We are a publisher of education product information. We refer visitors to the respective merchants' product pages. Now, we'd like to introduce to these merchants a commission/revenue sharing model for our referrals that result in purchases at their points of sale. We need a business solution. Ideally, the merchant should only have to enroll and not add any code to their pages. Any ideas, nudges or tips are appreciated!
Assuming your merchants 1) use web analytics, and 2) are honest, you could simply 'tag' people coming from your site in a way that your merchants will see in their analytics. In this way your merchants will be able to see how many tagged people went through their funnel and made a purchase. To tag people you can use Urchin Tracking Modules (UTM).
Here's Google's UTM creation tool:
Without UTM codes, once people get past a landing page, they all look the same, and are indistinguishable in analytics (i.e. useless for what you want). With UTM links on your site, your merchants can track people coming from your site all the way through their funnel.
It tracks returning users too, so even if they don't buy on their first visit to the merchant's site, they should still be tagged if they return and purchase later.
The merchants would likely have to employ referral tracking on their end. The only other way to do is it to give them a "tracking pixel" that they would put on their thank you/order confirmation page, that will fire on each order you refer, and let you know that you have referred a sale, how much was the sale, and how much your commission is (assuming that was decided before hand).