Since launching the Microsoft Store in 2008, Microsoft has built a series of over 200 country specific storefronts to support its global brand, while providing their international audience with the opportunity to buy it’s beloved technology. Additionally, they’ve built out an intricate web of affiliate programs supported by the top affiliate networks around the world to help drive sales.
Following a similar pattern that we’ve seen with iTunes and Amazon, this setup of country-specific storefronts and storefront-specific affiliate programs works well for supporting local traffic, but creates two specific challenges for publishers with an international audience:
Products have different unique identifiers in foreign storefronts. This often causes international buyers to be sent to a storefront where they can’t (easily) purchase.
Each affiliate program stands alone, and earning international commissions requires creating a local link for your user that must be encoded for that specific affiliate program.
This is the perfect definition of the challenge we love solving – geo-fragmentation!
This summer, Microsoft made two major updates to its affiliate program. First, they launched a “private” network that aggregated 53 of their country specific affiliate programs under one affiliate network. They then launched support for earning commissions on digital products (games, apps, music, TV shows, and movies) with a generous policy around in-app purchases for mobile apps.
With this announcement we knew it was time to focus our unique link translation and global affiliation approach on making Microsoft’s powerful, yet very complicated affiliate ecosystem, one where a single intelligent geni.us link would work everywhere. So with that…
We’re proud to announce beta support for our third major ecommerce ecosystem – The Microsoft Store and the Microsoft Affiliate Program!
We’re starting with link translation for both physical products (microsoftstore.com links) and digital media (microsoft.com links), using the “Microsoft Private Affiliate Program.” We’ll continue to build our support of the global Microsoft Store ecosystem to the same level as our iTunes and Amazon support.
Beta Starts Now.
All Geniuslink clients will find the following new features available:
Affiliate support – From the Affiliate page in the dashboard, you can now add your “a” and “p” affiliate parameters from the “Microsoft Private Affiliate Program” managed by Tradedoubler (More details about the program and sign up). After adding your IDs, any geni.us link will be automatically affiliated and encoded with the appropriate affiliate tracking IDs for the end user’s local storefront.
Link Creator tool – Both links to physical media and digital products are recognized by the Link Creator tool and are designated with the grey Windows icon. This indicates the link will automatically translated and affiliate for a global audience.
Tracking Tag – Similar to iTunes, a tag defined in the “Tracking Tag” field of the link creator (or with “&TRACK=” parameter added to the link) will be passed along in the affiliate link. This will be recognized in the “EPI” report from the Microsoft Affiliate / Tradedoubler interface.
Reporting – Clicks are tracked at link, group and account level. They can even be further filtered by selecting “Microsoft Store” to see links to physical products on the microsoftstore.com domain, or “Microsoft Digital Store” for reporting on links to digital media found on microsoft.com.
Link Translation – Microsoft links will take advantage of our patented link translation algorithms to ensure each click gets to the absolute best place to purchase Microsoft store products. We will continue to refine and build those algorithms to ensure even higher accuracy as time goes on.
To dive in and get started, check out our handy guides in our support portal.
Thank you for your interest in using Geniuslink to power your Microsoft affiliate links. We are eager to see how much we can help increase your conversions and earnings, as well as work closely with you to ensure we are building the most valuable tool we can.
As always, please let us know if you have any questions, comments, or concerns.