Not Selling Anything, But Want a Web Store?
By: Scott "Snerdey" Lawrence, www.snerdey.com
Isn't it amazing how much eCommerce has changed over the last few years? What was once a relatively new and uncertain medium is now a safe, secure method of doing business online. In fact, the majority of the money being transferred around the world is done through the Internet.
If you are trying to capitalize on the online economy, you have probably already considered your options. But, have you considered starting up a web storefront that doesn't actually sell anything? It might sound like a daunting or even impossible task, but in reality it's simple and quite effective. If you haven't thought of that yet, you need to seriously consider the increase in commissions that it could bring.
A new type of online store management software, called osCommerence (short for “Open Source Commerce”) is making the task of starting an online storefront easy. There are no licensing fees, as it has been developed by the open source community, and it is completely free. But what does that have to do with selling nothing and making money?
OsCommerce allows you to set up shopping carts for affiliate products. If you are promoting an affiliate product, such as an eBook or some other intangible product, you can set up a shopping cart that will show the users the familiar online shopping experience. This could increase conversions, and it does not cost anything.
OsCommerce is compatible with just about every affiliate system out there. Just plug in your affiliate link, create your pages, and start making money.
OsCommerce is completely free. You can set up multiple landing pages, some with osCommerce and others without it, without having to worry about expense. This means that you can split test your landing sites and see which ones are converting better without having to worry about losing profits.
OsCommerce is seamless. The users sees a simple, familiar process. There are no added steps or procedures that the user has to go through, meaning that your conversions are not affected. The user makes the purchases that they desire and receives their product, while you make your commissions.
OsCommerce has been implemented, with great success, with intangible products, affiliate links, eBay affiliate links, as well as other, more obscure forms of monetization. I can ramble on and on about the benefits of maintaining an actual web store, but you probably already know that the web store is the type of environment that most customers are already comfortable with. It really comes down to not reinventing the wheel.
OsCommerce runs off of Apache, and it can be found and downloaded here, or you can visit www.snerdey.com and purchase pre-made osCommerce templates at very reasonable prices. Snerdey Web Designs actually has quite the selection, and it's a great way to get your virtual store up and running quickly, with a clean, professional face, and a well thought out back end.
Could it be any easier to set up your online storefront?