Written by Josh Hutter
Welcome to the latest edition of FMTC’s Tech Corner. In this article, we will shed light on how FMTC handles incoming deals.
FMTC collects data from various networks and processes it to create thousands of deals that are available through our API. If you’re curious about how your deals get from the network to your website, let us walk you through the intricate process.
Data Aggregation and Normalization
Before processing a deal itself, FMTC needs to aggregate and “normalize” the incoming deals. Our in-house software plays a pivotal role in bringing in all the information from different affiliate sources. These sources often handle information differently, with distinct authentication methods, field names, categories, and output formulas. This can introduce complexities when pulling in deals from merchants operating on various affiliate networks.
FMTC resolves these challenges and guarantees that you receive your deals in the same format with the same type of information, regardless of where the deals come from. Our technology allows us to:
- Detect key deal attributes like start dates, end dates, prices, deal types, and merchant details
- Identify and rectify issues related to formats, links, and spelling
- Test all codes for validity
- Categorize content for clarity
- Update already existing deals that have been modified
- Remove expired deals
- Format links to include an Affiliate ID
Many of these tasks are automated, while the remaining issues are addressed by the Data Processing team during the manual processing phase.
After the aggregation and normalization are complete, the deals then make their way to our queue system, where our Data Processing team will process them. Different queues are used to categorize data based on the type of processing required. Some of these queues include:
- Main Queue
- All incoming network deals are filtered into this queue. Deals with a coupon code are directed here for validation, ensuring each code is tested and the proper discount is given. Each code is timestamped for transparency. For some deals, you don’t need to enter a coupon code at checkout. These deals, such as getting $20 off when you spend $50 or more, will be automatically applied to your cart. We will check the validity of these deals before approving the deal.
- Change Queue
- When our system detects a deal change, such as an update to the tracking link or the label, the deal is sent to this queue to be verified before the deal is updated.
- Review Queue
- Deals processed before their start date are double-checked by Data Processors to make sure everything is working properly, including the affiliate URLs and the coupon code. This is useful in preparation for a big event, such as Black Friday, so that we can make all deals available as fast as possible.
- Evergreen Queue
- Deals without an expiration date are revalidated by Data Processors every six months. Deals with issues (through either a broken link or an invalid coupon code) will be removed from our system. Merchants should schedule regular maintenance on ongoing deals to ensure the most up-to-date information is provided.
At FMTC, we take quality assurance seriously. Our Data Processing team conducts rigorous testing for accuracy and efficiency. If there is ever an issue when testing deals, such as invalid coupon codes or a bad landing page, we have a special hold queue. This queue is used to temporarily store deals while our team members contact program managers to address the issues. Once the deal is fixed, or the right information is received, we then process the deals as usual.
To avoid having a deal put on hold, confirm that all data and links include essential information, such as start dates, expiration dates, codes, and terms. If FMTC contacts you about an issue with a deal, we kindly ask that you respond to our inquiry promptly. Any deal that cannot be validated will not be processed until we can properly vet the deal.
We have implemented several procedures to ensure that our deals are accurate and up to date. Our Data Processing team uses a combination of automated and manual checks to verify that all deals meet our standards. We also have a committed group of Data Processors that monitors our feeds 24/7. You can be confident that your deals will be tested for accuracy and processed efficiently by our Data Processing team.
As always, a dedicated team is here to assist you! If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact your account manager or email us at [email protected]. Curious about other FMTC technologies? Find more information on FMTC’s tools in Tech Corner: