When is a voucher code sale… not a voucher code sale?

If I buy something from a link on a voucher code site but don’t actually use a code, should it be classified as a voucher code sale? What about if a code is redeemed after being featured on an editorial page or in a social ad? Would they be classified as editorial and social sales or voucher sales? Does it matter if it comes through an app, mobile site or desktop?

As a huge driver of sales in the affiliate channel, how we report on who promotes them and how is a useful exercise from a reporting point of view. A few years ago, when I was at Awin, I looked at the volume of so-called ‘content’ sales that were triggered by voucher usage and found it to be around 50% in some instances. This was generally comparable to voucher sites.

Categorisation of affiliate sales, when a programme might have hundreds, possibly thousands, of click and sale active publishers, is obviously important and it has been part and parcel of the channel since day dot. Blunt classification remains a basis of reporting across the industry, a quick bit of shorthand that also helps us neatly package our reporting.

Mental shortcuts

Our brains need to use taxonomies like this to make snap decisions. These mental shortcuts, known as heuristics, enable us to make conscious and subconscious choices without methodically processing all the finer details that delay and bog us down in detail.

Daniel Kahneman, who studied heuristics in the 1970s, showed that sometimes these mental shortcuts, while generally effective, can lead to biases and errors that then become systemic. We frequently hear about confirmation bias in areas like recruitment when people hire teams that look, think and feel the same as they do.

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