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Faults with the Argos affiliate program
Did you know, the Argos affiliate program used to be the best performing affiliate program at this site!? Even at only 2% of the sale, this site was being paid thousands of pounds. People must have been buying loads of stuff from the famous Argos Shopping Catalogue online via this site. There's a good reason for this: No silly PPC, no absurd incentivised leads, no sponsored links, and no ridiculous voucher codes! Instead, people would read about Shopping Catalogues, pick one they liked the look of, such as Argos, follow the links through, and then they'd see a nice understated modest page About Argos. Then they'd follow through the links, and if they bought something online, I would be paid two-percent of the value. This was a great scheme, and no-one could grumble about that, least of all Argos, who were selling loads of stuff! I even wrote customer testimonials on this site to tell of the good and bad of buying from Argos. I think it was a Good affiliate program.
Things started to go wrong with Argos introducing "Click and Collect*". In that, people could order online, making it an online order, and they'd arrived via my pages, so by rights I should have been paid according to the sale value, but no, I was paid 75 pence. This later reduced to 25 pence, but it's largely irrelevant, as 2% of the sales price is much better and fairer!
Look, there's no point in working for peanuts unless you're running those ridiculous PPC ads which really are neither use nor ornament. Most of us affiliates have the good sense to run proper content instead, but the Argos affiliate program undermines all that!
Then there's the alleged unavailability of a great many items. In a mystery shopper test we conducted in Xmas 2008, 7 out of 10 items ordered from Argos were "out of stock" if you ordered online, whereas on "click and collect" they were available. Now what does that tell you about the way the affiliate program is being run? I mean, if you can go on an affiliate website, with the hopes of ordering a Scooby Doo Haunted Mansion in time for Xmas, it's not real-estate, it's a toy, and it can easily be put in brown paper and loaded on a post-van and delivered to your house. But no, insisting it's "not available" and shifting it to click and reserve leaves the affiliate with almost nowt. Realistically, how can a mysterious Scooby Doo haunted doghouse be available in store but unavailable for sale online? What? Gerrymandering? Perish the thought! However, this type of pennypinching is not good for business, as affiliates will move their efforts to promote other shops. Look, just because it's a credit crunch doesn't mean people are hard up in the common-sense intellect department even if they are squeezed for cash.
It's not just the affiliates who are suffering for this, but Commission Junction are missing out on sales because of the shenanigans. Surely a data route back to track the click-and-reserve would be relatively easy to set up?
Now don't get me wrong, We Like Argos! They're helpful people, and they have a vast quantity and range of diverse useful items, and they are very good to the customer if something dies before its guarantee is up, so we'll not knock Argos for this error. However, someone somewhere does need to get their act together, because if you're not fair to affiliates, well, you know what affiliates do....?!
Meanwhile, if you'd like to continue to shop with Argos, here's the link: Argos
(and if they say "click and reserve only", tell them you'll go elsewhere, where the company can professionally deliver to your home!)
Update Xmas 2009: Sad to have to report, Argos still having problems with actually getting this right. On our test, HM Forces (the latest thing for Xmas that year), apparently strategically only available from "Argos Extra" stores. If your local Argos store is not an "EXTRA" store, you can still go into your local Argos store and Order, and then Argos will deliver from their warehouse to your local store. So, Argos can deliver from their warehouse to their shops but not to your home!? This tactically avoids the affiliate program and any online purchasing. That's very sad!
Click and Collect - a disaster! In fact, I can see almost no merit in the idea. Why would someone place an order online, and then instead of having it delivered, they go and collect it themselves? It's like phoning up for a taxi, and then having to walk there yourself.
Well, I have asked about this, and it's to do with people being in such a desperate hurry that they can't wait for delivery. Also, it's to do with the shops being not well organised, so they might not have things in stock. Essentially "click and collect" is a variant of the idea of phoning up a shop to ask they've got [product] in stock, before going to the shop to fetch it.
Well, I have a radical proposal here: Don't rush around. Take it calmly. Decide what you want. Order the stuff online. Then let the companies do the work and deliver if for you.
This applies for Argos and other Online Shopping as well!
The Argos Aliens:
These are cute extraterrestrial creatures trying hard to fit-in to the funny ways of Earth society, and they feature strongly on the Argos TV advertising campaign 2012. I quite like them, but I've heard some people don't like them. I'm not sure why.
I think the aliens are good for promoting Argos, and as they are extraterrestrial they can make comments which show things from a different perspective.
However, when they start promoting "Click and Collect", I can't help thinking it's easy for the aliens because they can hover their spacecraft right over the Argos shop, teleport in and get their purchases, and take it all away that day. Most Argos customers, if they are persuaded into the "Click and Collect" thing, have to put up with the nightmare of parking, coping with the British weather, and carting the goods through the streets. This is no fun, especially in the filthy weather that tends to occur around Christmas. It is far more efficient for the customer to order online and have home delivery