An american platform ShareASale provides a network of affiliate marketers to facilitate sales. The principle of the affiliate marketing is to provide additional place for merchants to show their products. The links to the items that merchants sell are placed on the websites of the affiliate partners. Affiliates earn money by receiving a commission when a customer makes a purchase with the placed link.
The affiliate marketing can be especially beneficial for small businesses by creating them an opportunity to present their products on the websites with quality relevant content that organically attracts visitors. Using ShareASale network the merchants can create engaging advertisements including those in video format, coupons and deals to embed them on the affiliate websites. This increases the chances on making a sale.
Currently, the ShareASale affiliate network consists of more than 225,000 affiliates. It is used by approximately 4 500 merchants who offer a products and services catalog of great variety in 180 countries of the world.
ShareASale provides multiple benefits over the competitors, with one of them being especially leading - it's a tracking of the links in real time. Users of the service can instantly know when the link on the placed product was clicked.
Additionally, ShareASale proposes a simple interface for tracking the product promotion through the affiliate sites. The latter can use various ad formats that facilitate the product promotion in the best way possible.
Using ShareASales shop owners can promote their products using a wide variety of available marketing channels. These include pay per click campaigns, social media, advertising in applications on desktop, engaging mobile audience, promotions via email.
The products that are promoted on the ShareASale affiliate network are uploaded via the product feed. Using such shopping feeds affiliates can target the exact product on the pages with the content related to this product. For example whe affiliate website posts an article regarding gaming laptops, it will be able to display relevant product ads with links that lead directly to the products and not the homepage of the merchant's store.
When a product feed is uploaded to ShareASale the products it contains become visible in multiple tools that ShareASale provides. These tools are used by affiliates to discover the affiliate programs. A product data feed allows affiliates to promote products, which can be a single product or a sub-sets of products, by using the relevant and up to date product data. Some affiliates propose product comparison services within their website, desktop or mobile app.
Before you begin creating a product feed for ShareASale you first need to create an account in its system. Sign up for the appropriate account of affiliate or merchant partner. Since you are selling products you need to create a merchant account by choosing an option Merchant Sign Up on the homepage of ShareASale website.
After creating and verifying the merchant account log into it and navigate to the My Creatives page. On this page click on the link Datafeed to open the Product Management Center page. Select the option View Datafeed Requirements to open the page dedicated to shopping feed uploading.
The Mass Product Upload page provides merchants with the requirements and specifications for the product feed they want to upload. The ShareASale network supports shopping feeds in the format of Comma Delimited file (CSV). For a starter this page provides an example for such CSV file. You can download it and analyze it for better understanding of the feed structure.
The product feed for a ShareASale has six mandatory data fields which must be present in every submitted CSV file. These fields are not allowed to have null values.
Every product feed file has to include such information as:
Other fields in the data feed that are not mandatory can have null values. ShareASale requires not to delete fields from CSV file even when you cannot provide the information for it. Simply leave such fields blank if the product doesn't have information to be filled in them. The order of the fields in the CSV file must strictly copy the order of the example CSV data feed.
ShareASale recommends merchants to provide extended information on the products in the shopping feed they are submitting to the affiliate network. This will facilitate the product promotion by affiliates. It is recommended to provide such data on products:
When you've installed Omega Shopping Feeds plugin open its main page and visit Feeds tab. This tab shows the list of all created product feeds for different shopping engines. Since you are free to modify any feed there can be multiple shopping feeds for one shopping engine.
To create a feed click on the Add feed button and from the list select the marketplace the feed is designated to. Click button Choose Marketplace on the shopping service you need to create the feed for. In this case it is ShareASale, which you can find in the general list of supported marketplaces or use search to locate it faster.
A standard ShareASale product feed requires you to input general information regarding the feed. This section requires setting feeds internal name to be displayed in the list of feeds and other places. Additionally, you can specify a brief description of the feed to provide more information.
Set the unique filename for the feed file, for example shareasale.csv. This name will be used in the feed URL.
ShareASale supports feeds in CSV format, and our plugin creates the feed for ShareASale in a CSV format.
You may need to specify category mapping if the internal taxonomy of your store doesn't fully correspond to the taxonomy of the ShareASale. Category mapping is explained explicitly in the Omega Shopping Feeds manual.
When your product feed has too many items it may be rejected by the marketplace. Additionally, a feed with a great filesize can by uploaded slowly. So our module provides an option to limit the number of items in the feed. For most of the stores it is note the case since ShareASale supports feeds of several million items. The specific number is unmentioned, but it is a fact that ShareASale had no problems with datafeed over two million items.
Lastly, select whether this particular feed should be active.
In this section specify filters to remove irrelevant products to this feed. For example, you may want to exclude items with zero price, with no picture, out of stock, etc. Omega Shopping Feeds module allows you to exclude such products with the help of the respective filter.
Click on the filter to activate it for the current product feed. Filter creation process in details is shown in the Omega Shopping Feeds manual.
In this section specify the information regarding the feed that can not be fetched automatically. The fields of this section are mandatory to fill in order to save the ShareASale product feed. Provide such information as:
Google Analytic allows tracking of the ad campaigns in external networks, like ShareASale affiliate network. Specify UTM codes that our module will add to URLs of your products. Set the campaign source name, campaign medium and campaign name. Omega Shopping Feeds manual.
When all necessary information was provided scroll the page up and click the Save button. In the splash notification press link Generate Feed to finish the feed creation process.
After the product feed has been completed in accordance to the requirements of ShareASale platform, you can move to the next step of uploading.
First create a data feed in your ShareASale merchant account. Navigate to the tab My Account and click on the Add Feed. Remember the location of the FTP Username, Password, and Server fields - you will return to them later. Open tab Manage and click the link Define Fields, where you need to specify your Merchant ID, Category and Sub-category fields.
ShareASale provides two main methods for product feed uploading: manual via the file and automatic via URL. Additionally, you can request an upload via FTP. With our Shopify module you can use the one that suits you best.
You can upload to ShareASale your product feed file from the hard drive of your computer. Start the uploading process with navigating to the ShareASale official website and logging in your Merchant account.
When you have successfully logged in to your account navigate to Creatives tab and find option Data feed. Click on the link to upload your CSV file with the product feed.
Wait for the uploading process to be completed with a success finish report. Check that the product feed was uploaded successfully.
In order to use this method you need to ask to allow the upload from your server. In your Merchant account submit a request ticket with the included static IP address of your server that will be uploading the feed. You will receive the FTP Username and Password, which you need to enter in your Merchant account. Run a Submission to test that the settings are working correctly.
Next in your Shopify store navigate to the Omega Shopping Feeds app and switch to the Feeds tab. In the list of all feeds locate the product feed you wish to upload and click on it. Next to the feed header click on the button Upload feed. Specify the FTP upload settings and provide the FTP username and password. Set the FTP server address datafeeds.shareasale.com.
ShareASale by default limits the update frequency to 31 times per month. Set up your account accordingly. If you need more frequent feed updates contact the ShareASale support.
Get full information on ShareASale feed format specification and product data attributes on blog post by ShareASale.