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Last Modified: 10.10.2012

Bitrix Site Manager is equipped with anything you may require to build and manage an affiliate network.

An affiliate is a special kind of a commercial partner in the Internet that does not directly sell products but publishes a link to a merchant's product page on a web site. If a customer was driven by that link and purchased a product, the affiliate gains a commission indicated in the contract.

Bitrix Site Manager can also help you build multi tier affiliate networks. In practical terms: if an affiliate "A" attracts other affiliates ("B", "C", etc.) to sign up for the same program using their sign-up code, all future activities by the joining affiliates "B" and "C" will result in additional, lower commission for affiliates "A". Commercial relationships and their profit are regulated in the Tiers form.

All tasks related to affiliate management are concentrated in one section: e-Store -> Affiliates.

Configuring general affiliate policy

These properties can be customized in the e-Store module settings:

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A user that has registered as an affiliate receives a special link that has to be published on their site. Visitors who click that link are considered attracted by the affiliate. The system inserts a special URL parameter into that link whose value is the affiliate code.

Affiliate plans

The affiliate plan stipulates commission that an affiliate will gain for attracted visitors and sales. The plans can be based upon the quantity of items sold or the amount of sales. You can set the partitioning in the module settings, the Range affiliates by field.

The selected mode affects the affiliate plan editing form. It means that you have to decide which mode to use before you start creating plans for your affiliates. You must not change the selection after you have created yet one plan; otherwise, your affiliates will be calculated incorrectly.

You can manage affiliates in the corresponding form (Affiliate tariff plans, e-Store -> Affiliates -> Plans). Click New plan to create a new affiliate plan. If the settings read to partition plans by the number of sales, the editing form will look like the following:

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In this form:

  • ID and Last modified appear only when editing an existing plan.
  • Site: each site has its own set of affiliate plans.
  • Active: check this option to allow affiliates to use this plan.
  • Tariff (commission): the commission can be specified as percentage or in any currency defined in the system.

The Product groups tab allows to define product groups to which the plan will be applied. This operation is optional and is only required if you want to restrict the plan to certain products. Click Add to show fields to define a group:

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If you have chosen to partition plans by the amount of sales, the plan editing form is slightly different:

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As you can see, the field The plan is active for sales over (pcs.) changes to The plan is active for sales with amount over (in the site base currency).

The site base currency is defined in the e-Store module settings (the Permissions for orders tab):

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So, the complete and correct affiliate business solution should have plans that would entirely cover all possible options. For example:

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Managing affiliates

You can manage your affiliates in the corresponding form (e-Store -> Affiliates -> Affiliates).

Clicking Add affiliate in this form opens a form in which you can specify parameters of a new affiliate:

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Note the following when editing the affiliate parameters.

  • Each site has a private set of affiliates.
  • Only a registered user can become an affiliate. Therefore, you have to select an existing user by clicking the button
  • Unless you create or edit a first-tier affiliate, choose the parent affiliate in the Registered via affiliate field.
  • In the Plan field, choose one of the affiliate plans. This drop-down list contains all plans defined for the current site.
    Important!
    Note that, if you want to force the selected plan to be applied to an affiliate whatever the current sales conditions and other plans are, check the Fix plan option (fix the plan).
    Consider the following example. Assume there are two plans: plan A (5% for 3 or more phones), and plan B (10% for 5 or more phones), and an affiliate with plan B attracts a sale of 10 phones. If the plan is not fixed, the affiliate would earn 5% (the plan which is most favourable to you). However, if you fix the plan B, the affiliate would earn 10%.
  • Active: this option enables or disables an affiliate.
  • The fields: Paid amount, Pending amount, Last calculation date are filled in automatically upon the affiliate calculation.
  • The fields: Affiliate site and Affiliate description are optional.

Tiers

Tiers build the multilevel affiliates. This allows affiliates earn on sales driven by their child affiliates.

For example: affiliate C registers via affiliate B; and affiliate B in its turn - via affiliate A. Let the commission for the first tier be 10%, and for the second be 5%. If affiliate C earns $1000, affiliate B would earn $100 ($1000 * 10%). Affiliate A would earn $50 ($1000 * 5%).

In other words, if Rick Astley drives Mike Cooper to the site, Rick will earn not only from his sales, but also from Mike's sales. The amount of Rick's earnings from Mike can be specified in the tier 1 tariff field. Mike's dependency on Rick is specified in Mike's settings:

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Now let us create tiers: e-Store -> Affiliates -> Tiers. Click New tiers to open the editing form:

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Note that Bitrix Site Manager implements affiliate earning based type of tiers. It means that a zero tier affiliate receives earnings from their child affiliates calculated as percentage of earnings of the latter. In the example above, Rick will earn 5% of Mike's revenue.

Important!
Currently, you can build only one tiers.

If you fail to fill in the form fields, or set them to zero, all affiliates will receive profit only from their own sales: multi-tier affiliates will not function.

Affiliate calculation

A user registered as an affiliate is given a link to publish on their site. This link contains a variable (e.g. "partner") specified in the e-Store module settings whose value uniquely identifies an affiliate, for example: www.testsite.ru/index.php?partner=1. The system reads the URL and, if it contains partner, adds a certain amount of money to a specified affiliate.

You can calculate the profit of all affiliates and perform payment in the Calculation form (e-Store -> Affiliates -> Calculation):

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The usage of this form has some peculiar points.

  • First of all, the most obvious case: calculation of all affiliates. The field Affiliates does not change.
    • Set the calculation period. If the earliest date is omitted, the calculation will cover the entire period till present.
    • Period to define the applicable plan: to determine the tariff plan to be used for calculation, you can set the period during which the required orders was completed.
    • The following actions are possible:
      • Reserve and pay to internal account: additionally, this will create internal customer accounts for affiliates who lack for it.
      • Reserve and mark as paid: this performs the operation and displays the result message, e.g.:



        The amount will be displayed in the Paid amount column of the Affiliates form:

      • Reserve only: this only calculates the due amount and displays it in the appropriate column:

    • Calculation step length: you can calculate affiliates little by little if you have a lot of them, to not overload the server.
  • To calculate only the required affiliates, click the "list of affiliates" link. In the Affiliates form, select them in the checkbox column and apply a required action to them.

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    • Calculate the affiliate profit: calculates and reserves the amount earned by affiliates from the moment of the last calculation till present. The affiliate plans are defined by the orders made during this period. Since no other parameters need to be provided, calculation is performed in this form. If the system cannot find an appropriate plan for an affiliate, and the affiliate's plan is not fixed (the option Fix plan is not enabled), an affiliate will be deactivated and the following error message will be displayed:

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      This simple case clearly shows that your plans should foresee all possible scenarios. Upon calculation, the earned amount will be reserved for the selected affiliates.
    • You can also calculate affiliates in the extended mode (Calculate the affiliate profit (extended)). Having selected this option and clicked Apply, you will be moved to the affiliate calculation form, where you can specify the calculation period, as well as the plan determination period (which is resolved by orders occurred during that period).

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    • The rest of the actions include:

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      • Send pending amount to affiliates: this action moves money from pending status to paid status.
      • Send pending amount to the affiliate internal account: moves due amount of money to the internal account of each selected affiliate. If an account does not exist, it will be created.
      • Clear the reserved amount (funds have been transfered): this action is useful if you pay money to an affiliate in cash.
      • Activate and Deactivate: these actions do exactly what they read. Inactive affiliates does not function neither it can generate profit; it only exists in the system.


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