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  1. #1
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    affiliate sites with shopping carts?
    Ive noticed a lot of websites that are affiliate sites 100% but instead of just a link which heads over to a merchants site.. they have a cart on the site, almost like they are selling it themselves? have you seen this?

  2. #2
    Outsourced Program Manager John Jupp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Morethanable
    Ive noticed a lot of websites that are affiliate sites 100% but instead of just a link which heads over to a merchants site.. they have a cart on the site, almost like they are selling it themselves? have you seen this?
    Yes. My business is operating some. The hardest thing is the category mapping. A simple six or seven category site with a few hundred products is easy but when you get into the world of 250,000+ products with sub categories and cross referencing it's a damn nightmare.

    I'm paying a techie to work these for me with an auto generated script that converts network feeds and requires no manual effort. A bit different to the ones you probably have seen which are manually created. As far as I am aware nobody operates automated sites like the test ones we have operating.

    I'm ready to go with the simple sites but the bigger ones will need more work. In addition we can also mask the payment system so that a customer is unaware of the transfer to the merchant.

  3. #3
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    John let me know if you end up selling that script which lets you build those sites I might be interested in buying

  4. #4
    Outsourced Program Manager John Jupp's Avatar
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    It is my intention to do so and I'll announce when it is available. However category mapping is the key and the rate my techie is tearing his hair out (and he hasn't got much left as it is) he'll be bald by the end of the month.

    I'll post on the forum when it's ready to be progressed to commercial usage.

  5. #5
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    How do you plan on masking the FTC and FBI smell test for phishing sites now tied into the StopBadware.com and the Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT) sites, or the new phishing protections in Microsoft Vista Operating System? Shopping carts are for those accepting all the restrictions of fulfillment merchants.

    Even those agreeing to pass consumer privacy info to companies like Metarewards directly from their cart checkout process are going to be under the legality spotlight. I went through this in the 90's with automating datafeed shopping carts for computer fulfillment distributors. Every clone ecatalog had to have a Tax # Id'd and verified reseller to get by the legal ramifications of posing as the merchant.

    GSI operates as a merchant shopping cart aggregrator and affiliate middleman shill. They still have to have a real fulfillment merchant on the other end of a buy now button. Merchants are legally liable for their feeds being used in any shopping carts that potentually violate consumer privacy and CC information.
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  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador MoneyBusiness's Avatar
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    Was wondering when Mike and Charlie would show up.. quicker than usual..

  7. #7
    Outsourced Program Manager John Jupp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ecomcity
    How do you plan on masking the FTC and FBI smell test for phishing sites now tied into the StopBadware.com and the Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT) sites, or the new phishing protections in Microsoft Vista Operating System? Shopping carts are for those accepting all the restrictions of fulfillment merchants.

    Even those agreeing to pass consumer privacy info to companies like Metarewards directly from their cart checkout process are going to be under the legality spotlight. I went through this in the 90's with automating datafeed shopping carts for computer fulfillment distributors. Every clone ecatalog had to have a Tax # Id'd and verified reseller to get by the legal ramifications of posing as the merchant.

    GSI operates as a merchant shopping cart aggregrator and affiliate middleman shill. They still have to have a real fulfillment merchant on the other end of a buy now button. Merchants are legally liable for their feeds being used in any shopping carts that potentually violate consumer privacy and CC information.
    Simple. There would be no masking in that respect. No data is stored by the affiliate and the transaction takes place on the merchant website. Visually however it can be made to appear on the affiliate website. So no cc information is held and no violation of consumer privacy takes place. As for a tax id and verified reseller acknowledgement well what do you think an affiliate id is? It serves the same purpose.

  8. #8
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    I have seen at least one affiliate site with a shopping cart, but the shopping cart was more for "show" than for purchase. Actual purchase still went through the real merchant's shopping cart. It was slick and unless you looked close, you would have made your purchase and not really notice the slight of hand.

