AVOID THE UGLY REALITIES OF STATS SHAVING


With stats shaving becoming an increasingly problematic affiliate issue, it’s important to implement key strategies to avoid missed payments from less-than-reputable operators


THE LIVELIHOOD OF any affiliate’s business relies on his or her ability to make a sale and earn a commission. The ugly truth is that some operators purposely don’t pay accurate commissions in an effort to keep those profits for themselves.

The occurrence of some operators depriving affiliates from their rightful commissions to minimise their own expenses is known as ‘shaving’. Shaving can be done in a number of ways, from removing an affiliate’s stats and hiding various player deposits to changing lifetime commission policies and moving players to different casinos on the same network.

By shaving away the player in question, the affiliate is denied his or her rightful affiliate commissions on an ongoing basis. Stats shaving has made it difficult for affiliates to earn their rightful profits and as any affiliate could imagine, it’s a massive challenge. With careful planning, however, this problem can be avoided.

Be aware of your operators’ reputations

This might sound like common sense, but affiliates must perform proper and extensive research before signing on with any new program. Just because an operator says it’s offering unbelievable deals doesn’t mean the company really is. If it sounds too good to be true, chances are it probably is. Check out reviews, visit forums and ask other trusted affiliates for their perspectives and recommendations.

The key is to work with an operator that has a longstanding reputation for paying their affiliates and operates with a sound, proven business model. Another important element is understanding the company’s infrastructure. Is there an affiliate manager that will be assigned to your account?

An affiliate manager can be helpful if something goes awry. If an operator does not have an affiliate manager, know who the point of contact is that can help affiliates solve payment issues. Ongoing communication is key to maximising the effectiveness of a program in order to better understand it, as well as catch any changes to existing agreements.

Track each and every detail - on your own

An operator could be paying affiliates for conversions, but the statistics on those conversions might not always be correct. That’s why it’s crucial that affiliates choose a safe, sound technology that assists with stats tracking. Tracking may not be the sexiest part of the job, but that doesn’t mean monitoring statistics shouldn’t be important. With constant scrutiny, affiliates should be able to notice any irregularities that could signal shaving. After all, affiliates have earned those commissions and rightfully deserve them.

Reliable stat tracking software and analytics tools help with creating and tracking elements, from the time visitors land on your website to when they click through to an affiliate offer.

Also, keep in mind how the operator is tracking statistics. This is something important to ask an affiliate manager. Is the company offering cookies and tracking in real-time, or is it siphoning players onto a list and voiding your transaction at a later date? Never completely bank on an operator’s stats, even if its reputation is reliable. Affiliates should always have their own tracking and analytics tools in place to triple check how many players are actually making those conversions.

The power of payment processing

A reliable payment processor can be as important as a good affiliate manager and reliable tracking software. The chances are fairly likely that gaming affiliates work with overseas companies, for either legal, economic or market conditions. These companies may use different payment processors to pay their affiliates, and it’s critical to understand the terms and services of these to ensure that profits aren’t being shaved when it comes time to get paid.

Affiliates should stick with trusted payment processing options like PayPal, Click2Pay, direct deposit or even a cheque. If possible, request an invoice with each processed payment to save for your records. Compare your own records with those of the operator to ensure that nothing needs to be disputed.

It’s worth noting that shaving isn’t always performed by an affiliate program. Sometimes it could be performed by an online casino and not reported to the affiliate program. Many programs operate separately on the gaming rooms they promote, which increases the chances of shaving occurring.

The bottom line

The sad truth is that shaving does occur in this business. However, it can and should be avoided with these strategies. The key to ensuring affiliates are paid for each conversion is to stay educated, on top of statistics and protect your assets.
 
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