Shop Window Client Software

Had a good stab yesterday & this morning working on netbooks.co.uk – while the amazon store has been making sales, it’s not exactly integrated or pretty. So I decided to have a look at the Shop Window Client Software from Affiliate Window.

Affiliate Window let’s you sign up with a lot of the major retailers like Dixons, Curry’s etc and then you can use their shop window software to display products in a store like fashion. Before I go any further remember that I am not a coder (or programmer) and have no design or coding skills, that’s probably more than obvious :)  but worth mentioning as it proves anyone can do it.

The thing I like about this script is that it doesn’t involve me downloading feeds or storing the data in a database which would mean I would have to update periodically to keep it fresh and current, instead I install their script which creates the pages on the fly using their data which means they update new products and my site gets updated automatically.

Installation is a breeze, just download, unzip and ftp the files to a directory, they even provide a couple of templates. You can edit the config file so it doesn’t show every product, so for me I could narrow that down to laptops which is the closest, you could just as easily create a shop on electronics, dvd’s etc.

What took me a few hours would take someone that knew what they were doing a few minutes but I really enjoyed it, I created 4 example netbooks on the homepage of the store to show the main features that would appeal, cheap, lightweight, battery life & screen resolution.

I also created my own navigation showing the main models, manufacturers and price mainly using the search function to create links.

The biggest problem was that it didn’t create any title/description tags so for the actual product pages after a bit of trial and error I managed to use the product name & description and get it into the head so that all the pages don’t appear too similar for the mighty G. Also added in the title when you search for example a Samsung NC10, apart from that I am pretty happy with it, not exactly groundbreaking or unique but I think it gives a half decent user experience.

Still work to be done on the layout & design and more unique content needs to be added but as far as a quick way of putting up a shop to take advantage of visitors your getting in a product based site I think it’s a great weapon to have in your armoury.

The Amazon store has sold 4 netbooks in the first week of this month so it will be interesting to see how the Affiliate Window Shop Window does in the coming weeks, I’ll report back later.

About Scott Jones

Scott hails from the north east of Scotland and started earning online at the end of 2000 building websites for local businesses during which time he won an award from Lord Alan Sugar for Excellence in Enterprise. After having quite a bit of success with domaining Scott mainly runs educational evergreen websites which generate over 3 million visitors per month but is always on the lookout for a fresh thinking out of the box way to turn a buck. Follow on Twitter.

Comments

  1. Looks good! Would be better if it had better urls, eg /compare/price/100-199 and /compare/netbook/asus-eee-900 etc, sure that could be down with some tweaks!

    Adam Dempsey’s last blog post..Happy New Year!

  2. Scott, what do you think about using tradenarks in the domain name to set up a website similar to netbooks.co.uk? Something like compaqnotebooks.co.uk for example.

  3. Hi Scott

    That looks very good, The shop window seems to integrate well into the site.

    How are you getting traffic is it mainly via orngainc search or are you using any PPC?

    Cheers

    Roland’s last blog post..Moving to a new server

  4. This certainly looks like a quick solution to getting a storefront up and running. How will you go about minimising the risk of duplicate content though as presumably lots of affiliates will have the same store front?

    • For now it would seem a good quick way to try and monetise traffic I am already getting through the homepage, I’ll try and add value & content – it should be of more benefit than the Amazon store so gives me something to work on.

  5. So essentially this is a means of quickly setting up an ecommerce site, where you are not providing the products, shipping or customer service, you are simply facilitating the commerce!

    Genius, pure genius. Oh, if only netbooks.ca were still available…

    Justin Cook’s last blog post..What is Google’s new SearchWiki?

  6. Hi Scott

    That’s pretty good from just organic traffic :)

    100/150 visitors a day in such a short time is great, it shows the benefits of having the right domain name with the keywords in it.

    I may have to start looking around for some generic ones :)

    Roland’s last blog post..Weekly Gadgets Roundup – 4th January 2009

  7. Interesting post Scott, I might have a look into the merchants Affiliate Windows have as a few sports merchants might fit in well with my tracksuit website

  8. The site is impressive. I have recently started to use AW shopwindow.
    two questions to all readers.
    1. Permalink as commented by Adam Dempsey : Has anyone found a solution to making the urls end with the product name instead of /product.php?p=29749133

    2. As commented by Scott : How can one to use the product name & description and get it into the head of the page for search engines.

    Thanks for any SEO advice

  9. I was thinking of going down the Amazon route for some of my domains too, but I thought the commission was pretty low. I thought you used BANS via eBay on this site before, why the change over?

    Giles Dawe’s last blog post..Nokia 1006

  10. I agree with you that it might not be the prettiest site out there but if it only took you a few hours that’s not bad.

    Are you still just trying to fill it with content to lease out or sell the site or are you actually moving into the e-commerce business?

    Mikael’s last blog post..Google Smack af EzineArticles?

  11. The only downfall to Shop Window is that you are restricted to the merchants of AW. Handy if like you, you are promoting electricals as they seem to have the main UK electrical suppliers on board.

    It works well as an add on to an existing site quite well, if only it had the facility to compare prices (having said that they are looking to add the feature soon).

  12. Scott,
    can you give me an update on the amazon store? I’m starting to do something similar in Canada, but I’d like to go with Amazon for it’s local presence. Is this approach still working for you? Is the iFrame a good idea?

    Justin Cook’s last blog post..When digital theft is a good thing!

    • As I mentioned in this post I moved more to the Affiliate Window to make more of an ecommerce/shopping experience so that’s where I have been sending the traffic. The amazon store converts but doesn’t bring in traffic so fine for a homepage generating visitors.

      • Do you have any idea of the comparative conversion rates?

        I’m just trying to figure out if it’s worth putting the work into building a site with something like wordpress, and embedding the products in posts, or if it will work just as well to throw up one of these aStores.

        Justin Cook’s last blog post..When digital theft is a good thing!

  13. I’m jealous of that netbooks domain! Every day I’m hearing more and more about netbooks. Good call on your part.

  14. What happened with this domain, I see it shows a sedo for sale page at the moment so have you decided to no longer work on it?

  15. Ahh that would explain it then.

    I was interest in the post as you were using shopwindow on your site and I am thinking of adding it to one of my domains.

  16. Nice design and implementation of shopwindow. Did you design the site yourself?

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