For those who have set up affiliate schemes on your e-commerce web sites, can you confirm the following procedure is the way to go about setting up an affiliate scheme:
1) User clicks on link from another web site (site ABC) to your shop web site. The link includes an id which identifies the affiliate.
2) As the user arrives at your site, the page they arrive on (the affiliate arrival page
) stores a cookie saying that this user came from the ABC web site.
3) This cookies sits there for however long you specify. Let's say 6 months.
4) When they finally make their purchase, the page code checks the cookie and sets a hidden field to notify the buyer where this sale came from. The code could also update a database. This could be used to increment a counter of the number of sales that have come from the ABC web site, or to update the amount of commission that ABC is due on the sale (say 5%).
Is this basically how your affiliate scheme would work?
What do you do if the user does not have cookies enabled? Tough luck on the affiliate web site? Or do you use a secondary tracking method?
You could have a referrer field for the user to fill in when they purchase asking them how they found the site, and this field is only displayed when cookies are not allowed for this user, but that relies on the buyer.