Hack 66 Create an Online Store


Don't have time to build your own web site? AssociatesShop.com can build a site with Amazon associate links for you!

If you don't already have a web site that you'd like to integrate with Amazon, you can create an online store with a tool called AssociatesShop.com (http://www.associatesshop.com/). The idea is very simple: you provide a store title, your Amazon associate tag, and a product keyword, and AssociatesShop queries Amazon via its API and builds a store full of products based on that keyword. If you run a site for Led Zeppelin fans, you could use this service to instantly create a store that links to Amazon with your associate tag. By filling in a few form fields with the keywords Led Zeppelin and clicking a few buttons, you can have an online shop devoted to the British rockers in less than two minutes.

Figure 5-11 shows the first page of the shop setup process, where you enter your store's title, choose a color scheme, and enter your associate tag.

Figure 5-11. Setting up a storefront, Step 1

You can also choose which product areas you'd like to show: books, music, DVDs, and/or videos. From there, you'll need to associate keywords with each product line you chose. As you can see in Figure 5-12, you can type in your keyword or choose different selections from drop-down menus.

Figure 5-12. Setting up a storefront, Step 2

Once your keywords are set, you'll need to confirm your email address. AssociatesShop.com will send a URL you'll need to visit to activate your store. Once done, you'll have a store full of products similar to the one you see in Figure 5-13.

Figure 5-13. An AssociatesShop online store

Your shop will be hosted on AssociatesShop's servers, so you'll need to link to your store from your own site. AssociatesShop provides ready-made HTML you can use to link to your store.

AssociatesShop is free. So how are they compensated? They replace your associate tag with theirs every four links or so. You still receive the majority of your referral fees, but AssociatesShop also gets something for their development efforts. In addition, they place ads on your store that use their associate tag exclusively.

Once your initial store is set up, you can customize it yourself. Instead of relying on the API queries for suggested products, you can define your own for each section of the site. You can also write introductions for each section, define the colors, adjust the layout, and add a logo. AssociatesShop.com has made building a storefront a point-and-click operation.