    I think what was done was to use an OSCommerce site as an affiliate site but leave the shopping cart intact without ever directing sales through the check-out page.
    You must climb this mountain. There is no elevator. ---- Don't stick your finger in the liquid nitrogen.
    Carolina China

  9. #9
    Outsourced Program Manager John Jupp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Witzer
    I have seen at least one affiliate site with a shopping cart, but the shopping cart was more for "show" than for purchase. Actual purchase still went through the real merchant's shopping cart. It was slick and unless you looked close, you would have made your purchase and not really notice the slight of hand.

    I think what was done was to use an OSCommerce site as an affiliate site but leave the shopping cart intact without ever directing sales through the check-out page.
    I know what you mean. We started off with looking at ZenCart and then changed things for a purpose built layout as it proved problematic incorporating a network feed into Zen. There would still need to be a manual element and what we've achieved on a small scale is to remove the manual element.

  10. #10
    Affiliate Manager Allen Nance's Avatar
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    As a consumer I would suspect phishing.

    The merchants do not have a problem with this? Or are they uninformed?
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  11. #11
    Outsourced Program Manager John Jupp's Avatar
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    The merchants are very happy with this and have offered technical support and want to get in on it and some are in on it and so do some networks want to get in on it because you are all paying $10 a click and I'm seriously tempted but too courteous to laugh at you as I'm paying 30c a click.

    For God's sake people, why is it (and I ask with sincerity) that people in the US are so damn cynical? We decided to create something that networks can roll out to all affiliates at my own damn expense because Google has shafted affiliates and as the Big G is not permitted by law to follow an affiliate link through a shopping cart payment system then all you need to do is take the affiliate links from a datafeed and maybe the datafeed itself and place them outside the public html folder and only keep the affiliate link to a payment cart processing from the merchant, which is tracked by use of the affiliate network script.

    What is damn well phishing about that???????
    So my final slant on this is if you don't want it I don't care. It's mine and you can continue to mope about the cost of affiliate marketing all you want. I have a way to create merchant sites that are really affiliate sites that comply with the law and are not damn *&^%$^&*^&%%^ phishing sites!!!!

    Sometimes I get really mad and this I'm very sorry to say is most definitely one of those times.

  12. #12
    Outsourced Program Manager John Jupp's Avatar
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    Please one and all excuse my occasional ranting. I have a spinal injury that twinges at the wrong moment so the medication I'm on makes me a tad aggressive when I shouldn't be. Apologies for anyone offended.

    Take a look at http://forum.abestweb.com/showthread.php?t=76186 which I posted not long back.

    The position is this. I can create from a network feed, an entire shopping cart without any affiliate links being displayed in the public html area. Everything functions completely and the site can add up the totals and keep a record of products selected. All this is stored by the network tracking. Then when a customer has finished shopping and wishes to pay then they are transferred to the merchant payment system.

    In terms of a website I can create simple sites from merchants with less than a dozen categories. When merchants use sub categories it gets more difficult. I can still create complete sites but getting the categories listed correctly is more difficult. An example being bracelet and ankle bracelet; both would be downloaded as bracelet in the category mapping. Another example is gold engagement ring and gold wedding ring. Again both are downloaded as a ring. Getting a script to differentiate automatically without manual adjustment is what I'm trying to achieve.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Jupp
    Please one and all excuse my occasional ranting. I have a spinal injury that twinges at the wrong moment so the medication I'm on makes me a tad aggressive when I shouldn't be. Apologies for anyone offended.

    And you blame It on a "spinal injury"............Shucks.....I thought that you were just a fellow Irishman.......

    We do have a tendency to speak our mind.......right or wrong.......
    This is just my opinion and I have "thousands"
    You must climb this mountain. There is no elevator. ---- Don't stick your finger in the liquid nitrogen.
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  14. #14
    Outsourced Program Manager John Jupp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Witzer
    And you blame It on a "spinal injury"............Shucks.....I thought that you were just a fellow Irishman.......

    We do have a tendency to speak our mind.......right or wrong.......
    This is just my opinion and I have "thousands"
    Nah it's my wife who has the Irish blood. Nor a more fiery redhead could you come across. I'm worse as I've got German blood in me and us ex Prussians are such precise individuals.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Jupp
    Nah it's my wife who has the Irish blood. Nor a more fiery redhead could you come across. I'm worse as I've got German blood in me and us ex Prussians are such precise individuals.
    I have been reading some of your previous posts.........Damn...You are a Hessian.............But you seem to know what you are talking about.

