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  1. #1
    Join Date
    March 20th, 2013
    New Affiliate Questions
    Hi: I'm new to e-commerce after being successfully self-employed for 40+ years. Currently, I have one new e-commerce site still in the development stages (always a work in progress) that will fill several more specialized niches and will more than likely appeal to the more select, affluent shopper. Emphasis is for top notch products created, crafted and made in the USA. It's a well-laid out site with classy eye appeal. Again, this is a brand new site. We are already affiliated with a number of quality merchants and members of solid affiliate programs. We are refraining from slapping banners all over the place and are/will use them in a tasteful way. Right now, I think the primary goal is to get more traffic to the website via interesting, applicable content.

    Part of what I offer will be to educate visitors and share interesting information with them that covers those areas in which we specialize, and for which they are shopping. I've spent many hours researching, learning, modifying, etc. This brings me to my questions.

    I found a good set of instructions for how to get and organize the various feeds we will have. More important is how to convert the "raw data" that we have access to from certain merchants, and how to get that final data well-displayed on the site. I have a Weebly Pro site (drag & drop), which is very good to work with and I have some knowledge of the most basic language (most through years of trial-and-error in managing another site). I believe Weebly utilizes php, which I am not familiar with.

    1. Is there a software program that can convert this raw data that would be compatible, or would the use of software not even be applicable for getting the final data properly displayed on the site?

    2. Should I sift through the raw data and extract just some of the products, as one merchant, for example has over 3,000 products?

    3. I understand when a visitor clicks on a banner, they are taken to the merchant's site and we receive a commission if that click results in a sale within varied timeframes. While this may sound like a very elementary question, if we publish mercant products on our site, which we'd like to do to some extent, to fill-in and complement the hand-crafted products that we will offer, how will the process and commission work? Example, (who we are now affiliated for a 2nd, more broad-based website) sells and ships many products directly, and in many cases they sell the product but the order is "fulfilled" and shipped by the vendor directly. So, if a visitor clicks on a merchant's item on our site, will they be directly linked to the merchant site as is the case with the banner or text link, or in some other way?

    Secondly, in the case where we have the merchant's product displayed on the site, in what way (if not the same as a banner link) will we receive commission?

    I'm sure these questions have been asked on this forum before. I just found this forum this morning, so I thought I'd throw these questions out there. Thanks for your time and constructive input.

  2. #2
    Affiliate Network Rep JCrooks - AffiliateWindow's Avatar
    Join Date
    March 7th, 2007
    Denver, CO
    I'm glad to help with some of the questions, but I'm not a techie, so I can't answer about the software.

    How many products you offer should be a function of how you design your site. If it were me, I wouldn't use all the products, just those that truly fit the category/discussion. Also, for some merchants, their datafeed includes a listing for each size, each color of each product, which can add a huge quantity of products, but if the customer can make the same choices on the site, do you really want to show all those choices in the datafeed?

    Sorry, I'm confused about #3. Do you mean you want to know where someone has clicked so you can offer your products to the consumer as well, or do you wonder if you will get a commission if someone shops a private store on Amazon?

    Welcome to ABW, by the way.
    Jeannine Crooks - Always happy to share what I know! - Voted Best Network Rep 2013 & 2014
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    March 20th, 2013
    Hi and thanks for your constructive input and for the "welcome." I suspected that one would not use an entire product datafeed, particularly if it contained so many products (and of varying size, color, etc., as you referenced). This is totally understandable.

    What I am struggling with a bit is how to dissect and convert the data that I feel is appropriate to add (as more of a sampling and in line with the basic goals & mission), so that the data I want to upload is converted into a usable form vs. the raw data form. The website builder I have used for this particular site is Weebly Pro - php. Our first site was done from scratch 13+ years ago -- so that's a whole different ballgame. I've learned by trial-and-error over the years and have done o.k. Definitely a layperson though...

    I will try to clarify about #3. Let's say a visitor sees one of the product(s) items/description/pics posted on our site from a particular merchant, and wishes to purchase that item directly via our Weebly site. #1 - can this even be done (I think it can for the reason stated below about globally changing a code to my ShareASale affiliate # in this case)? Just want a sanity check, I guess...

    #2 - Probably the most challenging thing thus far is to determine the best, most efficient method for converting the raw database materials into usable descriptions/pics/prices, etc. on our site. We will be working with a large # of vendors as we move forward. Right now, it's about 10 -- we're in the "fledging" stage... I ask this because if I look at the amount of time it will take me to review up to thousands of products to weed out and develop a final list to be uploaded to our site, is it as simple as highlighting/copying/pasting the specific language from those descriptions we'd like to add to our Weebly site. Weebly, as you probably know is drag-and-drop, and one can drag a custom html box onto the page. I will be experimenting w/this tomorrow.

    I seek feedback to determine if there is a more effficient way to coordinate this process, or for solid recommendations for organizations who may coordinate these types of effort. If I have this information, I can make a more well-informed decision whether to tackle it myself or have a third-party vendor convert the data and upload the finished product -- if that service exists, which I believe it does. The Internet has much data, and I guess I'd prefer to obtain recommendations that are more credible vs. looking at every option on the .

    Hope this makes sense. It's been a long, albeit interesting day. I am very resourceful -- that said, I don't want to reinvent the wheel if unnecessary to do so. Picking apart the raw datafeeds may be what I must do initially, and would like to know if others have had this same situation and experience. If this site is successful, then I'd still like to have reputable recommendations for companies that provide these types of services for future use as we grow.

    Thanks so much again for your input. We are most appreciative.
    Last edited by BurgerBoy; March 21st, 2013 at 05:36 AM.

  4. #4
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
    Join Date
    June 24th, 2005
    There are 3rd party feed services you should review:

    Industry Tools & Services - ABestWeb Affiliate Marketing Forum

    Not an exhaustive list, by any means...
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    April 11th, 2013
    thanks for the info

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