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Our mission at clean.io has always been to help businesses protect their user experience, brands, and revenue by giving them control over the third party code on their websites.

Earlier this year, the launch of cleanCART extended that protection to ecommerce brands looking to prevent coupon extensions from auto-injecting discount codes at checkout.

Since then we’ve helped scores of brands recover millions in revenue while improving their ability to measure what’s really working and what’s not when it comes to their marketing efforts.

Today, we’re excited to announce the launch of cleanCART Affiliate Guard, a new solution that will help online retailers reduce commission payments to coupon affiliates and get better, more accurate data on the performance of their affiliate marketing programs.

Affiliate marketing is responsible for driving 16% of global ecommerce sales, and that number is expected to grow as more merchants turn to affiliate channels in response to declining Facebook ad performance and retargeting challenges associated with new privacy regulations and platform changes. 

With affiliate program growth comes complexity, and many retailers are turning to affiliate platforms such as Impact, ShareASale, CJ, and Pepperjam, amongst others, to efficiently manage their programs at scale.

While these platforms purport to provide merchants with an automated way to accurately identify which sales are being driven by affiliates (and therefore ensure commissions are only paid out on revenue driven by affiliates), in reality they take an oversimplified approach to measuring attribution that relies on “last click” as the source of truth.

This is particularly problematic when it comes to coupon extensions like Honey and CapitalOne Shopping. 

When activated by a user on an ecommerce website, these extensions trigger the affiliate platform to insert a first party cookie that claims credit for the sale and earns an affiliate commission whether a coupon was successfully applied or not.

In the case of Honey, this is accomplished by inserting a “referred to the merchant by Honey” cookie into the user’s browser once they click the “apply coupons” button in their pop-up browser extension.


honey causes false affiliate attribution


While there are certainly cases where coupon extensions are directly responsible for driving sales (for example, via email promotions they send to their users), it’s hard to argue that they play any role in driving revenue if a user comes to your website from another channel (such as a Facebook ad), puts items in their cart, and then activates a coupon extension but isn’t successful in using it to apply a valid code.

Yet they are claiming credit for sales that result from scenarios exactly like this one - and merchants are paying them commissions through their affiliate platforms. 

This is the problem we set out to solve with cleanCART Affiliate Guard.

Currently, if you are using ShareASale or Impact to manage your affiliate marketing program, cleanCART Affiliate Guard will prevent coupon extensions from injecting first party cookies on checkouts where coupon injection is blocked (via cleanCART). And we expect to roll protection out to additional platforms in the coming months.

Not only will this increase customer lifetime value and average order value by preventing unnecessary losses and fees at checkout, but also builds upon our goal to create a single source of truth for your coupon strategy.

Using Affiliate Guard, you will gain a more accurate understanding of which affiliate partnerships are truly driving sales and helping you to acquire new customers.

Affiliate Guard is available as an add-on to cleanCART, or as a standalone solution. 

Once registered, a pop-up will appear on your cleanCART dashboard prompting you to input your affiliate and affiliate platform fees.


prompt affiliate platform fees


This will then be calculated into your Recovered Revenue and can be adjusted at any time by selecting “edit” under your Recovered Revenue bar.


recovered revenue bar

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to your cleanAD customer success representative.