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Paying your affiliates

As your affiliate partners begin to promote your business, and as orders come in through their referrals, they’ll earn commissions. Let’s see how you can pay out these commissions.

Before we dive into the actual payout process, let’s set up the general settings for payouts.

This setting will determine the minimum amount your affiliates need to reach, in commission totals, to be eligible for a payout.

Let’s take an example so you can understand exactly how this works. Let’s say that 3 of your affiliates referred 10 orders and thus there are 10 payable commissions.

By default, with the Payments Minimum Amount set to 0 (zero), the payout system will gather all payable commissions and sum them up for each one of your affiliates, like so:

AffiliateCommission CountCommission Total
Alexia3$15
Kyra2$10
Brook5$50

However, let’s say that you want to pay affiliates only when they have at least $25 in commissions. For this, you’d set the Payments Minimum Amount setting to 25.

Taking the above example, only Brook is eligible for payout. Alexia and Kyra, because their commissions total is less than $25, are not yet eligible for payout.

Now that you know more about how this setting works, here’s how you can set it:

  1. Navigate to your WordPress admin area > SliceWP > Settings > General (tab) > Payouts Settings (section).
  2. Here, set the Payments Minimum Amount option to your desired value.Payments Minimum Amount option in SliceWP settings page.

This setting comes to protect you from refunds of referred orders. It determines the number of days a commission should be in a grace state. Usually, the refund grace period is the same as your business’ refund policy.

Commissions that are within the grace period are not taken into account when processing payouts.

For example, let’s say that your affiliate, Alexia, has 3 valid commissions:

AmountDate
$10April 1st
$15April 15th
$20April 30th

By default, with the Refund Grace Period set to 0 (zero) days, if you process a payout on the 10th of May, all 3 commissions will be taken into account and summed up.

However, let’s say that you want to protect yourself against refunds, and make sure commissions are not paid out until your orders refund period is exceeded. Let’s say that you set the refund grace period to 30 days.

In this case, only commissions that have been generated before the 10th of April will be taken into account in the payout calculations.

For our example, this means that only the first commission, the $10 one, is considered. The other two, as they’re still in the 30 day refund grace period, will not be considered.

Now that you know more about how this setting works, here’s how you can set it:

  1. Navigate to your WordPress admin area > SliceWP > Settings > General (tab) > Payouts Settings (section).
  2. Here, set the Refund Grace Period option to your desired value.Refund Grace Period option in SliceWP settings page.

Now that you know how the general settings affect the way the payouts system works, let’s dive into how you can actually pay your affiliates.

Let’s consider that your affiliates have referred a few orders. As a result, commissions have been generated for them.

These commissions will need to be paid out. They are not paid out automatically, so you will need to process payments to your affiliates. SliceWP will do the heavy lifting for you and it will help you streamline the entire process.

Everything starts by creating a payout.

A payout is, simply put, a collection of reference payments due to your affiliates. Reference payments, similarly, are a collection of commissions. These reference payments will be the ones that need to be processed via the payment method set for each affiliate.

When you create a new payout, the plugin will pull in unpaid commissions and group them for each affiliate into reference payments.

Let’s take the following example so that you can better understand how a payout is formed. Let’s say you have the following unpaid commissions:

AffiliateCommission amount
Alexia$15
Kyra$20
Alexia$10
Brook$10
Brook$5

Now, let’s consider that you want to pay these commissions to your affiliates. You’d go and create a new payout.

This will tell the plugin to collect these unpaid commissions and create the reference payments, which, for our example, will look like this:

AffiliateCommissions countPayment amount
Alexia2$25
Kyra1$20
Brook2$15

With this, you’ll know exactly which commissions are a part of each payment.

These reference payments are not processed automatically once you create a payout. You will need to process the payments after they are created via the method associated with each affiliate. These aspects are discussed later in this article.

Now that you know what happens behind the scenes, let’s see how you actually create a payout in SliceWP:

  1. Navigate to your WordPress dashboard > SliceWP > Payouts and click the Create Payout button at the top of the page.
  2. Here, a form that allows you to fine-tune the payout shows up. By default, the form will be prefilled with your general settings, so if you don’t have a special scenario that you need to handle, you can go ahead and click the Preview Payout button.Create a new payout SliceWP administrator page with the default settings loaded
  3. At this point, the plugin will pull in the commissions, group them into reference payments, and show them to you in a preview window. This preview allows you to review the payments that the plugin will create once you hit the Create Payout button.Administrator preview affiliate payout payments page in SliceWP, showcasing the affiliates that are due payments.
  4. If you’re happy with the data the plugin put together, click the Create Payout button to create the payout and the reference payments associated with this payout.

SliceWP will keep track of all unpaid commissions in the background, while also taking into account the refund grace period and the payments minimum amount.

Once an affiliate’s payable commissions reach the thresholds you set, the plugin will notify you that you have affiliates eligible for payment.

This notification will show up in your WordPress admin area > SliceWP > Dashboard, at the top of the page. It will let you know how many affiliates are eligible for payment and how much you’re due to pay them.

Administrator notification, in SliceWP > Dashboard page, letting the administrator know they have affiliates eligible for payment.

The notification also has a call to action link, namely Preview affiliate payment. If you click this link, you’ll be redirected directly to the Preview payout page, skipping the Create Payout form altogether.

This way, you’ll always know when you’re due payments to your affiliates and you can easily create a payout with just a couple of clicks.

Now that you’ve created the payout, you’ll have one or several reference payments due to your affiliates. These payments will need to be processed via the method set for each affiliate that’s due.

Here’s how:

If you wish to pay your affiliates through bank transfers, you will need to do this manually, given that SliceWP cannot connect to a bank’s system to perform the task automatically.

Furthermore you will also need to inform your affiliates about the payout procedure and ask them to provide bank details, so you can pay them directly into their bank accounts.

Quick note: If you’d like your affiliates to be able to add their bank details to their affiliate account, you can use the Custom Affiliate Fields add-on. With the add-on, you can add custom fields to the affiliate registration form and affiliate account page to ask for custom data from your affiliates.

Once you pay affiliates, we recommend you to modify the status of each payment from a payout to Paid, just to make sure your payout reports in SliceWP are up to date. Follow the steps below to manually update a payment’s status.

  1. Navigate to SliceWP > Payouts and click on the View button for the payout you wish to modify.View payout button in SliceWP payouts page
  2. Once you are redirected to the payout’s view page, scroll down to the payments table and click on the View button for the payment you wish to update.SliceWP View payment button in single payout
  3. For the Status field, found in the Payment Details section, select the desired value. In this case select Paid.SliceWP payment status field.
  4. Lastly, save the payment by clicking on the Save Payment button found at the bottom of the page.

Quick note: When you set a payment’s status to Paid, the status of all commissions belonging to the payment will also be set to Paid.

If you use PayPal for your business, with our PayPal Payouts add-on you can save precious time by paying your affiliates directly from your WordPress dashboard with just a couple of clicks.

We recommend this detailed step-by-step guide on how to install and set up the PayPal Payouts add-on.

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