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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador
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    Shopster.com
    http://www.shopster.com/

    Anybody do this? Trying to think how I can incorporate this with my sites or if I should. Heard Chris from AMWSO mention it in an audio blog. Think there were a couple of things like this in the past.

  2. #2
    MasterMike HardwareGeek's Avatar
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    i signed up but haven't had the time to do anything with it. they begged me to sign up when they launched last year and i promised to get it up but i havent

  3. #3
    Action Jackson - King of the World
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    I do Trust. It's fairly new but it's getting better all the time.

  4. #4
    Content $ Queen Ebudae's Avatar
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    I tried it and didn't like it. It was sheer frustration working in their system. IMHO

    The main problem is not being able to get at any code to customize it. Works kinda like the old V-stores (but not as good)

    I think it is a good idea - it's just not there yet.
    Ebudae


  5. #5
    Crazy Cat Lady Heidi's Avatar
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    I've also heard reports of extremely high shipping costs, bulky interface.
    Heidi
    "Happy are those who dream dreams and are willing to pay the price to make them come true"

  6. #6
    Outsourced Program Manager Chris -  AMWSO's Avatar
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    Hi All

    First thanks Trust for raising this here, we do hope to have a Shopster forum soon so we can get everything in one location

    Yes when it first launched and for the first 6-8 months there were a wide range of things that needed to be improved and a lot has been done based on feedback of the first users, for example initially there was the same product description for the same product on each site, now store owners can customize product descriptions unique to their store and plenty of other points on top of this.

    What I love about Shopster is that it removes the loss of control. You own the tracking, it can not be hit by a BHO to insert another persons tracking, it can not be lost due to cookie killers and it can't be overwritten as it's your store. On top of this, once the transaction is done, you own the customer data for up selling.

    Stores can be built around a vast array of niches, my personal test store is here, please take a look : http://rpgshop.rpg-game.net/ (oops my coupon has expired)

    While yes the customization was initially not easy, it has improved a lot and AMWSO provides design support too.

    I'm not advovcating that you rip down all your merchant links, but certainly where you have doubts about tracking, worry about conversion or just want a site that you can send your visitors or friends to that is your shop (with your prices and coupons) then Shopster is a neat solution.

    You can get a fuller intro here : http://www.amwso.com/shopster.php

    And if you do sign up please remember to select "heard from AMWSO" else you won't be within the AMWSO managed support

    Once the new forum is up and running we'll be eager to get everyones feedback so we can adapt shopster and make it a winner for everyone!

    Cheers

    Chris
    Affiliate Marketing by AMWSO. Skype - chrissanderson ::: TEL 1-720-336-1784 ::: www.amwso.net
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  7. #7
    Outsourced Program Manager Chris -  AMWSO's Avatar
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    One addition, the Niche approach is best, a lot of people have tried to do an everything for everybody store, but the core successes we have seen have been from niche approaches... and yes you can run multiple stores with totally different products, styles and prices

  8. #8
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    Oh cool, I heard you mention it on the audioblog but didn't know you were involved with it. So it's in good hands. And what you were saying about niches is what I had in mind for my niche site. That site has a little of everything, straight up sales pages, sales content pages, forum, reviews, this, that. Will try throwing this in the mix.

  9. #9
    Outsourced Program Manager Chris -  AMWSO's Avatar
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    Awesome Trust thanks , James is the man if you need anything in terms of design, or help getting started, or just ping me and I'll kick him for you . The user interface was upgraded on March 17th too, so it's looking a lot sharper and cleaner than before... as well as way faster
    Affiliate Marketing by AMWSO. Skype - chrissanderson ::: TEL 1-720-336-1784 ::: www.amwso.net
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  10. #10
    Senior Affiliate Manager AMWSO James - AMWSO's Avatar
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    Hi guys...Just received the kick...Man, that stings...

    If you want to get more details on Shopster either email/PM myself or Chris. My email address is: James [@] Shopster.com. You can also check out: www.amwso.com/shopster.php

    As Chris said, we can provide complete design support for your Shopster store(s) and the turnaround is generally 72 hours or so...Our designers are good, so this is a resource well worth using at it's not only great, it's also...FREE...

    I'll be posting lots more details on Shopster once we have our forum in place...There's been a lot of very positive changes over the past 6 months, and there'll be a lot more to come...Stay tuned...
    James D. Nardell
    AMWSO.com Affiliate Management Team
    email: James.Nardell [@] AMWSO.com
    Phone: (805) 624-5669
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  11. #11
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    Interesting idea, but what seperates the merchant you become from other merchants? From the examples, price doesn't seem to be it, nor shipping, support?

