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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador bettylou's Avatar
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    How many is too many?
    Merchants, that is.

    I am currently creating a new site that is totally sales based, not content filled. My question is for those of you who have sites like this, how do you determine how many merchants to include?

    For example, if you have a site that sells gumballs. You have Merchant A that you had planned on building your site around. They are a great merchant but you find in the process that Merchant B and Merchant C, D & F have great gumballs also and in lots of other colors and flavors.

    By including all of the merchants, I would be adding more options for the visitors to my site but I would also be possibly giving them way too many choices.

    What do you guys usually do? Would you stick to just the one merchant or include all of the merchants?


    Thanks,
    Bettylou

  2. #2
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    It's good to limit by theme (i.e. gum balls).

    Split the theme into flavors. Pick the merchants who can fill out the flavors.

    The problem with a one merchant focus is the question of added value.
    Providing a mix offers a more interesting selection & presentation.
    Pick as many within that theme as you can handle as long as the additional merchant can offer something a little different
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  3. #3
    Affiliate Manager Howard Gottlieb's Avatar
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    I think the number of options you could offer is based on your ability to promote them in a meaningful way and your viewer will be satisfied with what they see.

    If possible build two sites and test them both. Run each for a finite period and compare.
    I would rather live my life as if there is a God and die
    to find out there isn't, than live my life as if there
    isn't and die to find out there is.

  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador bettylou's Avatar
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    Thanks for your replies.

    I agree that having more than one merchant will definitely add to the value of the site as a whole. It will be more of a total view of what is available in this narrow product line.

    However, the PPC keyword count will go through the roof. Does anybody know if Donuts hires out his services by the hour?

  5. #5
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Can you narrow it down to 2 or 3 merchants? Would that decrease PPC costs?

    Pick the best 2 or 3 merchants. Some merchants' offerings are too similar.
    ~Rhia7 -- Remember the 7
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  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador bettylou's Avatar
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    It will actually be 4 merchants total but 3 of them would only be providing a limited number of products.

    This product line is better for providing very targeted keywords versus some of the other sites that I have. I hope that will also help in keeping costs down.

  7. #7
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    bettylou - I have found that it's never a good idea to rely on just 1 merchant. If that 1 merchant decides to close their program in the future then it can really affect your website. I like to have at least 3 merchants to select from. Just my 2 cents.

  8. #8
    Member TonyCafaro's Avatar
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    Hi bettylou,

    This has its pros and cons. I like the idea of more that one merchant because as msladybug says "it's never a good idea to rely on just 1 merchant" and on top of that maybe your readers want variety and you could offer it to them.

    On the other hand for one of my affiliate programs you work your way up by tier based on sales volume. So you may be an affiliate of mine and amazon, but when you split sales between the two it hinders ability to move up the commission structure.

    Maybe you can start with a variety to offer and use PPC for just one and see if you get some spill over. If you find that purchases are relying heavily on one brand you can move to just work with that program. Maybe they'll give you a better commission incentive too.

  9. #9
    Life is Supposed to be Fun! Rexanne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bettylou

    However, the PPC keyword count will go through the roof. Does anybody know if Donuts hires out his services by the hour?
    PM him. He's very accessible and PPC proficient.

    I'd go with all the merchants who have what your site is selling. If one offers better commission, put them on top or whichever starts converting best, put them on top.
    It sounds like some testing will be in order but relying only on 1 merchant is dangerous. If they close up, you're SOL.
    Peace,

    Rexanne

    Rexanne.com
    Loving Everyone's Child Creates Magic


  10. #10
    Moderator bibby's Avatar
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    Hi,
    There is no correct answer to this. I own a coupon site and have over 1000 merchants and add more each month.

    What I do is:
    Any time I contemplate adding a merchant I see if it adheres to my mission statement. My goal is to add savings for my customers. If the new merchant fits into this mission/goal I will add them.

    Also, as a coupon site I try to include as many coupons and savings for my customers. For this type of site there really isn't too many.

    For a niche site, you may want to keep the number of merchants to a lower amount.

    I hope this helped a little.

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