Help with tracking links
one vendor of hardware pre-installed with GNU/Linux is willing to help us with commercial links and needs a little help. The idea is for them to give us a small retribution for orders initiated on linuxpreloaded.com (the commercial nature of the links is indicated on the site).
I understand that there are three ways that the tracking can work:
1. We append a special marker to the vendor url, and they keep that marker all throughout the customer's visit on their website until the final purchase.
Vendor reports they tried going this way but had no success.
2. We/They use a cookie. I am not sure of who sets the cookie and how the vendor is going to read it.
Vendor reports they are investigating this possiblity, I don't know much more about this.
3. We point to a special url (reserved to us) on the vendor' site, which redirects to the vendor's homepage. This allows them to log all the IPs of links incoming from us. Upon purchase they compare the buyer's IP with the log of (say) the last 48hours.
Vendor told me they are trying this way.
The point of the thread is, what would be the simplest solution? Do you have alternatives?
- There is a lot of mutual trust, so respective control/inspection is not necessary. We just want something that works.
- Things should be as simple as possible, a plus would be an existing piece of (free) software to just plug-in
- Technical knowledge, as well as development time, on our side and especially their side, are limited. They use Joomla + Virtuemart.
- We really want some per-order tracking, not some pay-per-click or per-week system. It might be less lucrative but it is a million times more interesting and relevant to us.
Any (simple, practical, ready-to-use;-)) ideas?
Thanks a lot!