API Onboarding Guide for Commerce

Are you looking for a more customized implementation with Sovrn Commerce? This guide will help you to get started.

Overview

Unlike other affiliate platforms, Sovrn Commerce requires all sites to implement or install our affiliate links and generate clicks before reviewing a site for approval. If approved, you'll be able to affiliate with tens of thousands of merchants without the need to apply to these merchants individually. To help get you through our review process, we've developed this onboarding guide, which will give you instructions, tips, warnings, and extra resources to give your account the best possible chance at approval. 

This onboarding guide is best suited for publishers who intend to programmatically create links to populate their sites or apps, as well as find additional information such as Transaction level Reporting data, merchant data, product data, and account data programmatically. This guide will walk through the following steps (and you can skip to a specific step by clicking an icon below)

 

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Registration

You can create your account here. Sign up is free. 

  • To create your account, you can use an email and password, or Single Sign On with your Google Account. 
  • You’ll be prompted to verify your email address after initial submission.

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Once confirmed, sign in to your account here. Upon your first sign in, you’ll be prompted to accept our terms and conditions and submit your first site through our onboarding flow.

In this onboarding flow, you can add your site, app, toolbar, social profile, etc. We recommend adding your most important site first. Don't worry, you can always add more sites later!

If you're reading this guide, and anticipate utilizing Sovrn Commerce's APIs to create a custom affiliation strategy for your site or software, we would recommend classifying your site as either “Website” or  “Other”. You will also be prompted to enter your website’s URL, and specify where you plan on placing Sovrn affiliate links.

Please ensure that you select all relevant attributes that apply to your site, along with a relevant category to define your content. This ensures that you can work with the maximum number of Sovrn's merchants, while also keeping your site in compliance with our merchant partners. Common category choices for API integrations include “Shopping & Coupons,” “Financial Services,” “Online Services,” and  “Other”

 

Installation 

You're making great progress! Next, you'll need to add Sovrn's affiliate links to your site. Our API suite offers a host of options to customize your Sovrn Commerce experience. You can find the full Sovrn Commerce API documentation here.


To implement Commerce and create links through the API, we recommend using the  “Building Monetized URLs” API, or the "Link Monetization" API

The Building Monetized URLs API will give you an overview of how to build an affiliate link by adding in Sovrn's redirect information. Think of this as stitching together the different pieces of an affiliate link. This is best used for extremely custom integrations, where you may want to add your own Tracking ID. This API will not perform an affiliation check, and will wrap any link with a Sovrn affiliate redirect, regardless of if Sovrn currently has an active relationship with this merchant.

Tip

With the Building Monetized URLs API, you can add a Custom Tracking ID to your links (CUID). This is an ID of your choosing to help you identify either a specific user on your site, or a specific pattern among your links. This ID has a 32 alphanumeric character limit. 

The Link Monetization API will also return an affiliate link, simply by submitting an outgoing URL and your site's API key (which you can find on the Site Configuration page by clicking the “Key” icon next to your site or by using the “Account Info” API). With this API, you can see whether a URL is affiliatable and the current estimated EEPC for this link. 

Warning 🚨

The EEPC (estimated earnings per click) returned through this API is only an estimate based off what other publishers have received from this merchant. Your actual performance may vary

Once you've created your Sovrn affiliate link through either of these methods, you can add these links to your site! 

Generate Clicks

Once you've implemented Sovrn Commerce through our APIs, we will need to see a few clicks routing through these links. This allows us to check on your installation and ensure that we are receiving traffic successfully. We recommend sending a few test clicks through these links, or having your users click on the links that you created. 


Warning 🚨

  • You won't be able to monetize on this traffic yet - so don't send through too many clicks! 
  • You won't see this traffic on your Sovrn dashboard. Clicks, Sales and Revenue will only begin to appear if you are approved. 
  • Here are some tips on how to drive high quality traffic to your site/page. 

Get Approved

You've gotten through our implementation process! Now that you've generated a click, your site has been added to our team's list to review. We'll review this site as quickly as we can, but it may take 5 business days before you receive an email with your approval status.

📄 Note:

See the status of your site on the Site configuration tab in the Sovrn Platform. 

If you have not received an email with your site's approval status, and you are not seeing clicks in your Sovrn dashboard after 5 business days, please reach out to CommerceSupport@sovrn.com.