    From a customer perspective, why shop at the store I create?

    Thanks

    Chet

  12. #12
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    At first glance, I thought it was something like Chitika (www.chitika.com, like adsense, but places products on your site instead of ads). But I see it's more like a scalable, white-label system where affiliates get a store and can choose the products in it.

    The 5MB of allowed disk space needs to be changed.

    I'd like to learn more Chris, particularly how canned the store is / how flexible it is to change it's look and feel and functionality. When I see "upload your template", I get that "I'll be gagged and bound" feeling...

    Put my on your list of prospects here as this develops Chris and contact me with any new info that comes out.

  13. #13
    Outsourced Program Manager Chris -  AMWSO's Avatar
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    Hi Guys,

    From a customer perspective, why shop at the store I create?
    In a nut shell because it should be on a niche focus and appeal to the visitor, will be clean and well laid out, inspires trust and offer a effective shopping experience, unlike 95% of the stores on the net which are chaotic to say the least... and lastly price if you pitch the site that way. I'd imagine a good half the programs people promote to consumers are unknown brands to the consumer until they see your banners or links.

    what seperates the merchant you become from other merchants
    You define your prices and focus. the content, offers and the like, how does your store differ from you present affiliate partners, lilkely not at all on the surface, but you own that store, the tracking and the customer relationship. Something you can't get from the standard aff partnership.

    how canned the store is / how flexible it is to change it's look and feel and functionality.
    Best answer to that is to give you some sample stores to check over, certainly you can add custom pages and content, layout can be altered, design totally altered. The areas where everything is the same is check out, but I think a set standard there is a good thing

    *** JAMES : Please post some sample stores, such as mine and the core Shopster demo stores, not stores owned by Shopster Affs

    Cheers

    Chris
    Affiliate Marketing by AMWSO. Skype - chrissanderson ::: TEL 1-720-336-1784 ::: www.amwso.net
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  14. #14
    Senior Affiliate Manager AMWSO James - AMWSO's Avatar
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    Here are some sample stores for you all:

    1. The PSP Superstore - www.thepspsuperstore.com
    2. NASCAR Racing - www.ultimatenascarfan.com
    3. Panada Select - www.panadarselect.com
    4. Theatre Evolution - www.theatreevolution.com
    5. RPG Shop - http://rpgshop.rpg-game.net ( Chris' site )
    6. Army Guy - www.armyguy.com
    7. Advanced MP3 - www.advanced-mp3.com
    8. Dino Digi - www.dinodigi.com
    9. Darthmovies - www.darthmovies.com
    10. All Systems Gaming - www.allsystemsgaming.com
    11. Hollywood and Beyond - www.hollywoodandbeyond.com

    Within reason you can make your Shopster store look pretty much how you want as you can see above...
    James D. Nardell
    AMWSO.com Affiliate Management Team
    email: James.Nardell [@] AMWSO.com
    Phone: (805) 624-5669
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    iolo technologies | Paychex | Personal VCard Website

  15. #15
    Senior Affiliate Manager AMWSO James - AMWSO's Avatar
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    Sorry that should be PandaSelect - www.pandaselect.com
    James D. Nardell
    AMWSO.com Affiliate Management Team
    email: James.Nardell [@] AMWSO.com
    Phone: (805) 624-5669
    IM - Google/Skype: JamesNardell
    iolo technologies | Paychex | Personal VCard Website

  16. #16
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    Some nice looking stores, better than some merchant sites I've seen.

  17. #17
    Senior Affiliate Manager AMWSO James - AMWSO's Avatar
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    One of the AMWSO designers has done some truly great things with Shopster templates for some of our partners...Unfortunately I can't show them to you though...

    You can add any HTML or graphics you like to the templates so the system is incredibly versatile if you're good at graphic design...
    James D. Nardell
    AMWSO.com Affiliate Management Team
    email: James.Nardell [@] AMWSO.com
    Phone: (805) 624-5669
    IM - Google/Skype: JamesNardell
    iolo technologies | Paychex | Personal VCard Website

  18. #18
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    The sites really do look nice, and varied enough. I hate the navigation - what has become the accepted click meaningless numbers.... but you see that enough that it is acceptable... Can you at least sort the landing page by most popular? (yeah, yeah should probably sign up to play at that point).

