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How long in cookie period before you get the affiliate sale?

The 30 day cookie period has become standard in affiliate marketing, deemed to be a fair compromise that suits publishers and merchants which will capture the majority of sales without appearing overly restrictive. After noticing an increased interest from clients who were curious to understand how long cookie periods should be, Optimus Performance Marketing (OPM), has researched exactly how valid this period is in terms of online sales and revenue.

Optimus Performance Marketing has found that the actual time from click to transaction of a purchase is affected by many variables that may make any given cookie period largely meaningless in practice.

There are a great number of factors that affect how quickly a transaction takes place in the affiliate world, with the MD of OPM, Mark Russell, revealing what the company has found:

“A low value or commodity product that requires little consideration of price or one that is being purchased to satisfy an immediate need is going to show very little delay between a customer clicking and buying. We have seen that big-ticket items such as furniture or holidays typically show a larger delay between click and purchase, as budget is a bigger factor for the customer to consider. As well as this, there is a more collaborative purchasing decision requiring organisation and research on the part of the purchaser.  Where a potential purchaser is in the buying cycle is a factor, as it may be that the affiliate channel is involved at a late stage in the purchase process, in which case, regardless of the nature of the publisher, the click and subsequent purchase will be close. A merchant’s website is a major factor that is often overlooked in dictating the speed of a sale. The ability to put relevant products and offers in front of a customer as well as a checkout process that makes it easy for a customer to purchase will ensure an efficient conversion of browser to buyer.”

“The publisher type is often seen as the key determinant – the supposition being that voucher code and cash back affiliates show the smallest time between click and purchase, as they are encouraging purchase through either discount or reward. This is partly true, however there is very little variation in click to purchase time between publisher types. This suggests that it is actually a combination of customer readiness to purchase, the nature of the product, merchant side factors as well as their awareness and use of voucher code and cash back sites. The vast majority of transactions occur within 24 hours of the initial click, with another cut off after 7 days and very few sales occurring after 20 days. At OPM, we believe that limiting a cookie period has very little effect on the level of sales recorded through the affiliate channel.”


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