Why Should I Care About Accurate Attribution for Affiliate Marketers?

Affiliate marketing is a critical part of (most) marketers’ conversion stacks. How one brand almost lost an affiliate driving $200K+ in revenue per year due to tracking issues. Plus how to implement your own server-side tracking for affiliate providers.

Why Should I Care About Accurate Attribution for Affiliate Marketers?

Andrea Moe

Why Should I Care About Accurate Attribution for Affiliate Marketers?

A business owner who later became an Elevar customer was looking at a revenue loss of $200,000 because her affiliate marketing attribution data was incomplete and inaccurate.

Affiliate marketers rely on accurate attribution data to get paid. You, the retailer, rely on the affiliate marketer to send you customers. So if your affiliate marketers see their click event numbers aren’t changing (because they track everything, too, just like you), but the amount of money you’re paying them has gone down by, say, 5%, which constitutes a chunk of their income–they’re gonna ask what’s up. 

And if the “what” is inaccurate tracking of conversions on your side, the affiliate marketer’s viewpoint is unchanged; you’re robbing them of part of their livelihood. They’re still performing well–they can see it in their data–and you’re suddenly paying them less? Nope. They’re taking their affiliate marketing prowess elsewhere and removing their links to your site.

We’ll break it down for you below, and for more of the story listen to the Conversion Tracking Playbook podcast


Know this: affiliate marketing and the affiliate industry is a critical part of (most) marketers’ conversion stacks. How do we know? Data.

Let’s break down the value affiliate marketers bring to the table in numbers:

  • 81% of advertisers use some form of affiliate marketing.
  • 65% of AMs generate traffic through blogs. 
  • 74% of U.S. shoppers check multiple affiliate sites before making a purchase.
  • The affiliate industry as a whole is responsible for 16% of all online orders.


Affiliate marketing and its related conversion tracking analytics are clearly important. So, how does one prevent a situation like our customer’s almost-$200k-loss?

The answer, in a phrase, is Server-Side tracking

So what is server-side tracking? It’s Application Program Interface (API)-based tracking, meaning data is sent offline via an API, eliminating data collection issues with ad blockers, expiring cookies, etc. When a customer takes action, your Shopify site and Elevar communicate with one another in real time. You see what happens across your customers’ full purchasing journey and we guarantee 99%+ of your first party data is collected. We also keep track of technology updates for you (one less thing to worry about).

Elevar Server-Side tracking is a fully managed experience – we do the hard work for you with a 99%+ conversion tracking guarantee. 

There are other ways to acquire accurate conversion attribution besides a server-side tracking platform like Elevar, but if you don’t have a dedicated tech team, going with a pre-existing app like Zapier or trying to build your own is risky. If you’re ready to avoid affiliate marketing kerfuffles, see your consumers’ data in action and deliver it to the right channel, we’ve got options for you.

For the rest of the story and more details on affiliate marketing, listen to the podcast.


conversion tracking playbook


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