    But how often are the products updated, what do the merchants know in advance? While it won't matter for some, any tech items it does become an issue.
    Using chris's site as an example.

    Oblivion is the biggest RPG video game this year. It is just out for the PC and 360. It is not mentioned on the site, so i hit live chat (which is a nice save for this kind of thing and if I didn't know better, I would have imagined the chat was with someone at the rpg store).

    Chat InformationYou are now chatting with 'Rob S.'
    Rob S.: Good Morning. How can I help you?
    you: Do you have oblivion?
    Rob S.: for 360?
    Rob S.: or?
    you: for pc or 360
    Rob S.: just received it for 360
    Rob S.: not in the system yet
    you: what is the price on that?
    Rob S.: itwill berightabout $68-70
    Rob S.: not exactly sure
    you: when will it be available?
    Rob S.: we just got it this morning. Not in ur system yet
    you: So any idea on availability?
    Rob S.: probably this time tommorroe
    you: okay, thanks!
    Rob S.: should go in the system today at some point.

    So I am curious, do merchants know of upcoming products? Do they know pricing? The standard online price for that game is $60, and some other "real" stores just got it, so not that bad as long as the merchant knew it was coming and could pimp it with a - coming soon - landing page.

    I am just trying to understand the relationship the store owner has with the data they are controlling.

    Thanks

    chet

  19. #19
    Senior Affiliate Manager AMWSO James - AMWSO's Avatar
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    Hi Chetf,

    Don't totally follow what you're asking for in the first paragraph...Certainly, you can sort the products on any of the pages how you want...

    The products in the 'warehouse' are updated pretty much daily i.e. new stuff is added...You'll see an entire section on magazines that has been added over the last couple of days for example...Right now however there are no alerts for partners on new products or their price...This however is definitely a great idea for a dev task list though!
    James D. Nardell
    AMWSO.com Affiliate Management Team
    email: James.Nardell [@] AMWSO.com
    Phone: (805) 624-5669
    IM - Google/Skype: JamesNardell
    iolo technologies | Paychex | Personal VCard Website

  20. #20
    Outsourced Program Manager Chris -  AMWSO's Avatar
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    Good point from Chet and one I've also asked to have, there needs to be a system , a bit like Amazon has where the store owner can be alerted to new products within a category or matching a key word or phrase, else the customer will come back the next day and nothing new will be there.

    Also James, one thing we should ask to be developed is CR transcripts for the store owners, very important for knowing why a sale failed or went through!

    Cheers

    Chris
    Affiliate Marketing by AMWSO. Skype - chrissanderson ::: TEL 1-720-336-1784 ::: www.amwso.net
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  21. #21
    Outsourced Program Manager Chris -  AMWSO's Avatar
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    One of the AMWSO designers has done some truly great things with Shopster templates for some of our partners...Unfortunately I can't show them to you though...
    James : Ask permission of the store owners, if they say yes then that'll be fine. If they say no, well privacy has to be respected

    Cheers

    Chris
    Affiliate Marketing by AMWSO. Skype - chrissanderson ::: TEL 1-720-336-1784 ::: www.amwso.net
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  22. #22
    Newbie Michael Shopster's Avatar
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    Hello ABWers!

    I want to jump in here and introduce myself and give a little background on Shopster. I am one of three founding partners of Shopster.com. We’ve been beta testing (meaning vastly improving the system), over the past six months. Those of you that tried Shopster out prior to Christmas, we’d love to welcome you back and now’s as good a time as any! We’ve been listening and many of the changes that have been requested have been implemented, more to come and lots of good surprises around the corner as well.

    What Shopster is designed to do:

    Create any look and feel that you want. The sample sites are all using one of our in house designers. He used the functionality available to all Shopster retailers’ right within the system to upload his designs. That means you can literally design whatever look and feel that you would like for your stores. Note also, we are launching version 2.0 templates later next month and Shopster retailers stores that use Shopster a MAJOR upgrade in functionality that really will bring your storefront in line with the best on the net.

    Give you the ultimate control over which products you are selling and how you are selling them. There are currently over 700,000 products to choose from and that number is growing. The point of Shopster is NOT to start a super store that sells everything. The point of Shopster is to give you access to products to sell to whatever niche you decide to market to. That way you aren’t competing against other Shopster retailers all the time; you focus on your niche’s they focus on theirs.

