When I first started testing ShopSense back just over 12 months ago on 11th February 2012 it seemed a better solution that Amazon Affiliate program. Amazon only has a 24 hour cookie so it can be harder for affiliates to generate revenue from so optional retail programs and revenue channels are always welcome.
The reason that I thought ShopSense was a good additional revenue channel was that ShopStyle was part of the Sugar Network and allowed visitors to browse multiple stores from the one platform. It also offered a dynamic CPC platform depending on the average conversion rates and quality of your traffic you sent to their retail partners. The main benefit was you were paid for each click you sent to their retailers which included both Australian and International retailers. You could then track your revenue daily and get paid monthly if you made the minimum balance.
Below I’ve got one of the floating banners that I have running on one of my affiliate websites I manage, you can see the banner is still running in the screenshot below. That all sounds simply enough so what went wrong?
This is sounded simply enough until I logged into check on how my campaign was doing, the first item I noticed was the revenue reports had vanished. There was also a “sign up” button that was showing inside my account dashboard. There was no notification box so I couldn’t understand what had happened and when it happened.
It wasn’t until I clicked the “sign up” button that I was taken back to the homepage where I could see the notification showing below that my account is currently closed and to contact them if I wanted to reopen it. I checked and checked again and there is no email notification that my account had been shut down at any point.
What ShopSense did Wrong!
There are several concerns I have about what happened here and all seem to raise ethical concerns on how they run their affiliate business:
- The biggest issue is they failed to notify me as an affiliate my account had been closed
- They failed to have a clear notification that your account is shutdown within your dashboard
- I’m still running my banners but I’m not collecting any revenue from ShopSense at this point
- They are still charging their retail partners like PrincessPolly for traffic I’m sending them on a CPC basis
- How many other affiliates have they screwed over by shutting down their accounts and pocketing the revenue?
I contacted them and they advise they shut down any accounts that are not logged into “inactive” after 6 months, they have now reactivated my account.