Friday, November 27, 2009

Popshops and Your Shopping Website

As I recently reported, I have made a Footed Pajamas website to accompany my footed pajamas lenses. As you may know, I have several lenses focused on Footed Pajamas, including:

* Footed Pajamas For Adults
* Footed Pajamas for Boys
* Footed Pajamas for Girls
* Matching Pajamas

My new website has pages for all of those things as you can see here:

* Adult Footed Pajamas
* Boys Footed Pajamas
* Girls Footed Pajamas
* Matching Footed Pajamas

I have built the new page with modules from Popshops. If you are selling stuff via your own website, I encourage you to find out about Popshops. I learned about Popshops from the affilate manager of a company I affilate with. I complained about the fact when I click on a link for a product, I often get "out of stock" messages. I told him that we are both losing alot of sales. He wrote "Sorry for the inconvenience. Have you tried popshops? They are datafeed driven, and I believe they have the option you're looking for".

I did a Squidoo search about Popshops and came across a fellow Squid named Casey who made a few lenses about Popshops. Casey has several beautifully made websites, which are based on Popshops such as this Plus Size Shopping site. I exchaged a few emails with Casey who gave me some very helpful tips such as: "I consider Enterprise level PopShops to be one of the best investments I make in my business". Thank you for your help Casey!

What I leaned from Casey and my own experience is that Popshops is:

* Very easy to use! If you want to change the products being offered on your site, you do not need to copy and past code. You simply go to the Popshops desktop and click on a product and instantly that product is added to your site! It is very simple and very fast!

* If a product goes out of stock, it will automatically be replaced with a similar product. No more "Out of Stock" links.

* If you offer products from various manufacturers, popshops makes them all look similar. Your website looks like one company rather than a patchwork of offers from various companies.

There are some limitations with Popshops, however:

* Popshops basically does not work well with Squidoo. Popshops offers many different types of coding possibilities (Javascript, PHP, ASP, Atom, RSS, HTML, etc, etc). The problem is from that list, it seems that only HTML works with Popshops. And HTML does not have all of the cool features that I have written above. This is a REAL pity and limitation with Squidoo.

* Not all companies you will work with offer their products via Popshops. But many, many do. Both of my two most important companies offer products via Popshops.

So, I created my own website. I quickly began creating my own Popshops modules. I was worried that there would be a steep learning curve, but soon realized working with Popshops was VERY simple. Wow! I had my first "shop" installed in a few minutes.

With Popshops making my website was FAST! Creating a Popshops Shop is very similar to creating an Squidoo Amazon module. You simply:

* Do a keyword search for products
* Click on the programs you are approved to affilate with
* Click on the products you want to offer in your shop
* Select the type of code you want
* Copy and paste the code into your website.

Once the code is in, you can return to your shop and click and change the products being offered at any time. You never need to change the code on your website again!

I am still a Popshops newbie and am probably not getting everything out of it that I could be. But I already see alot of advantages of Popshops in addition to the ones I mentioned above. I am making more money. My Squidoo commissions from Amazon is around 2% of sales. My affilate commission is around 12% of sales. Of course, I can have affilate links on my Squidoo pages. But I have to live with those links that constantly go "out of stock" and the only way to discover those deadlinks is to click on all of them. Who has time for that?

After a few weeks of using Popshops, like Casey, I am now convinced that Popshops EXCELLENT for building shopping websites. I plan to be making more websites soon and I have every intention of using Popshops to offer my products.

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