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  1. #1
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    Best shopping cart for product review site?
    Hi, Folks -
    Sorry for the long-winded question: We are attempting what seems to be an unusual affiliate marketing business model - roughly the opposite of most I've seen. Our goal is to provide people with in-depth reviews and comparisons of green products (not price comparisons, but quality/sustainability comparisons), and then link to our top 3 recommended products. All products are in the green and sustainable niche, but inside that they run the gamut. We expect to have several hundred unique product categories eventually.

    To link to what we really believe are the best products, we need the flexibility to access products on a wide range of affiliate networks (some, like AvantLink, that are not yet on PopShops) and some indie merchants as well. We would like to automate this as much as possible, while still retaining editorial control over product descriptions and look and feel of feeds so that they do not appear too commerce-y.

    Given this goal, are there any recommended shopping cart solutions? Also, if you know of any sites out there (in any niche) successfully doing what I'm describing, I would love to see them.

    Thanks for your time!

  2. #2
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    You do not need a "shopping cart solution" unless you are a merchant, actually selling products (whether you stock and ship them, or use a drop-shipping model).

    I think what you want is an integrated content management system that can pull in product datafeeds provided by merchants. See my "datafeed experience" link, below, for links to may prior discussion threads regarding my unsuccessful attempts to solve this problem.

  3. #3
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    What you're looking to do sounds like an idea affiliate site. You shouldn't need a shopping cart. You're making it more complicated than it needs to be.
    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
     Affiliate Tips | Merchant Best Practices | Affiliate Friendly? | Couponing | CPA Networks? | ABW Tips | Activating Affiliates
    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador affninja's Avatar
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    Hi Rick,

    Welcome to ABW. By the sounds of it, you're building an affiliate site, and affiliate sites have no need for a shopping cart. You talk about linking to your top 3 recommended products -- meaning the customer leaves your site and completes their checkout process on the advertiser's/retailer's site.

    Make sense?
    Your Ad Here.

  5. #5
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    Thanks, all. Perhaps I'm just using the wrong terminology. You're correct that I'm looking for a solution to present datafeeds on a page, but to do it very selectively on a huge number of pages over a wide range of solutions (i.e. everything from reusable bottles to electric lawnmowers) and a wide range of networks/merchants. I'm leaning toward Popshops, but I'm wondering if there are other solutions out there that I should investigate? If you can't recommend specific products on here, I understand. But if there are different types of solutions, I would love to hear about them.

    Thanks again!

  6. #6
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    Mark - Read through your odyssey - sounds frustrating!

    Michael - I agree it's a very good model. If only I knew what I was doing! ;-}

    I'm making my way through the Datafeed Tools listing on the Affiliate Summit website: http://www.affiliatebuyersguide.com/index.php?cat=9.

    Any other recommended places to look?

    Thanks,
    Rick

  7. #7
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    Further clarification on what I'm looking for: I've come across an affiliate site that allows people to create a "shopping cart" on their website listing all the various items a user has selected, sorted by merchant, prior to actually going to the merchant site(s) to purchase. This both keeps users on their site while they continue shopping (preferable) and allows users to narrow the number of merchants to reduce shipping. I can't determine what tool they're using or if it's custom code, but I think this is ideal for my purposes. Not sure if it's cool to post links to this example so I won't.

  8. #8
    Affiliate Manager BlogBonnieBlog's Avatar
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    I'd like to know what site that is as it sounds interesting. Not sure how many people would fill the cart and not click thru - stats could show a lot.

    One site that is not on the affiliate summit list is Datafeedr.com. They are pretty responsive for tech support and have a WP plugin so it's easy to install. Lots of ways to sort and categorize which would help you on the myriad of categories you're envisioning. Not sure about the rate/compare part, but they may be able to help you.

    Also, it may be a long stretch but speedppc has a datafeed option in it to for custom landing pages, which you may need for the rating/review options. It's probably a bit of a stretch from what you're looking for but may work too.

  9. #9
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    The additional level of complexity would doubtless cause a BIG drop in conversions.

    Keep it simple.
    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
     Affiliate Tips | Merchant Best Practices | Affiliate Friendly? | Couponing | CPA Networks? | ABW Tips | Activating Affiliates
    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

  10. #10
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    Thanks - I had seen Datafeedr, but read some neg reviews. I'll give it another look.

    The site I'm talking about is (Removed - you cannot list another affiliate's site here).

    Michael, I see your point. But as more of a community than a strict turn & burn affiliate site, couldn't this be added value that both simplifies their shopping and generates more commissions for us? Would love to get your input on this - especially if I don't need to waste my time with it!
    Last edited by BurgerBoy; April 6th, 2010 at 09:04 AM. Reason: listing another affiliate's site in post

  11. #11
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    You can contact me directly if you want to know the site.

  12. #12
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    I also noticed that DatafeedR is missing from the Affiliate Summit list -- also missing are Datafeed Studio and Price Tapestry (and I'm sure there are many other tools missing).

    I agree with Michael that your "shopping cart" approach (or "wish list," or "items of interest," or whatever) is likely to create problems and costs (in time, money, conversion rate, etc.) that would far exceed the benefit.

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