How to set up an online store front – Setting Up Shop Series
We looked at the various different options available depending on what you wanted to sell and how you wanted to sell it in our series introduction. In Part 1 I showed how you could easily sell digital downloads from your existing site. Now in this article we are going to look at how to set up a separate but all encompassing store which you can use to sell your own products, 3rd party products, drop-ship products and any affiliate products. This store really does do it all!
How to set up an online store
The first thing to do is show you around the store I set up myself. You can see the live version of the So Sew Easy Store now. Please do drop over and browse around and get a feel for how it works, add a few items to your cart, maybe set up a wishlist and register. Look through some examples of items I have for sale in the store.
Here are a few examples to look at:
- An Amazon affiliate product. Clicking this product takes you to Amazon to read more and purchase. Amazon are excellent at upselling and perhaps the buyer will add other items to their cart or something from their wishlist too.
- A sewing pattern on Craftsy. Clicking on this product takes you to Craftsy to buy the pattern. I could also sell the pattern in the store myself, using the Easy Digital Downloads plugin we looked at earlier.
- A drop-ship product. If you buy one of the PGM or Fabulous Fit items it adds to cart, adds on shipping and when you check out, you pay me. I then request a drop ship from my supplier direct to the customer, pay the net amount for the item and keep the difference as my commission.
- An affiliate product with another supplier. You can add in as many affiliate products and suppliers as you like and link the item to the deep-link on the affiliate website.
- A membership product. Buying the Pattern of the Month Club pays to my Paypal Account and adds you to my mailing list for future pattern releases.
Normally when I see a product I love and use, I’ll do you a quick over view or tutorial on how to set up. But the team at Covert Store Builder have already done a really great job for me, so I’ll simply share their video here. Don’t get put off by the overtly-salesy tone, and the cheesy sales page. Just looks at the features, see what you can do with it, how it could replace your existing Amazon store, and consider how this could work for you. Skip through to start at 2:50 to skip the sales chat and look at the features.
Covert Store Builder has been a revelation for me and me sewing site. It looks so much more professional than my old Amazon Store. I’ve left the old store up on THIS PAGE so you can see how bad it looked before, compared to THIS PAGE which is now my new super-store.
If you don’t have any products of your own then this store front is a perfect way for you to earn a little extra money from your site. You can include Amazon products, and let’s face it they sell everything. You can easily import any affiliate product from any of the merchants on Commission Junction and you can add in manually any other affiliate products from ANY other merchant anywhere that you have a relationship with. So if you want to try an Amazon store or affiliate marketing – you’ll love this product!
Ideas for sites and products that would work well with this store:
- Cooking and recipe sites – sell and link to kitchen tools, equipment and accessories, or even recipe books. Sell your own recipe e-book.
- Crafting sites – link to and sell the enormous range of crafting supplies from Amazon and other affiliate stores such as JoAnnes etc.
- Book reviewers – sell books and e-books or Kindles etc from Amazon.
- Homeschooling – link to the materials and books on Amazon and other affiliate retailers.
- Fashion and lifestyle/home decor bloggers – any affiliate products you love can be included.
- Photography and art sites – sell photographic equipment.
The list is endless. If it is out there for sale and the retailer has an affiliate scheme you can join, then you can include that product in your store, link to it from one of your posts and make the sale! Once a person is in your store, they may see other products they like too.
Covert Store Builder is a WordPress theme rather than a plugin, so you can’t simply add it to your existing site. You can add it to a sub-domain, add another install of WordPress and add it as a separate theme if you are technical. If you are on Blogger or another platform, or just want a simple solution, then setting up a new domain is the quickest, cheapest and easiest way to go. For the sewing site I have So Sew Easy, so I bought and added a new domain called So Sew Easy Store and set everything up there entirely separate from the main site. But the look and feel are the same, and I link to it from my menu so it does look inclusive.
My special offer for you
Covert Store Builder costs $47. You know I usually recommend free products where I can, but this is one super-duper product I personally recommend and I think you can’t get anything else that works this way for this kind of price. You could recoup the cost of this product quickly with your sales commission.
I really want you to give this option a go for your affiliate sales and I’m going to make you a great offer!
If you buy Covert Store Builder, I will set it up for you!