Tip

  • Please display your Sovrn affiliate link in a clear, easy to find location on your site. We need to see an example of this link to complete our review.
  • Make sure you adhere to the Sovrn code of conduct. Please review it here. 
  • Laws and regulations require the use of using disclosure statements in your content. Review what a disclosure statement is, and how to use them here
  • Want more info on our approval process? You can find more information here.

Next Steps

Congratulations! You've successfully onboarded your first site onto Commerce. Here are some next steps to finish entering your account information, and to set you up for success moving forward. 

Affiliate with Merchants

If your site is approved for Sovrn Commerce, you can now affiliate with tens of thousands of our merchant partners without needing to request additional approval! You can search for any merchant that you would like to affiliate with in our "Approved Merchants" page to find their individual rate information, including average commission rates, conversions rates, average order values, and average earnings per click. You can read more about our Approved Merchants page here.

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You can also download a full list of merchants that your site is approved for via the "Approved Merchant Report" under the "Report" button in your analytics dashboard.

Looking for more information on how to best affiliate with merchants? We've included more tips here: 5 Tips for Getting Started with Sovrn Commerce


Recommended APIs:

Sovrn has a variety of other useful APIs that you may want to add to your custom integration! You may be interested in one of our Reporting, Product, or Merchant APIs:

Transaction Reporting

For each revenue event, retrieve relevant data about the transaction, including click date, merchant information, commission ID, order value, and net revenue. You can also find CUID values here, if you included these via the Building Monetized URLs API.

Product Metadata

Retrieve metadata about a product from a product URL, including brand, SKU, UPC, price, description, and image, if provided to us by each merchant. 

Merchant Status

Retrieve your approval status for individual merchant programs (such as each approved program that we offer with Macy's), along with the merchant's estimated commission, industry, domains and accepted countries. 

Merchant Metadata

Retrieve metadata about a merchant from a query, including merchant names, domains, logos, descriptions, and even products, when available. 

Campaigns

Retrieve a list of your campaigns (or "sites") that you have submitted in your account. 

You can find full API documentation here.

Add additional sites to your account: Traffic Segmentation

Sovrn requires each unique location where you intend to add Sovrn affiliate links to be reviewed for approval individually. Not only does Traffic Segmentation help with reporting for your account, but it keeps your account in compliance with Sovrn and our Merchant and Network partners.

To learn about traffic segmentation, please read more here

Tip

You only need to submit unique locations for approval (such as your Website, Facebook group, Instagram page, and App Store link). You do not need to add individual pages of a site for approval (such as website.com/page1 and website.com/page2).

You can add additional sites, profiles, or softwares to your account here. You can also find other types of onboarding guides to help with Social Media, Blog, and Newsletter integrations here.

For example, someone with multiple social media accounts and a website, a Site configuration page with correctly segmented traffic would have separate sites submitted for: 
    • instagram.com/page1
    • instagram.com/page2
    • website.com
For more information on how to use the Site configuration tab, please see this article

Payment and Tax Information 

You’ll want to finish setting up your account by adding payment and tax information. You can add your payment information here.

If you have multiple Apps in your Sovrn account, you will need to add payment information for each of your products. You can add payment information for a specific app by using the "Product" drop down menu. 

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You can read more about Sovrn Commerce payment methods, thresholds, and schedules here.

More Resources

Looking for more information on how to be successful with Sovrn Commerce? 

Sovrn Blog

Successful affiliate marketing requires an active strategy, a good understanding of data, and, of course, high-quality content. Sovrn posts industry trends, recommended holiday promotions, and deep dives into our product offerings on the Sovrn Blog. Improving your understanding by learning more about these topics (to name a few) will help you in this area: 

Knowledge Base

Want more information on how to use the Sovrn Commerce platform? We have a library of articles in the Sovrn Knowledge base to provide more information on everything from account setup, implementation, troubleshooting, analytics, and more. We recommend the checking out the following topics:

  • Learn more about how to read the Commerce dashboard, understand the metrics, and some of the caveats you may run into here.
  • Find out about payment thresholds, cycles, methods, reconciliation, and more here
  • Understand how to best utilize Commerce to affiliate with merchants here

Support

As always, please feel free to reach out to publisher support with any questions, concerns, or feedback here. We're happy to help with any questions you have!