    I had an employee (engineer) who was a Dutchman.........Every once in a while I had to tie him up and flog him...........A treatment would last about 3 weeks....

    I am learning this business the hard way. Would an affiliate site with a working shopping cart get better marks with the search engines?
    You must climb this mountain. There is no elevator. ---- Don't stick your finger in the liquid nitrogen.
    Carolina China

  16. #16
    Outsourced Program Manager John Jupp's Avatar
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    Ask yourself this....if Google's algorithm looks for affiliate links and the database supplied by a network is not in the public html but is "offline" then you have no affiliate links in the website that Google can read.

    The only thing you then need to do is create a script to read the csv file that the networks provide and display the products with each product having a buy now button which the script adds to cart.

    The only data in public view is the product data and not the affiliate data. Even the network script exactly matches the product code on the merchant website. Then all your script needs to do is put the affiliate network data back when the customer clicks to pay and eureka...job done.

    Google is not permitted to read a payment system and the site is "clean" of any affiliate links. You are now a "merchant" providing a unique customer experience. Welcome to low PPC once more.

    As a quick edit* I can add that we have tested this on two small merchants product feeds and it works even with the category mapping (for aestetic reasons) issues. We also did this with the entire Woolworth's datafeed from TradeDoubler, two feeds from Affiliate Window and a feed from Affiliate Future. They all tracked.

    When my techie gets back from his vacation I'm going to push him to get a small "merchant" site fully running so everyone can take a look. I'm in the process of deciding a suitable template for this. We have a test site where this is already running but I want to set it to live status on an existing site.

  17. #17
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    I have recently set up a merchant site (not an affiliate site) using -------. It still needs some fine tuning. I am also setting up a shop for my daughter, again using --------.

    We also have several affiliate sites (totally separated). When setting up an affiliate site, doesn't everyone try to present their site as an online store that is selling some name brand product or products, very much like your local department store or franchise outlet. Seems to me that the closer you get your site to this concept, the more likely you are to attain success.
    Last edited by Witzer; August 18th, 2006 at 09:40 PM.
    You must climb this mountain. There is no elevator. ---- Don't stick your finger in the liquid nitrogen.
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  18. #18
    ABW Ambassador simcat's Avatar
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    Are'nt shopster sites affiliate sites with a checkout or shopping cart?

    I still think SE's are going more after the duplicate content aff. sites usually have than the links themselves. But if google gets more aggressive about dumping affiliate sites, this might be a good response.

    I don't believe having a pseudo shopping cart would automatically mean you were home-free though....in the long run.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by simcat
    Are'nt shopster sites affiliate sites with a checkout or shopping cart?.
    Sort of...........but aren't they having some problems with the SE?


    Quote Originally Posted by simcat
    I still think SE's are going more after the duplicate content aff. sites usually have than the links themselves. But if google gets more aggressive about dumping affiliate sites, this might be a good response.

    I don't believe having a pseudo shopping cart would automatically mean you were home-free though....in the long run.
    No free lunch. There are full fledged online stores that have less of a SE ranking than many pure affiliate sites.

    I think that you are right about the dup content.
    You must climb this mountain. There is no elevator. ---- Don't stick your finger in the liquid nitrogen.
    Carolina China

  20. #20
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    This just sounds like an elaborate way to cloak aff links from SEs. Zzzzz

    Not special enough to spend money on.

    And, this method leaves the question of what happens when the customer wants to order from more than one merchant. Along with questions about how it could be made to look like the customer was still on the aff site, without leaving any kind of security holes for data-sniffing in the "gap" between the aff site and the merchant site.

  21. #21
    ABW Ambassador MoneyBusiness's Avatar
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    Well, I'll be straightfoward and say I'm curious to see what the final product will look like - whether it'll forward the affiliate business or not.

    I imagine the honest and thorough reviews will come out of the woodwork then.

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