You will need to get a domain name and hosting account (I’ll help you with that too – it costs just $3.49/month with Bluehost) and I will set up the domain for you, install WordPress, install Covert Store Builder and set it up for you with my recommended settings. Of course, you will need to add in your own content and products – but if you’ve seen the video, you can see how quick and easy that is to do.
Then you will have your very own store on the internet. While I can’t guarantee you millions in sales like Amazon, it can be a great place to start earning money online.
To take me up on the offer, simply purchase Covert Store Builder from any of the links above by 30 March 2016, and send me your receipt. I’ll send you back details of the next steps and we will have your store up and running in super-quick time.
Of course you don’t need to take me up on this offer if you already know how to set up these things for yourself. Just get Covert Store Builder and be up and running in a few minutes.
Need some tips on how to get the best from Affiliate Marketing? Try these posts from the archives:
- Make money with ShareASale – affiliate marketing
- How to make money with affiliate sales – a case study
- Readers question – Which ShareASale vendors should I sign up with?
Next in our Setting Up Store Series is the last. How to sell your own products or Drop Ship goods using the Covert Store Builder plus a free plugin that allows you to collect money via Paypal and integrate your own products into this great looking store front.
February 9, 2014 @ 7:11 am
This is great! I’m just starting my business now that my maternity pay has run out (yikes) so I really appreciate your generous sharing.
February 13, 2014 @ 9:16 am
THANKS!!! I’m saving this!
February 15, 2014 @ 4:14 pm
I would love to try this, but I live in Colorado, and I believe Amazon sales won’t work for me. Any suggestions?
Deby at Moms Make Money
February 16, 2014 @ 5:11 pm
The great thing about this option is that you aren’t restricted to using Amazon. You can automatically import from any merchant on CJ.com with whom you have an account, plus you can also manually add in products from any merchant or affiliate scheme. This is why this option is so flexible, and is the one I chose for my own site, because I can do everything I want with it, all with one product. Amazon, other CJ merchants, ShareASale merchants, direct affiliates, drop shipping, my own products etc. Amazon is just a small part of what it can do, although of course its the quickest and easiest way to use it for most sites.
Lee @ Lady Lee's Home
February 18, 2014 @ 4:13 pm
Thank you for this Deby.
From reading the comment above I understand that is it possible to manually enter a link to a product, correct? I live in NC and can’t be an affiliate with Amazon so I use VigLink if I want to direct my readers to Amazon. I go to their site and enter the link to the product, they will give me a link that they generate which I will link to from my site. Will I be able to do that in the Covert store? Use the link VigLink gave me to direct people to the product?
Deby at Moms Make Money
February 18, 2014 @ 4:26 pm
I’m not sure exactly how the Viglink site works, but if they have given you a link to use to direct to the appropriate page on Amazon, then yes, you could certainly add in the product details manually and use that link for the Buy Now so that it registers to you when you make a sale. Great get-around. That would work out just fine with this product.
August 20, 2014 @ 3:12 pm
Hello deby, in the drop ship products, what happens when customers want to return the product?
What is your interaction with the customer who wants to return the product? Regards Filipe
Deby at Moms Make Money
August 21, 2014 @ 6:59 am
That all depends on how the manufacturer deals with returns, whether they provide a returns number or label. It could be different for each one you deal with. But typically the customer service dept at the supplier would deal direct with the customer in the event of a problem with the product.
December 3, 2014 @ 8:38 pm
Thank you the info Deby, it is extremely helpful! Are you still offering help with setting up the site if I order the Covert site builder through your site?
Deby at Moms Make Money
December 4, 2014 @ 7:37 am
I’m sorry Valerie, I’ve moved onto other projects right now so I’m no longer offering this – it was a long time ago. But honestly. I only offered because its so easy and doesn’t take much time to do anyway! You shouldn’t have any trouble with it.
December 29, 2014 @ 1:34 pm
So when you are reporting your shareasale earnings- is your store the main source? I have been following along, and wondered;)
I would love to add a nice store to http://www.mammassafetycorner.com
but have been pondering the best and easiest way!
Deby at Moms Make Money
December 31, 2014 @ 7:30 am
There is some income from the store there, but mostly its income from the products and merchants that I recommend in my posts and articles, or on FB etc. Such as this sort of article for the Christmas gift guide. There are several store options, but I like my one I keep on the separate domain. It can easily handle a combination of any Amazon, any other merchant affiliate products, your own products, digital products etc, all in the one store. You can read more about setting that up here.