    Shopster is an excellent tool for monetizing pre-existing traffic. You can copy the look and feel of your current Website (identical) and add the store right within any high traffic site you might already have. You can make your Shopster store show up under any domain / URL that you choose. For example, you can run your Shopster store under “store.yourURL.com” and integrate the look and feel, so your customers will always be right on your site.

    Help affiliates get to the next level: Become the retailer!
    -Create value in YOUR brand.
    -Keep 100% of your sales (no more cookies.)
    -You OWN the customer, you get the customer information, you get the repeat sales.
    -You grow your business into a sellable property just like the retailers that you are currently advertising for.

    Easily add content to your storefronts:
    Shopster makes it easy to add content pages to your storefront using a system WYSIWYG editor. Cookie cutter is the opposite of what Shopster was created for. We make it as easy as possible to differentiate yourself by creating a site that adds value to your customers in more ways that just providing products for them to buy. You can create unlimited number of content pages for your category pages, more info pages and even write your own custom product descriptions.

    Constant innovation: Shopster is a fairly new company with a one of a kind opportunity. We are not focused on just scaling up the current opportunity that we present, we’re focused on making it better. Don’t expect run of the mill improvements from Shopster. Expect innovative ways for you to benefit from being a member of the Shopster community and being a Shopster retailer.

    As for some of the drawbacks that have been mentioned. Since we have over 700,000 products for you to offer, I can guarantee you that not all of the products are at the best price. I can also guarantee you that some of the products ARE at the best price. You have to dig around to find products that are going to do well for you. If we don’t have the products you want to sell, let us know in our forums and we’ll work on getting them.

    Note:

    If you sign up for Shopster and the first place you go looking is the electronics section, you will be in the majority. Electronics are the first place that almost any internet retailer thinks they can make money because, well, they’re cool. Unfortunately, that’s the problem.

    The electronics market on the internet is literally the most competitive of all the verticals. Word on the street is that virtually no small players are successfully making money in electronics anymore. This includes video games. Even the big players have had to cut their margins drastically and often use electronics as lost leaders, meaning they actually lose money when they sell things like IPods. My point here is, don’t sell electronics! To be a successful retailer, you need to find a niche and satisfy that niche. Electronics, although visually appealing, won’t be very financially appealing. So before judging pricing on products, check products besides in the electronics vertical!

    This post is long enough! I don’t mean to ramble on, but we are looking forward to showing you what Shopster can do for you, and hearing your feedback on how we can improve what Shopster does! It’s our goal to help you become a very successful retailer and I hope you’ll find we’re pleasantly accommodating to your feedback and suggestions.

    Cheers,

    Michael Barrette
    Retailer Manager and Founding Partner
    Shopster.com


    P.S. We are working on improving features in our templates like navigation over the next month. Chetf, please let me know how you’d like to see navigation (sample sites would be great!).

    P.P.S. Chris and James are giving absolutely awesome help to new retailers that sign up through their link, so I wanted to give this intro, but we’ll leave the majority of communications here in their very capable hands.

  23. #23
    http and a telephoto
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    Michael, you did absolutely the right thing by getting Chris and AMWSO involved. Look forward to seeing how you develop this into the future.
    Deborah Carney
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  24. #24
    Roll Tide mobilebadboy's Avatar
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    I know you can create mutliple stores but are you stuck with the one ["url prefix"] you create at signup? Or can it be changed once you're in the system? Some places let you [edit your default settings], some don't.

    The one thing I'm not crazy about is wanting to sign up right now but having to create a store URL right off the bat. I'd like to get my account, look around, decide on what I want to do and then create a store URL.

    Like with CafePress, you sign up first, then create stores. If I can change the default URL once I'm in then I'll just create something random to get my account going.

    Shawn Kerr (.com) | Disney World | SEC Football

  25. #25
    Newbie Michael Shopster's Avatar
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    Hi Mobile,

    Thanks for the question. Yes, you can easily change the name of your store and your store address at any time. The reason you choose one when you sign up is so you can have a store address you can see your store while you work on it. You can also point any URL that you own to the Shopster servers and your store will show up under your URL, and you can do this well after the fact of building out your store (use Retailer Services - RShop Domains to do this).

    As for multiple stores, yes you can manage multiple stores from your single account, and these all get a unique URL and Id. You can request extra stores under "Home - Request New RShops". (RShop is what we call your Shopster storefront).

    Loxly, thanks for your feedback. We had the chance to meet up with Chris in Vancouver Canada last month and we agree, AMWSO and Chris are grreeaat!

    Cheers,
    Michael

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