Affiliate sales at Chain Reaction Cycles "fell off a cliff" last spring and have yet to recover, say representatives from two affiliates of the company's website. Affiliates make money by sending web traffic to retail websites, and also get about three per cent of the value of any subsequent sales. WiggleCRC has denied the claims.
The two affiliates in question contacted BikeBiz separately and provided graphs and other data of the traffic and sales they generated for CRC from April to date. They did so following the publication of our story from a WiggleCRC whistleblower who said that CRC was in "meltdown".
"Due the ineptitude of management/directors we have seen company sales slump," the CRC staffer told us. These claims were denied in a WiggleCRC statement.
One of the affiliates told BikeBiz: "We are still delivering the same amount of traffic to their site but they are not converting the visitors to sales."
The other said: "[CRC] just stopped converting to sales last spring." (This coincided with price rises on the CRC website.)
The drop in affiliate sales was such that "our affiliate account manager ... contacted us to ask if we knew what had happened?" said our source.
The graph below were sent to BikeBiz by the two affiliates. We have removed identifying material. The two graphs combined represent nearly £1.5 million in affiliate sales.
It's important to stress that the graphs are for affiliate sales alone and do not represent all sales via CRC's website.
A spokesperson for WiggleCRC said: “Affiliate sales represent a very small percentage of our business and are not an area of focus. Our own data shows year-to-date affiliate sales are broadly flat across the business. Our business plan remains on track.”