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How does tracking work?

Learn about how Tapfiliate uses cookies to track conversions/customers

Maria avatar
Written by Maria
Updated over a week ago

In this article, we will discuss:

We've also included a short FAQ section at the end of this article.

How Tapfiliate's cookies work

Provided that you have completed your integration process, we'll be able to track the users your affiliates refer. When visitors follow an affiliate link to your website, this triggers a click tracking script that would be installed in your website.

This not only tracks the click, but also stores a tap_vid cookie in the visiting user's browser.

This cookie contains attribution data that points to the affiliate that referred that user, as well as the program that the click/conversion would be logged for. This visitor is trackable for the lifetime of the cookie (cookie time).

While the cookie is active in the user's browser, it's possible to track conversions and/or customers when they make a purchase in your online shop, or sign up for your product/subscription.

Cookie time & adjusting its duration

Cookie time refers to the time that a cookie remains active in a user's browser, and therefore can be used to track a conversion or a customer.

The cookie time set by default to 45 days, though industry standards vary between 30 to 90 days. The maximum amount of days that a cookie can be set for is 365.

To configure the cookie time, do the following:ย 

Click on 'Settings' > Select your program > Click on 'General' > Note the preferred amount in the 'Cookie time in days' field. When you're done, click save.

Reasons why tracking may have stopped or not work

There are multiple instances in which a click, conversion or customer may not have been tracked.

We will list these below:

  • Change in domain - Tapfiliate uses first-party cookies. This means that they will only be functional in the domain they were created for. This means that your clicks and conversions must be tracked on the same domain. A change in domain will invalidate the cookie.

  • A redirect cut off the referral parameter - If the referral parameter is dropped during a redirect, we can't track the click or place a cookie,

  • Cookie has expired - If the conversion takes place after the cookie has expired, it will not be tracked.

  • Missing tracking scripts - If tracking has stopped altogether, it may be that tracking scripts codes are missing or were removed. Without codes, we can't track.

  • Affiliate uses a URL shortener - URL shorteners work by redirecting traffic to a target page. In the process of redirecting a user accessing a website via a shortened link, we might not be able to track a click.

  • Customer may have been capped - if a customer is capped, the scripts won't track more conversions for them.

  • External id or customer id already exists - We perform de-duplication based on the External id and Customer id values. If you're tracking a conversion or a customer and the id already exists in your account, we won't track it anew.

  • Recurring/Lifetime commissions are not being added - Make sure you have the setting for this toggled on.

  • User has adblockers enabled - Affiliate marketing is a form of online advertising. This means that adblocker extensions will target our scripts and disable tracking.

  • Browsers with built-in adblockers - Certain browsers (such as Opera & Brave) block ads by default.

Tracking on domains and subdomains

Since Tapfiliate relies on first-party cookies, domains play a very important role in determining whether tracking is possible or not.

Below we have set out a few scenarios to help you determine if our software can support your use case. Imagine a user is navigating your website, and these imaginary websites are the pages they initially land and then convert in. -> (main domain -> main domain)

  • Supported & works out of the box. -> (main domain -> subdomain)

  • Supported & works out of the box.

  • Generally speaking, subdomains should be supported - they're typically part of the same site and therefore hosted all together, producing no jumps along the funnel.

  • In short, so long as your user first lands on the main domain, we can track on all associated subdomains. -> (subdomain to different subdomain)

  • In this case, you must modify your click tracking code so that the cookie is placed in the main domain.

  • Modify your click tracking script by adding the the cookie_domain setting as documented here.

  • The cookie domain should be set to the main domain. -> (domain to different domain)

  • This would constitute cross-domain tracking. This is not supported by Tapfiliate. -> (domain to different top level domain)

  • This is technically a completely different domain (cross-domain tracking). This is not supported by Tapfiliate.


What role do cookies play in the context of lifetime/recurring commissions?

In the context of lifetime/recurring commissions, the cookie will be used to link the affiliate to the customer they have referred. Once this affiliate-customer connection is established, the cookie will be irrelevant for future transactions that the customer makes.

This means that even if a registered customer returns on your website through a different affiliate link, any purchase they make will generate a conversion for the original, referring affiliate they're already associated with.

How can I check if tracking is working?

To check if your integration is working, you may test your integration. This will let you know if your scripts are communicating data back to Tapfiliate.

Note: If you're using our WIX Stores or REST API integration, you'll need to test using an actual affiliate link.

Is cross-domain tracking supported?

Cross-domain tracking is not supported.
Our software works with first-party cookies, which only work for the domain in which they are initially sorted. These cookies cannot track across different domains.

I have disapproved an affiliate - why are conversions still being tracked for them?

When you disapprove an affiliate, what this does is disable their referral link. This means that from the moment they are disapproved, they will be unable to register new clicks, and no more cookies will be logged.

However, if a user clicked through an affiliate link while the affiliate was approved, and there is an active cookie logged prior to the affiliate's disapproval, these will still be able to track conversions if the user converts.

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