfA installation.  If you are unsure what to put, have a look at the way the demo is set up; that may help.

Once this is done, you should find that orders propagate from Magento into AfA automatically.

BTW, I think Magento calculates access rights when you first log into the admin system.  If you get an access denied message when you first go to the AfA screen, try logging out and back in.  This will force Magento to recompute your access rights, and—because AfA has now been installed—it should include the right to access the AfA screen.

Pete

 
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Loic_LC
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@ Yosu & @PeterC can I humbly suggest a reward system adaptation for customers themselves ? i.e. earning $ / points for customers’ own purchases, not only affiliates.
Thanks

 
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